Monday 18 December 2017

Serve up a perfect gift for the cook in your life

Tasty: Learn how to bake up a treat
Tasty: Learn how to bake up a treat

Perhaps there was a time when being a cook in a castle wasn't exactly the most elevated of positions in life. A time when a chicken had to be plucked by hand, when butter had to be beaten from cream, and the absence of best before dates meant a cook spent her time preserving foods by drying, salting, smoking and pickling

Training as a cook in a castle is a completely different kettle of fish these days. People even pay for the privilege. And why not when it means they get to spend time in the beautiful surroundings of Howth Castle.

The first mention of Howth Castle was in 1177 when Almeric, the first Lord of Howth, came to Ireland with John de Courcy. Legend has it that on August 10, the feastday of St Lawrence, at Evora Bridge, he won a victory which secured him possession of the Howth peninsula on which he built a castle. His descendants still live there today and one of them, Edwina Gaisford-St Lawrence, runs the The Kitchen in the Castle Cookery School. It operates from the original Georgian kitchen in the castle and offers courses and demonstrations through the year.

Should you be looking for a last-minute gift, vouchers are available for classes which range from Thai and French to Sushi. www.thekitcheninthe

Irish Independent

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