Wednesday 22 January 2020

Food news: get schooled at Ballymaloe


Ballymaloe cooking school
Ballymaloe cooking school
Katy McGuinness

Katy McGuinness

If you dream of giving it all up and running away to the Ballymaloe Cookery School at Shanagarry to enrol in the famous 12-week Certificate Course, but you know in your heart of hearts that you are never going to able to leave your life for that length of time, then consider Ballymaloe's new five-week summer course, which runs from July 30 until August 31.

Darina Allen says that the new course, which runs for the first time this year, is modelled on the Certificate Course and is an intensive course aimed at students who are interested in truly learning how to cook and want the immersive experience that Ballymaloe offers. She says the course will give students the grounding that they need to be fully confident in the kitchen and covers a wide range of subjects.

As well as classroom days, each week students will have the chance to get involved in activities such as fermentation, cheese-making, foraging in hedgerows and on the seashore, fishing, organic growing, butchery, sourdough making, milking and working at the farmers' market, and learn how to appreciate olive oil and the basics of wine and wine-tasting. The course costs €5,595 per person. Other courses on offer over the coming weeks and months include an Intensive Introduction to Cookery, which runs from July 16 to 20, and again from September 3 to 7.

The course will provide a well-rounded foundation for anyone who wants to learn how to cook, and students will cover the basics as well as more adventurous dishes. Darina says that students will leave with a repertoire of delicious and reliable dishes which they can cook with confidence, and that the course is designed to show how easy it is to cook well and bring the joy back to cooking from scratch. This course is priced at €1,045 per person.

Ballymaloe is also running a week-long course aimed at Transition Year students, from August 13 to 17, priced at €550 per person. The cost of the course being subsidised by Ballymaloe Cookery School as part of its ongoing commitment to improve food education in Ireland and get young people cooking.

Students will learn a variety of skills and cover a range of topics in both demonstration and hands-on sessions. Over the course of the week, students will learn how to make home-made bread, jam, and soups, as well as starters, main courses, desserts, biscuits and "even a cake or two". They'll also be instructed in butter and yoghurt-making, using milk from Ballymaloe's own herd of Jersey cows. To book, see




Next Thursday, July 12, Adare Manor and the champagne house Krug will hold a private dinner hosted by Adare's sommelier, Jurica Gojevic, and Krug's Irish ambassador, Julie Dupouy, with a special menu from head chef, Michael Tweedie. It costs €250pp. To book, call (061) 605 200.


The first Connemara Oyster Festival will take place from July 20 to 22 in Keogh's in Ballyconneely; organiser John Ward of Dooncastle Oysters promises a family-friendly programme of events and plenty of oyster-eating opportunities.


Irish company Wasi makes delicious, nutrient-dense pestos from seaweed harvested in Bantry Bay. They come in three versions: oarweed with chilli and lemongrass, seawrack with ginger and sesame, and forest kelp with garlic and lemon. Order at

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