The goose is getting fat: The best Christmas cookery evenings around the country
A bad Christmas dinner has the power to cause seasonal family rifts so before the turkey is plucked it might be a good idea to sharpen your skills instead of your knives.
For those interested in cooking, Christmas themed cookery evenings are a great way to get into the spirit and often make for a really fun night out with friends especially if there are flutes of prosecco to be scooped.
Toasting to the newborn baby Jesus is all well and good but for many of us Christmas dinner is the pinnacle of the festive season. And yet, the regular line up – prawn cocktails, turkey and ham, and a bowl of Christmas pudding – can become a bit boring.
Christmas cookery courses are a great way to inspire new ideas, not only for the day that’s in it, but for Christmas parties and St Stephen’s Day leftover dinners.
Rory O’Connell and Darina Allen’s Christmas Cookery Demo
Where: Garryvoe Hotel, East Cork
When: November 27 (6.30pm)
Christmas Queen Darina Allen and Ballymaloe’s Rory O’Connell will shares their top tricks and tips when it comes to perfecting the annual feast. The siblings will demonstrate traditional Christmas dishes using artisan ingredients from Cork’s ripe crop of producers. Banking on years of experience, the pair will offer their advice on how to throw a great Christmas party before the season really hits. The evening costs €25pp.
You can book the course here
Clodagh McKenna’s Christmas
Chef, author and restaurateur Clodagh McKenna has an abundance of Christmas-themed evenings sure to pip you into seasonal cheer.
In Arnotts, the chef hosts Christmas cookery evenings on November 19 and December 4, where she will demonstrate three dishes later to be devoured on the top floor’s Clodagh’s Kitchen.
In her Blackrock restaurant, Clodagh will host a Christmas cookery evening with Slow Food Ireland, which includes a three course dinner celebrating local and seasonal produce as well as cocktails and canapés upon arrival for €60.
Where: Butlers Chocolate Experience, Dublin
When: November 29 (1pm-3.30pm)
Christmas is most certainly a time to treat yourself and chocolate is high up on the list of priorities. Chef Yvonne Carty is holding a chocolate demonstration where she’ll be showcasing delicious chocolate recipes to please the crowds during Christmas. She’ll be dishing out top tips on tempering while guests sip prosecco. The afternoon is a perfect activity for your sweet tooth and will set you back €40.
Christmas Cooking with Rachel Allen
Where: Ballymaloe Cookery School, Co. Cork
When: December 12 (9.30am-5pm)
Many of the Christmas courses being held in Ballymaloe this year are already booked out but there are still places left on Rachel Allen’s Christmas cooking course. The celebrity chef will trek through all of the basics, from scrumptious starters, roast goose, the traditional stuffed turkey as well as an array of side dishes sure to wow. It wouldn’t be a day with Rachel without a cake or two and on the dessert list is Frosted Meringue Christmas Pudding and Saffron Jelly. Treat yourself to the workshop for €255.
You can book the course here
The Perfect Christmas Dinner
Where: Aniar, Galway
When: November 30, December 7, December 14 (10am – 5pm)
Michelin starred Aniar in Galway City is hosting a one day workshop destined to up the ante on your usually Christmas supper. The course covers all aspects of Irish cooking, and mixes innovative modern dishes with the Christmas classics. Top tips for roasting the bird are also included to take the stress out of the big day. The cookery course in €175pp and a deposit of €50 is required when booking.
Christmas Made Easy
Where: Macnean House, Blacklion, Co. Cavan
When: December 5, 6, 7, 13, 14 (9.30am-5pm)
Chef, author and restaurateur Neven Maguire is hosting a number of Christmas themed workshops in his Cookery School in Co. Cavan this December. The chef, whose Christmas shows on RTÉ often come to the rescue during the season, is sure to help you on your way to a stress free Christmas dinner. The course is €265pp.
Dinner Parties for Six
Where: Dunbrody House Hotel, Arthurstown, Co. Wexford.
When: December 4, December 5
If you’re planning a festive dinner party but don’t have the tricks up your sleeve two days spent at Dunbrody House might sort you out in just time. The course will follow a Christmas theme, with a wide range of fish meat and vegetable dishes demonstrated by professional chefs following Kevin Dundon’s recipes. Menu planning tips and informal lunches are included for €325pp.
Wine and Festive Canapé Masterclass
Where: bulthaup Hanover Quay, Dublin
When: December 6 (12pm)
At Christmas time so much of a cook’s focus is placed on a showstopper Christmas dinner and when it comes to things like party canapés it can be hard to summon new inspiration. Salt of the Earth has come up with a solution to that pickle though, and is holding a mini wine and festive canapé masterclass (think Parsnip fritters with Kumquats, Cashel Blue cookies with diced Quince and Beetroot Tzatziki on candy cane) in association with bulthaup in Hanover Quay. When the neighbours come calling to yours this Christmas, they won’t know what hit them. The best part? It's free but places are limited!
For more information or to book email firstname.lastname@example.org