Cooking for Life project

Ever dreamed of doing a short, intensive, full-time cookery course, something like the three-month programme at Ballymaloe or one of the several one-month courses offered at various cookery schools round the country?

Me too. There’s nothing like a hands-on cookery course to learn the kinds of little details that make you a properly seasoned cook: there’s so much to learn that you won’t get from a short, tightly edited recipe, nor from sofa-surfing with the TV chefs.

So I was really excited to be going back to school to do the one-month Cooking for Life course in Dublin Cookery School in Blackrock, which ran from Monday 10th January – Friday 4th February 2011. And I thought it would be fun to blog about it too, and pass on some of those little nuggets of culinary insight I collected along the way.

The course was a really thorough foundation in classic cooking techniques, with some tasty dollops of ethnic cooking thrown in too. Some of the highlights included: Bread making, pastries and fresh pasta making; all sorts of desserts, including working with chocolate, gelatine, sugar, spun sugar; Thai cuisine (with the head chef from London’s Nahm, the first Michelin-starred Thai restaurant); gutting and filleting fish; boning, dissecting and trimming poultry and various meat cuts; knife skills, food safety and professional presentation techniques.

If you want to retrace my progress, just search under the Dublin Cookery School for my daily postings.