Cookery Classes and Courses
Long and Short Term Cookery Classes
The Gardens at Ballymaloe Cookery School
Visit and Tour
Cork's Ballymaloe Cookery School really needs little introduction. The school is headed up by Darina Allen, a woman who is passionate about Ireland's produce and is an all-round warrior for the country's local producers. In this school, students learn the importance of sourcing carefully. Much of the ingredients in use here are from the school's own gardens. Freshly gathered produce forms the basis of the learning here.
Courses are diverse - with many guest chefs and lecturers. Darina's brother Rory O'Connell, who has his own bespoke cookery school in Ballycotton, is one of the leading teachers. TV favourite Rachel Allen also makes many an appearance, bringing her relaxed form of cooking and entertaining to the mix. Morning and afternoon classes and cookery demonstrations are enjoyable and informative.
A day or half day here taking in these relaxed sessions, which have many a theme, is made all the more pleasurable with a stroll round the School's vegetable gardens afterwards. Well managed beds spring forth a multitude of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs throughout the year. The school's hens may be clucking at your feet as you stroll!
The very serious cooks would kill to get a place on the three month long Professional Cookery Course. This course has churned out many a top chef - some of them practicing their skills here in Ireland, and their names will be familiar to you! This is an intensive course - which teaches everything from menu planning, kitchen safety and budgeting - highly important for a successful business. Students leave with all the technical skills a person needs to be able to earn a living in food. And not just earn a living - to make a name for themselves too.
Sitting in on a morning demonstration gives an insight into just how much work gets covered before lunch. Lecturers demonstrate and students take note before putting the lesson into practice in the kitchens. One very noticeable thing here is how interactive and confident the students become, in offering their own opinions and experience of dishes being cooked.
Many are the hands that go up when Darina or another lecturer asks if anyone would like to volunteer to help! There are no shy students at Ballymaloe, just willing workers instilled with enthusiasm and keen to learn at the hands of the consummate professionals.
This course is residential, with accommodation on site. Which means students are steeped in the Ballymaloe ethos right from the off. They get used to the pleasure of picking their own seasonal veggies from the gardens. But it's not just about harvesting, students also learn to compost their peelings and sift out any scraps the Ballymaloe hens might like to eat.
Ballymaloe Cookery School is the place to learn to cook in Cork, offering a truly holistic approach to great food. Darina is an inspirational teacher. Not surprisingly, Ballymaloe is our award winning Cookery School of the Year for 2012 - an accolade well-deserved. Ballymaloe Cookery School endeavours to instil Darina's passion for good local produce - you can't fail to be sucked in by it and come out feeling you could shout about Ireland's great food from the rooftops! Mountain tops even! And quite right you would be there.
They’re generally week day courses with the occasional half day or one day course offered on a Saturday. The Ballymaloe Cookery School is also Good Food Ireland Ambassador of the Year 2013.
Read more about Ballymaloe House.