Clodagh studied in France and NYC, and then went on to train as a chef at Ballymaloe Cookery School, followed by 3 years working as a chef in Ballymaloe House in Cork, Ireland. After an inspiring visit to the Middleton Farmers Market, she decided to take a leap of faith and leave the kitchen to set up her own stall at that market. Soon after, she was developing other farmers markets around Ireland and set up a commercial kitchen making pates, which her cousin Barrie Tyner now sells at farmers markets in Cork.
Clodagh has published three books — her first book The Irish Farmers’ Market Cookbook was a bestseller, her second book, entitled Fresh From the Sea was published in 2009 . Clodagh’s most recent cookbook, Homemade, in 2010 was awarded the prestigious Gourmand award for Best in the UK category. Clodagh is currently writing her fourth book entitled ‘Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries’ which will be published in October 2012.
Clodagh filmed two television series to accompany her Irish Farmers Market Cookbook. Her third series, Fresh From the Sea, opened to rave reviews in June of 2009 on RTE 1. The series also aired in New Zealand the autumn of 2009 and on UKTV the spring 2010. The fourth series of the same name aired June 2010 on RTE 1. ‘Clodagh McKenna’s Irish Food Trails’ will air on PBS in the USA in May 2012.
Outside of her media work, Clodagh has travelled the world giving cooking demonstrations in the USA, Italy, the UK and Holland. Autumn of 2008 saw Clodagh take on the fashion world with her exciting new ‘glam’ kitchenware range. Her personally designed 1950’s-inspired aprons are available from her website and are in over 50 outlets throughout Ireland and the UK. In 2010, Clodagh teamed up with the Village at Lyons in Co. Kildare to open the doors of her new cookery school called The Village at Lyons Cookery School with Clodagh McKenna.
In September 2011, Clodagh launched her brand ‘Homemade by Clodagh’ in Arnotts department store in Dublin, which is the largest department store in Dublin. Under the banner ‘Homemade by Clodagh’ there will be Clodagh’s Kitchen (a restaurant), The Food Court and The Food Market.
Said Clodagh: “I am thrilled to get the opportunity to bring my homemade philosophy to the heart of Dublin City with Arnotts, which is not just Dublin but Ireland’s landmark department store. It has always been an ambition of mine to bring the very best of homemade food to a wider market and, with so many customers coming through the doors of Arnotts, this is a realisation of that dream. We will be honouring the homemade ethos in both cafés and, at the same time, showcasing the very best of Irish suppliers as every dish served will be made, in so far as that is possible, from freshly sourced local produce. I have already begun working with the staff, who are extremely excited about what lies in store and we are looking forward to September and unveiling our refreshing new look and exciting menus for both restaurants.”