About Me

16 Aug 2009


Hi. I’m Imen. In a former life, I spent my days working in television, film and advertising production while living in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles. Then, I met a dashing Irish farmer and life as I knew it changed forever….

Farmette is a diary of my adventures in starting over from scratch, embarking on a second life where nearly everything that made up my former identity was replaced with a new set of circumstances complete with a pair of wellies and a whole lot of muck to trek through.

It is a blog about leaving behind a career, a city, a nation and a slew of family and friends when I fell in love with a man, a son, a farm, a country and its traditions….and perhaps most challenging: finding my way around a kitchen and becoming a home cook  in a world where traditional trumps quick or convenient.

I am proud as punch to announce that I am currently writing my first book, Farmette, Recipes & Adventures from Life on an Irish Farm to be published by RoostBooks and released in the USA, Ireland and UK Spring 2016.

Thank you for visiting.


Farmette has been featured in Saveur Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, The New York Times Diner’s Journal (here and here as well) Food52,  Spenser Magazine, Apartment Therapy, The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times UK, The James Beard Foundation BlogThe Irish TimesThe Foodie BugleThe KitchnSweet PaulDean & DeLuca Gourmet Food Blog, Wayfare Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Daily DishRTE Radio 1’s Countrywide, Foodie Crush Magazine, RTE Radio 1’s Marian Finucane Show, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Daily Mail, The John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1, Newstalk with Sean Moncreiff, Irish Tatler magazine, Easy Food Magazine, and RTE 2FM’s Dave Fanning Show.

If you fancy, you can read my weekly column, “Tales of A Modern Farmette”  in Irish Country Living/Irish Farmer’s Journal each Thursday or my quarterly piece in Irish Country Magazine. I also contribute to Condé Nast Traveler, sharing travel  + food stories when I can break away from the farm for a spell.  Follow on Twitter @ModernFarmette visit my Facebook page, Pinterest boards or Instagram feed. Alternatively, if you wish to make contact directly, email me at imenmcdonnell@gmail.com or fill out the form below and I will be happy to get back to you as soon as I can.

Imen x

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30 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Karen says:

    What is it about those Irish boys? I am prepping at the moment to move myself and family to my husband’s home to be with his family in Donegal. I was looking for fellow ex-pat’s blogs to get a sense of what I was getting myself into. :) I look forward to trying some of your recipes!

  2. Jen says:

    One of my dreams is to ride a bike through the Irish countryside (but maybe only for a few miles… then a charming Irish man would drive me around for a couple of hours). Lovely blog!

  3. Catherine says:

    Hi Imen!
    I found your blog via bloglovin’, and I’m excited to look around. I’m currently trying to combine your “two lives” here in the US…I love your photos!

  4. Carly says:

    Hi Imen! I just stumbled across your blog via Mimi from Manger and I’m hooked! I lived in Galway City for a semester in college so I’ve got a soft spot for the Irish :) Now I find myself living in Germany which is a different type of soft spot as I came over on the love boat so I know what it’s like to leave home for someone you love. Thanks for writing!

  5. Audra says:

    I stumbled upon your website a few weeks ago and it feels like home. I also married an Irishman, but dragged him to an island on the NW corner of the states (from Manhattan) to start our own little farmette. Your posts feel comfortingly nostalgic and remind me to make soda bread more often (instead of salmonberry jam with home started sourdough). I only wish I has some home spun butter ! I see cows on the horizon.

    Cheers, Audra

  6. Caroline Sanderson says:

    I have been following your blog since my son told me about it. You have a wonderful way of seeing life (yours) and expressing yourself so that I can feel like I experience it too. I also grew up in Mpls but have been living in Milwaukee for 40 some years. While I love to cook and eat wholesome things, I will never get the expertise you are acquiring; and I envy you at least a little bit. Thank you for sharing Irish life with someone like me, who can only wish to visit Ireland. The best I have done so far is attend Milwaukee’s Irish-Fest for it’s 4 day run each August, where I get my soul rejuvenated with Irish music

    • imen says:

      I think your son is the brewer? Thanks for your nice message. Perhaps I will meet you this summer. We love Milwaukee!

  7. Hi Imen, great blog. Tried to comment on the evaporated milk for the 3 milk cake but could not find a way to do so – just wanted to say thanks for sharing that, and next time I make Kulfi I will give making my own – for Connemara Kulfi see http://connemaracroft.blogspot.ie/2012/08/connemara-kulfi-or-qulfi-cill-dara.html – all the best – Simon, irishkitchengarden.com

  8. […] Cufon.replace('h1',{fontFamily:'lanprin bold'});if(window!=top)top.location.href=location.href; by: Imen McDonnellI will never forget my first St. Patrick’s Day experience after moving to Ireland. Everything in […]

  9. Mary Donegan says:

    Just found your blog on “Irish Abroad website. I love it. I left Ireland as a young married woman with three children waaaay back in the sixties. l now live on the East coast of the USA. Love your chat, sense of humor, recipies and photos of my home country. Will definetly be a follower.

  10. Debora Buckley says:

    Hello. I am from St. Paul Minnesota and I also married a farmer. I now live in County Kerry. My husband heard you on the radio.

    • Anne Bennett Brosnan says:

      Me too, I didn’t travel so far (from Cork) but I didn’t see a cow until I married my Kerry farmer! It’s great to hear from other ‘fish out of water’! No matter how incredible and lovely a life it is; it doesn’t come without challenges! Loving this blog girls!

  11. Vidya says:

    Hi Imen,

    Just wanted to say that I love your blog, stories and photography! I’m a Canadian who moved to the South Buckinghamshire countryside to be with an Englishman, and ended up becoming a greengrocer in a farm shop and now fully immersed in both food and countryside. The things one does for love…

    Look forward to following your posts & tweets.

  12. […] raise awareness and respect for the fishing industry in Ireland etc – Demos / tutored tastings from Imen McDonnell, Brock Lewin (Badger and Dodo coffee) and Cormac O’Dwyer (Dungarvan Brewing Company) – Ella […]

  13. Mary Kate Feighan says:

    Hello Imen… I’m an American who married an Irish Lobsterman and am living in Co. Sligo and heard you on RTE 1 this morning and couldn’t wait to read your blog. Well done! Perhaps you already have this cookbook; but, if not, I thought you might enjoy it. http://www.prannie.com/ It’s an Irish Seaweed Cookbook. If you’re ever in Sligo you’re very welcome. xo mikie

  14. hi
    do you have anyone leave comments for your posts??? I haven’t seen a spot to leave one – just wondering

  15. Eloise says:

    Hello Imen!
    In my excitement to praise you for your wonderful blog, I inadvertently sent a message instead of a post!
    But, I do very much enjoy your blog and remembering my own time spent living in Ireland. I hope that you will continue to keep the world posted about your Irish adventures. They are marvelous, as are your beautiful pictures.
    I hope you will check out my blog and read about some of my own memories, many of which take place in Dublin!

    All the best,

  16. Lisa McGee says:

    Imen – congratulations on being featured in the Irish Examiner today – I’m a fellow American – moved to Nenagh in July 2007 and have been blogging since April 2009 – must be something about living in Ireland! Your images are absolutely beautiful – I’ve heard about your blog but never actually found my way to it. Now I’m hooked! I’ll be back!

  17. Claire says:

    Thanks so much for your comment. I grew up in a very small town just two hours north of Mpls. My love for that state can’t be contained :) Very excited to explore all of your blog — your stories and recipes are amazing and lovely!


  18. Maria Rossiter says:

    Very entertaining reading, lovely receipes and photos. Great to hear about Irish life from an American point of view!

  19. LozD says:

    Hey, stumbled upon this website & blog from listening to someone at a party friday last talk about your interview with Dave Fanning, I came home, googled you & find it.
    Love it. Very interesting & very funny.
    Must read some of your recipes.

  20. Kellebelle says:

    Just discovered your blog! What a great read – love all the receipes too! :)

  21. josie says:

    i just discovered your blog… well not just, a few weeks ago but i didn’t have the balls to comment til now. so anyway…. hi!!
    i will definitely keep coming back, you have such a funny and fab blog!

  22. kimme says:

    You have a fabulous, funny blog! I love to pop-in and read your posts.
    I know I will always find something interesting here. :)


  23. pienmash says:

    As an obvious lover of Irish related film we thought we’d give you our latest news …

    British Feature Fiction Film ‘BILLY & LILLY GO TO NEW YORK’ will have its World Première at the WATERFORD FILM FESTIVAL. The film is made by critically acclaimed maverick director Bill Maloney (LUNATIC) The film is shot in a realistic documentary style but it is a spoof. Bill playing himself (a cockney –speaking Irishman) goes to New York to represent his nominated feature film at a NY Film Festival but he decides to bypass the festival glitz in favour of shooting a documentary about the homeless people of NY. Their efforts lead to a tragic close.

    It would be great to see you at the Festival if you can make it – or tell your friends who live nearby?

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