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Ballymaloe Cookery School is located in the midst of a 100 acre, working organic farm with extensive vegetable and herb gardens and an acre of greenhouses.  The farm was converted to organic practices over 26 years ago by Darina Allen and her family, who have a wealth of experience in organic farming.  The campus includes a micro dairy, artisan bakery, fermentation facility as well as a herd of organic Jersey cows, traditional breeds of cattle, hens, heritage breed pigs…..

Participants will have a guided tour of the organic farm and gardens where the primary focus is to produce nourishing, wholesome health giving food and a talk on the process involved in organic gardening including the importance of making compost and hummus to enhance the fertility of the soil.

Darina Allen is the founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School, Organic Farm and Gardens, and represents the Irish artisan producers and Slow Food on the Artisan Food Forum and she is a member of the Bord Bia Taste Council and Sustainable  Food Trust.


Who should take this course / program?

This course has been created for people involved in producing, advising on and eating healthy food, including doctors, nurses, dieticians, nutritionists, pharmacists, food scientists and medical students.

The course has been approved for 18 CPD credits by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Course objectives:

1.        To provide a general overview of the bacteria of the GUT microbiome and an understanding of the type of foods that enhance the biodiversity and health of the microbiome.

2.        To learn what foods feed and restore the GUT microbiome and reduce risks of disease and promote good health

3.        To learn to make essential gut healing dishes using locally produced fresh produce in season.

4.        To discuss up to date research and controversies on food production and food science.


Course outline

1.    The course includes 7 hours of lectures from national and international medical scientists working in the field of GUT microbiome and other areas of medicine  when diet control is key. 

2.    To gain an understanding of the benefits of probiotics and fermented foods and fermented drinks to both our physical and mental health.

3.    Participants will learn how to make a variety of fermented food and drinks, sourdough bread, yoghurt, broths, nourishing stews, including use of local seaweed – carrageen moss.

4.    Foraging – Learn how to identify a variety of bitter greens and other beneficial wild foods.

On departure participants will receive live starters for both sourdough breads and kefirs.


List of Speakers

1. Professor Ted Dinan, Psychiatrist, UCC author of ‘The Psychobiotic Revolution – 

 Mood, Food and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection’


2. Professor Margaret Hannan – Consultant Microbiologist, UCD will provide an overview of the Microbiology of good and bad bacteria.

“Overcoming the fear of bad bacteria”


3. Penny Allen

Beginners Guide to Fermentation’

Discussion and Hands-on demonstration on  fermented drinks such as water kefir, milk kefir and kombucha.


4. Professor Marie Hogan – Consultant Nephrologist, US

“Is Organic food better, latest research”


5. Professor Joe Murray – Consultant Gastroenterologist US

“Tending our inner garden and tame our immune system?” 


6.John Leech Scientists from Teagasc Agricultural Research Station in Moorepark

“Fermented Foods and Human Health”.


7. Darina Allen, founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School established in 1983. 


Observations on the impact of a diet of principally fresh organic food on our health.  

Please note gallery is a selection of images but may not represent actual dishes featured on the course.
Terms and Conditions

All bookings for a course or event at Ballymaloe Cookery School are subject to our standard Terms and Conditions.