The skills of the butcher are time honoured and not to be underestimated. Expertise in dealing with an animal carcass with a deft hand, a sharp knife and expert eye are much to be admired. Reputable craft butchers take years to perfect their art. Phillip Dennhardt of Ballymaloe Cookery School is just such a person. German born, Phillip comes from a long line of family butchers. When he first arrived at Ballymaloe, this modest and quiet man told no one of his considerable experience, handed down through generations. When the class that taught the rudiments of butchery came along, Phillip was asked to demonstrate what he had learned during the session, by a member of the Ballymaloe team. He proceeded to steal the show by cutting not just a couple of pork chops as he was asked, then butchering the entire carcass ‘with the skill of a Master Surgeon’, as the school describes it! An amusing moment for all – and one of great excitement when the school discovered it had a butchery genius in its midst! Phillip has gone on to become a long standing tutor at the school, regularly running butchery and charcuterie making classes. A chance to learn alongside him presents itself on Saturday 7th February. Phillip will teach the class how to butcher a side of pork from nose to tail. Students will learn to identify the cuts, curing and drying techniques and to make different sausages, salami, chorizo, frankfurters, beerfest sausages and brawn. Wow! Enthusiastic home cooks will get a lot from this day, as will those who are involved in the meat trade and want to learn more about how to add value to their product, with a view to developing an aritsan food business. Light lunch included. Book now on this link.