Thursday, 23 April 2009

Week 1 Ballymaloe

3 days in and oh so glad that I handed in my notice to do this course in Ballymaloe. Theres another 11 and a half long weeks to go but so far its been absolutely brilliant. Intense and slightly crazy but brilliant. My internet access is a bit crap so far so easiest just to list some of the things I have done in the first 3 days and post a few photos. I will get around to more detail over the coming weeks I promise.

  • Tour of Ballymaloe including a trip to see the pigs, hens and greenhouse where I planted some of my own wee spring onions

  • Introduction to all 63 other students. A good mix of people including a bunch of gap year students, 10 or so blokes, quite a few over 50's and a large selection of people in between wondering whether they can do something in the food industry from all sorts of industry including solicitors, doctors, accountants and teachers.

  • Got my knives - all fingers still intact so far

  • Put on my chefs uniform for the first time

  • Got my new lovely house in Cork

  • Attended 3 demonstrations from Darina Allen and her brother Rory O'Connell

  • Had my first morning of cooking in the kitchens which was tested as part of the certificate

  • Signed up to work in the kitchens of Ballymaloe house for a night

  • Signed up to milk a cow early one morning (not sure why)

  • Got into school at 8am to make chicken stock for the classes

  • Had 3 good walks on Garryvoe beach

Tomorrow we have wine and food safety lectures and then one last morning in the kitchen and a demonstration on Mexican food before the weekend. Its all incredibly exhausting and fantastic so far.


  1. That all sounds very exciting, even the cow milking bit :) Enjoy!

  2. Enjoy! I did the course in January 2006, and would do it all over again, if I had the time and the money!. One tip: beware of all the butter, cream and bread you'll encounter. Darina told us on the first day that 'some students actually LOSE weight' - HA! I managed to go from 130lbs to 150lbs in 3 months (Then again, it was a very, very tasty 3 months...)

  3. Fantastic!! Best of luck with the Ballymaloe course. I'll be tuning in to read your updates - looking forward to them! Emilia

  4. thanks for the messages everyone. having an absolute ball so far. also very aware of all of the butter but its so hard to resist all the food!


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