One of the unique aspects of taking the 12 Week Certificate at Ballymaloe Cookery School is the sheer wealth of after hours workshops and activities that students are exposed to while they are here. There is often some notable chef, or friend of Darina's, dropping into the school who will invariably be invited to speak to the students, or give a guest lecture at one of our many evening events.
Ballymaloe Cookery School proudly hosts events for the East Cork Slow Food Convivium, which educates students on the most important topics being discussed in the global food industry - artisan food production, climate change, soil biodiversity, and much more.
Our students may choose to end their day once lectures finish for the day; others may choose to extend their day by:
- milking our cows
- taking our early Wednesday morning farm walk
- making cheese in our dairy,
- taking our after-hours sourdough workshops.
- attending a fermenation workshop in the bubble shed.
- get involved in the pop up dinner.
They are also encouraged to sign up for an evening observing and helping at Ballymaloe House, or a particular local restaurants or cafe. It is also of great interest to some students to help out at our farmer's market stall at the Midleton Farmer's Market, .
Pop Up Dinner
On each course our students can decide to be involved in the Pop Up Dinner, which they organise, deciding on the theme, the menu and all the decorations! The pop up is not just a great evening for the students and all the guests who come to enjoy it, but also a huge learning experience for the students that get involved.
Throughout the course there are many opportunities to take a walk down through the gardens to the vegetable gardens and glasshouses including the morning veg picking duty where two students help to pick the veg, herbs and salad for the days cooking. However it is also possible once a week to take a walk with one of our gardeners through the garden on the weekly Farm Walk where they will point out whats being sown, whats being harvested and explain as they go along.
In the last number of years, Penny Allen and Maria Walsh have been quietly creating a revolution out in the fermenting shed. Every day now we have the delicous fermented Water Kefir drink, which having fermented over 2 days in the shed is then second fermented with a handful of raspberries, peaches, apples or any other sweet fruit that is to hand. This adds sweetness and some bubbles into the drink. The water kefir is then bottled and put out on the tables at lunchtime.
Penny teaches a fermentation class with our 12 Week Students where she discusses the importance of bringing fermented foods back into our lives and gives students a chance to make Sauerkraut for themselves.
Our micro dairy here at the school is a working dairy and a working classroom. Join Maria in the dairy to make a delicous soft camambert style cheese and learn all about the art of cheesemaking as you cut the rennet and ladle the curds into the mould. The ability to make cheese on a farm in a simple way has been the basis for the resurgence of the Irish farmhouse cheese movement.
There is also lots to do in Cork City at the Weekends, including lots of great cork restaurants