Two weeks ago, I quit my job, moved out of my flat in London and before I knew it was on a ferry bumping over the Irish Sea with Bernard, my trusty car, Josh, my trusty boyfriend, and most of my “essential” possessions snugly arranged around us.
Everyone had headaches from my 90s themed birthday party the night before (I think Bernard included).
Our destination: Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co.Cork, Ireland
Ballymaloe Cookery School first opened its doors in 1983 and is run by the progeny and in-laws of Myrtle Allen, who founded the original restaurant and hotel in Ballymaloe House in 1964. Unlike any other cookery school in the world, it is situated on a fully certified 100 acre organic farm which supplies the school’s ingredients, freshly picked, every day – sourcing and sustainable living are at the heart of the school’s teaching.
Last Monday was my first day of the prestigious 12 Week Certificate course: “a structured program covering a wide variety of world cuisines and culinary techniques”. The course has a network of alumni who have founded leading restaurants and businesses across the world, and the Summer 2015 comprises 62 students from 16 countries who want to launch culinary careers, start cafes and pop-ups, to learn about organic farming. I’m here because I’m greedy, and learning to cook will serve my gluttony well, but I’m already wondering whether I could make a living out of this in some way.
As you may have gathered, the school is in “a very remote area” (I mean, have you heard of Shanagarry??), and this blog is about what I and my fellow class mates get up to in this beautiful, secluded corner of the world.