Food education is an extremely important element in the Good Food Ireland message. To appreciate seasonality, availability, differences in regional terrain and how it affects the taste of produce, are just some of the skills taught by our Approved Provider Cookery Schools. If you want to become a better home cook, an ingredient conscious cook or a professional chef - you need look no further than our list of cookery schools around the country.
SCHOOLS WITH CULINARY ACCOMMODATION
Want to combine a holiday break with an element of food education? There are several cookery schools within the Good Food Ireland community of Approved providers who have this corner covered! Not just covered – but swathed also in pure luxury.
Cloughjordan Cookery School near Cloughjordan village in County Tipperary is a gem of a find. Here you can enjoy a stay in one of the bedrooms of this characterful 400 year old country house. Eat wonderful home cooked breakfasts with freshly baked breads and free range sausages and bacon produced by the farm’s own herd of porkers. Take tea and delightful pastries on the lawns when the weather is good. And learn about cooking under the expert eye of Sarah Baker, who owns and runs this business with husband Peter.
Fancy being trained in the culinary arts by one of Ireland’s female tv chefs and foodwriters? Then a visit to Ballyknocken Cookery School in County Wicklow is your destination. Catherine Fulvio has written several books and won awards at the school for her no fuss hands on style. The school has its own hens, herd of sheep and vegetable gardens. For those overnighting, accommodation is at the family owned Victorian guesthouse. A simple day course at the school followed by an overnight stay and Catherine’s divine breakfast is a treat.
Carlingford in County Louth is home to Ghan House and Cookery School. The Georgian house has four elegant bedrooms, whilst another eight are situated in a garden building. Mountains views come as standard, as does fine food in The Restaurant. A veritable list of food pros feature in the guest chef tutors, including vegetarian specialist and founder of the school Joyce Carroll, who was Head Chef at Ghan house in the late 1990’s and still teaches today.
SCHOOLS WITH PROFESSIONAL COURSES
Perhaps the most famous cookery school in Ireland is Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, East Cork. For that reason we can’t help but mention it first. Here is a long standing school that has churned out many a successful professional chef. Some of them have gone on to open schools of their own. Darina Allen heads up the cast of tutors – a woman of substance in the campaign for Irish produce - Chairperson of Slow Food Ireland, a leading figure in the Good Food Ireland ethos – and general all round food warrior for the Irish farmer and producer. The intensive three month professional chefs course is a lesson in learning about local – from core ingredients like meat and fish to picking your own seasonal herbs and veggies from the well managed school gardens. Professional technical skills are honed to perfection. Students visit food producers whose creations are used in the kitchen, and food premises run by passionate people who support our local produce. Darina’s brother Rory O’Connell, who also has a small bespoke cookery school based at his home in nearby Ballycotton, is one of the principal tutors at Ballymaloe, as is tv chef Rachel Allen.
Lynda Booth's Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock, offers a fully comprehensive three month professional cooking course. Students have access to state of the art kitchens, the expertise of the school's respected team headed up by Lynda and the knowledge and professional edge of many guest chefs, including Neven Maguire and Sunil Ghai among others. Lynda's relaxed style and accessible approach, coupled with a complete programme which includes all the basics, plus business and front of house skills, field trips to producers, experience in restaurant management and food and wine matching, means students are equipped with all the experience necessary for a successful career in food. The city of Dublin is easily accessed and students from home and abroad have made it their number one choice.
North of the border in Count Fermanagh, the Belle Isle Cookery School attracts many a food scholar. The four week intensive course aims to send students who wish to become professional away with a thorough knowledge. Subjects include learning to use master recipes that carry you through all situations, menu planning, kitchen organisation and efficiency, kitchen safety and successful budgeting – which makes a business thrive. Head Tutor is Corrie Cadden, a Fermanagh girl whose food interest stems from good home cooking plus lots of travel and stints in professional kitchens before attending Ballymaloe Cookery School as a full time student.
TOWN AND CITY SCHOOLS
You might prefer a cookery school in a location with access to other amenities alongside the learning environment. Good Food Ireland’s town and city cookery schools give a taste of life in modern Ireland. Culture, art and food are all on the doorstep after the class has ended.
Dungarvan is a seaside town in County Waterford. As such it has a relaxed feel, with sandy beaches nearby and a buzzing town centre with streets to explore. The café culture thrives. One particular restaurant has made this town familiar to all who know about good food. The Tannery, owned by Paul and Maura Flynn, has been serving high end food here for over a decade. In recent years, The Tannery Cookery School has added to that success. Head Chef Paul, an accomplished cookery book author and tv celebrity chef, is a Grand Master of cooking and serving Irish food with his own twist.
Source Sligo is one of the big success stories of modern times. Sligo Town has embraced the concept of a food business that concentrates on the source of its ingredients – hence the name. This impressive building in the centre of town encompasses a full restaurant, classy wine bar and ultra modern cookery school on the top floor. Head Chef and Tutor Eithne O’Sullivan has a wealth of experience behind her. Here you learn in state of the art surroundings with fully equipped work stations for hands on sessions.
Dublin D4 is renowned for its style and chic! In this vibrant part of the capital, Donnybrook Fair Restaurant and Food Hall feeds the people of the area and beyond. In addition to the busy restaurant and well stocked food hall, the Donnybrook Fair Cookery School has taken it’s inherent fine food message one step further – into the kitchens of ordinary folk. The school has a dedicated Resident Chef and Manager in Niall Murphy. He indulges his passion for food and travel within the structure of the courses at the school, situated above the shop.
Wherever you decide to learn about the art of good cooking, Good Food Ireland’s selection will serve to improve your skills and pass on the important message that good local food is truly at the heart of the best cooks in the land.
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