We stand over our recommendations. With exacting selection and regular review processes we ensure a rewarding local Irish ingredient led experience. You can count on it!
Cork’s Ballymaloe Cookery School needs little introduction. The school is headed up by Darina Allen, who is passionate about Ireland’s produce and is an all-round warrior for the country’s local producers. The school is internationally recognised and has been the first step on the culinary journey of many well-known chefs, food producers and food writers around the world.
At Ballymaloe, students learn the importance of sourcing carefully and gain an understanding of the fundamentals of organic food production. Much of the ingredients in use here are from the school’s own gardens. Freshly gRead More
athered 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 is also a regular lecturer, 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 range from fermentation to butter and cheese making, is an amazing experience for all food enthusiasts. The courses are made all the more pleasurable with a stroll around the school’s vegetable gardens afterwards. The school’s hens might even be clucking at your feet as you wander!
Ballymaloe has churned out many a top chef – some of them practising their skills here in Ireland, and their names will be familiar to you! The Ballymaloe 12 Week Certificate is an intensive immersion cookery course based upon a true farm-fork experience, where students spend their time living on a 100-acre working organic farm. It takes students from the absolute essential cooking skills, through increasingly difficult techniques and a range of international cuisines, transforming them into well-trained, ready-to-go-pro cooks!
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 both 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. This 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.
Ballymaloe Cookery School is the place to learn to cook in Cork, offering a truly holistic approach to great food.
Courses & Tutors
Ballymaloe Cookery School offers a variety of cookery classes, events and courses from one day or evening classes to weekend cookery classes, afternoon cookery demos and of course, the prestigious Ballymaloe 12 Week Certificate, which is based on a structured program covering a wide variety of world cuisines and culinary techniques. Students are equipped with all the necessary skills to start a career as a professional chef.
With an impressive student to teacher ratio of 6:1, Ballymaloe Cookery School guarantees students expert tuition and close personal attention. There are courses suitable for both budding food professionals and home cooks.
The Ballymaloe 12 Week Certificate is run three times a year – beginning January, April and September. This intensive immersion programme is designed for anybody with a passion for food, from those who wish to pursue a professional culinary career to enthusiasts who would like to cook with confidence in their own homes.
The course embraces all aspects of cookery, from basic principles to advanced professional techniques and covers a broad range of international cuisines and styles.
Ballymaloe Cookery School also offers a diverse range of short courses, keeping their finger on the pulse with international trends in the food industry. These can vary from half-day to 2.5 days or even week or month-long courses.
Visitors to Ballymaloe Cookery School also have the option of joining their daily Afternoon Demonstrations which are a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and to literally get a taste of what they do here at the school!
The 6 Week Sustainable Food Programme at Ballymaloe Cookery School and Organic Farm teaches students how to build a viable future through food systems and culture. This is the first course that draws fully on all the extensive resources of The Ballymaloe Cookery School, their 100-acre organic farm and network, bridging the knowledge gaps between cooking and farming in ways that can be sustained.
Walk through the little wooden gate at the entrance to Ballymaloe Cookery School and step into a veritable Eden. Beyond the main cookery school building (once an old apple store), lie several captivating gardens – some carefully designed and highly ornate, others allowed to grow wild at certain times of the year. Gardening workshops are also on offer throughout the year.
The Glasshouses are generally open Monday to Friday, and visitors are welcome to come in and look around as part of The Farm Walk.
A trip to Ballymaloe Cookery School is not complete without a visit to their wonderful organic farm! Ballymaloe Cookery School sits on a 100-acre organic farm in beautiful East Cork.
The school’s 12 Week Certificate students, in particular, benefit from the produce of the farm, gardens and one-acre wide glasshouses which yield an abundance of fruit and vegetables throughout the year. Their free-range livestock include pigs, beef and dairy cows (Angus, Kerry, Dexter and Jerseys), as well as many hens who keep the school in a supply of fresh, organic eggs.
Visitors to the Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens are encouraged to continue their explorations of the school by following The Farm Walk which begins just beyond The Shell House as you enter the Wildflower Meadow.
The Shanagarry Farm Shop, probably the first farm shop in the country, was established in 1982, just one year before the Cookery School was founded. Many years later, they again opened a shop on the farm, this time the Garden Shop at Ballymaloe Cookery School and it is now run by Toby and Penny Allen who source delightful gifts from around the world and of course wonderful produce from the farm.
The Cottages at Ballymaloe – once a collection of farm buildings – are now beautifully restored student accommodation.
Overlooking the orchards and gardens, these whitewashed buildings encase a pretty courtyard filled with honeysuckle, clematis and roses. All six cottages are self-catering and are comfortably furnished and well equipped with all modern conveniences.
With sustainability as one of Ballymaloe’s guiding principles, they are committed to producing as much organic produce as they can on their 100-acre organic farm. As it is a world-renowned cookery school, teaching a diverse range of cuisines, Ballymaloe Cookery School guarantees that their students have the very best and widest range of ingredients with which to work. When they cannot source something from their list of local and national suppliers, they work with a network of carefully selected international suppliers.