Joe McNamee

Genres: Cork | Food Writing | Interviewer | Irish Writing

Joe McNamee is a recovering chef and has been writing about food since the late 1990s. He also works as a consultant for small producers, food retailers and the hospitality sector.


Joe is a weekly Food Columnist/Food Feature Writer and Restaurant Reviewer, with the Irish Examiner; feature writer for Food & Wine Magazine, in the Sunday Business Post and one of the judge’s for the annual F&W Irish Food Awards; Munster Associate Editor covering Munster for the Sunday Business Post’s annual 101 Great Irish Restaurants Publication and contributor to other publications including Eater, in the US. He was formerly a contributing editor to John & Sally McKenna’s Irish Food Guides for eight years. He is a member of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild and was the first winner of Irish Restaurant Writer of the Year at the inaugural Irish Food Writing Awards, in 2021.


Joe is the author/ghostwriter of the cookbook/memoir, Clifford & Son (Liberties Press) and of A Shared Table (to be released in 2023), to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Irish Office of the UN International Organisation of Migration.


Joe is founder, curator and host of Grub Circus, a ‘travelling food roadshow’ combining entertainment with serious debate and education about pressing issues in modern food systems, reflecting his deep personal engagement with food politics and regenerative agriculture. It was first staged at the Altogether Now Music Festival, in Curraghmore House, Co Waterford, offering a programme of events, debates, discussions and demos, featuring Ireland’s top food personalities, and continues to pop up in other venues and festivals.


Originally trained as a graphic designer, Joe switched to journalism in the late ‘90s, working as a features writer with the Irish Examiner and, then, becoming Deputy Arts Editor. He has over eight years of professional cooking and cheffing experience in Ireland and Britain, including two years as head chef of the late, lamented night time restaurant at Cork’s legendary Quay Co-op. He holds a BA in Culinary Arts (Graduate Student of the Year) from Cork Institute of Technology (Now Munster Technological University), is a member of Slow Food Ireland and the NUJ and dearly loves to commit eating.


Arts Council - funding literature
Fáilte Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way
CCC Library & Arts Service
Cork County Council
Pure Cork
Creative Places West Cork Islands
RTÉ Supporting The Arts
Maritime Hotel