‘KENMARE Foodie” Karen Coakley credits her online presence with an abundance of what she calls “pinch me” moments, including festival, radio, and television appearances.
Born in West Cork and based in Kenmare, Karen shows off the beauty of the west on her accounts, as well as her latest kitchen adventures.
“I have a very interactive and loyal following on Instagram and I use Instastories to take my viewers through my recipes step-by-step and show them around West Cork and Kerry, which always gets a huge reaction,” she said.
“I get messages from people telling me they’re holidaying in Kenmare or West Cork, because they fell in love with it through my eyes. I always get a huge kick, too, when they send me back photos of my dishes that they’ve cooked, having followed it step by step on Instastories. This, for me, is what it is all about and why I started Kenmare Foodie in the first place.”
The mum of four shares aspects of her day-to-day life. “With me, it’s all about the food and my life/the scenery in Kerry, family holidays, adventures with the twins, running and rowing, but it’s 70% food. It’s my obsession and this is my way to share it.”
She says blogging opened up a world of possibilities for her. “I was always obsessed with food and social media and blogging gave me an outlet to meet other people who shared my love and understood the excitement and feeling around food.
“It gave me a huge outlet, from running and racing after four kids, which, incidentally, I also love doing and made me feel happy in myself. It’s good to have something for me and the family are very much a part of Kenmare Foodie.
“To a certain extent, I feel I’m more than making up for not going to college, with all I’m getting to do now! Just goes to show there is life beyond it and it’s not the end of the world if it’s not for you.”
A highlight has been cooking on RTÉ Today.
“It has afforded me huge opportunities to do things I would never have dreamed of doing in my wildest dreams.
I’ve cooked at food festivals — I’ll be on the main stage at Savour Kilkenny, this October. I’ve done radio, written a regular food column, and I guess the thing I really still can’t believe, and the biggest of my career to date, is I’ve just come off a season of cooking Live on RTE Today with Maura and Daithi. I did three shows this season and it still is a ‘pinch me’ feeling.”