Saturday 17 March 2018

Food news: Looking for a last-minute gift? Book a cookery course


Cookery School
Cookery School
Bao Boi Cork
Miele Coffee Machine
Trish Deseine

Katy McGuinness

A cookery course is an excellent experiential gift, so if you are struggling to find a last-minute present for a gourmand who already has enough stuff, here's a selection of courses around the country that you can book online right up until Christmas Day.

Dublin Cookery School

Lynda Booth's Blackrock cookery school hosts everything from one-off evening courses to a three-month certificate course. Sample course: Modern Vegetarian (hands-on), January 10, 7-9.30pm, €80.


JP McMahon's boutique cookery school in Galway offers a range of one-day Sunday workshops and a six-week Understanding Food course held on Monday evenings. Sample course: Introduction to Contemporary Irish Food, June 17, 10am-5pm, €195.

The Tannery

Paul and Máire Flynn's cookery school in Dungarvan is highly regarded, and students have the option of staying in the Tannery Townhouse and eating Paul's food at The Tannery itself. Plus the Waterford Greenway is on the doorstep. Sample course: King of the Kitchen (men only), February 10, 10am-4pm, €180.

Dingle Cookery School

Owned by Mark Murphy and Muireann Nic Giolla Ruaidh, the Dingle Cookery School runs a great selection of courses all year round, covering everything from bread to the perfect Sunday roast. Sample course: Smoking and curing (hands-on), January 27, 9.30am-1.30pm, €70.

Kevin Thornton's Kooks

The Michelin-starred Thornton opened his cookery school in his Dublin 6 house only a couple of months ago, but first reports from students are full of praise for the relaxed classes. Thornton promises pupils will learn how to cook well with minimal effort and maximum effect. Sample course: Six-hour Dinner Party class, February 3, €295.

Howth Castle Cookery School

This hugely popular school has a great selection of classes for every level of cook, from beginners to those who are already quite accomplished. Sample course: Kitchen Confidence four-week course (one class per week) starting on January 31, 7-9.45pm, €75 per week.

Alix Gardner Cookery School

Gardner has been teaching people how to cook from her Waterloo Road, Dublin 4 cookery school for years - there's a class to suit every level of ability, from students starting out to those looking to elevate their dinner-party game. Sample course: Absolute Beginners, four nights starting on January 22, €280.

The Cooks Academy

The city centre location makes Vanessa Greenwood's Cooks Academy a good choice for anyone working nearby, and there is a full range of evening and weekend classes as well as more intensive longer courses. Sample course: Knife skills, February 24, 10am-12.30pm, €85.


The most famous of them all, magical Ballymaloe has a course for everyone, from the 12-week certificate course that will equip students for a professional life in food business to courses in starting a cafe. Sample course: Saturday Pizza Masterclass with Philip Dennhardt, February 9, 2.30pm-5pm, €145.

East Coast Cookery School

Tara Walker's school in Termonfeckin teaches everyone from children to adults whose repertoire is in need of a reboot.Sample course: Ditch the Takeaway, January 13, 7-10pm, €45.

Fiona's Food For Life

Scheduled demos and hands-on cookery classes held in Dublin 18, covering everything from fermentation to dinner parties. Sample course: Slow cooking, January 24, 7.30pm-10.30pm, €50.

Croan Cottages

The unofficial home of The River Cottage in Ireland, Francis Nesbitt's cookery school in Co Kilkenny holds courses in everything from butchery to mushroom hunting (and eating). Sample course: A Taste of River Cottage with Gill Meller and Steven Lamb, June 2 & 3, €575 to include accommodation and all meals and drinks.



Bao Boi Cork

Bryan McCarthy of Cork city's Greenes and Cask has opened Bao Boi, a dedicated bao bun restaurant, at 128 Barrack Street. The Asian-inspired fillings in the steamed Taiwanese-Korean buns (priced from €4.50) include buttermilk chicken and Wagyu beef. Facebook: BaoBoiCork


Miele Coffee Machine

Miele's snazzy new CM5 coffee machines are a coffee-lover's dream, able to produce everything from a single ristretto to two cafe lattes. They start at €799, but the CM5500 in Rose Gold Pearl Finish at €899 is the one we'd like to find under the tree.


PL Trish Deseine Pro.jpg
Trish Deseine

If you think you might have a cookbook in you, join author Trish Deseine and photographer Virginie Garnier for a 12-person cookbook workshop from April 6-8 in Bantry House, Co Cork. From €485pp.

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