The course covers:
- Every aspect of The Ballymaloe Style of cooking
- French classic, regional and modern innovatory styles
- menu planning
- food costing
- food hygiene
- an opportunity to see the Ballymaloe House restaurant kitchen in operation
- copies of all recipes taught during the course
- excursion to food producers including a cheese-maker, a fish-smoker and other specialists
- picking and using fresh herbs and vegetables from the enormous variety grown in the school's organic gardens
- chance to make your very own cheese with the milk from our Jersey cows.
Structure of the week:
- AM: Practical cooking sessions - students work together to produce a 3-4 course meal. Focus is on time management and task prioritisation, utilizing a daily Order of Work.
- Lunch: Students are involved in preparation for lunch service, replicating a busy restaurant setting. Focus is on table-setting, food presentation, service, and hosting guests.
- PM: Afternoon demonstrations led by Darina, Rory or Rachel, or on occasion specialist guest chefs
- AM: Specialist demonstrations, cheese-tasting or wine lectures and tastings.
- Lunch: The pressure is off as students take a break from food preparation on this day
- PM: Lectures on food-related subjects. Guest lecturers - experts in their fields - speak to the students on such diverse subjects as outside catering, managing a business and specialist butchery
Students are also kept busy with a rota of duties, evenly distributed among the student body, for the duration of the 12 weeks. Student are rostered for duties in the morning, at lunchtime, or in the afternoons after demonstrations end. These basic duties include such things as hosting guests, picking salad leaves from our glasshouses, setting tables, making stock, helping our teaching staff to set up and clear down our dining room, wash-up duties, supervising a team, and so forth. The purpose of this is to prepare students for the realities of working in a busy commerical kitchen or restaurant environment, to teach them the concept of working as part of a team, and also to contribute to the efficient running of the school while they are here.