The 12-week Certificate Course
Exciting. Enjoyable. Entertaining. Our 12-week Certificate Course provides you with everything you need to cook with total confidence and (if you want) 'go professional'...
12-week Certificate Course - Start Dates
Just click on a course to go directly to the booking page.
|12 Week Certificate Course September 2013|
Mon 16 Sep 2013 to
Sat 07 Dec 2013
|Places Available||€ 10,695|
|12 Week Certificate Course January 2014|
Mon 06 Jan 2014 to
Sat 29 Mar 2014
|Places Available||€ 10,695|
|Accommodation is available at the cookery school should you require it.
Accommodation cost is additional to the the cost of the certificate course. Full details can be found on
our accommodation page.
For 12-week courses self-catering cottages - 2012
Do you have questions?
Why not request a callback. Provide us with your details and we will give you a call to answer any questions you might have regarding the 12 Week Certificate course or any other course at Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Our 12-week Certificate Course is aimed at anyone with a passionate interest in food. Some of our students use it as a springboard to becoming a professional chef (literally, hundreds of former students are now running their own restaurants or catering companies) – others to provide themselves with a marketable skill (for instance, cooking for private parties) – and a third group to maximise the pleasure they get from cooking at home. There’s no one age group (we have students who have just left school, others who are happily retired) and no particular level of experience (some are absolute beginners, others already accomplished).
Whatever your reasons for taking our course the outcome will be the same. First and foremost, you will develop a deep and rich understanding of food and how it is produced. This is vital – because the best cooking requires the chef to recognise the best ingredients and to know how to make the most of them. Secondly, you will leave the school with a long and varied repertoire of mouth-watering dishes that you can pretty much cook in your sleep. Well, maybe not in your sleep – but certainly without any effort or concern on your part. Thirdly, you will be able to follow any recipe with confidence. Fourthly, you will have enough experience to ensure that, if you want to, you can pursue a culinary career. In fact, we include career advice as part of the course for those who require it.
How do we achieve all of this? The course follows a simple structure. Four afternoons a week you will see a demonstration by one of the school’s senior chefs. Most days this means Darina Allen, Rachel Allen or Rory O'Connell. On a typical day they will take you through between 8 - 10 different recipes. The following morning – with their notes in front of you – and unlimited access to some of the finest ingredients in Ireland – you will be in the kitchen trying those you want to test for yourself. You’ll have your own workstation fitted out with all the equipment you need. And you’ll have plenty one-to-one help (we have a very high ratio of teachers to students) from the school’s team of chefs. At lunchtime, by the way, you will be able to spend a happy hour in our beautiful dining room sampling what you – and your fellow students – have produced.
So, what exactly does the course cover? For a real flavour read the article entitled: Just 67 examples of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of things you’ll learn on our Certificate Course. In summary?
- Every aspect of the Ballymaloe style of cooking.
- French classic, regional and modern innovatory styles.
- International styles of cooking from India to Mexico and from Japan to Italy.
- Menu planning.
- Choosing ingredients.
- Food costing.
- Food hygiene.
- Keeping food fresh. Preserving.
- An opportunity to see the Ballymaloe House restaurant kitchen in operation
- Copies of all recipes taught during the course together with invaluable notes and advice.
- Excursion to food producers including a cheese-maker, a fish-smoker and other specialists.
- The opportunity to pick and use fresh herbs and vegetables from the enormous variety grown in the school's organic farm.
What else can we tell you about the course? During the practical sessions, students work together to produce three or four-course meal for lunch each day, discovering in the process the essential disciplines of time management and task prioritisation in the kitchen. Wednesday mornings are devoted to specialist demonstrations and cheese-tasting or to illustrated wine lectures. Through the latter, students learn how to choose, serve and store wine correctly and how to compile a wine list. They will also learn about wines from all over the world and wine-making. On Wednesday afternoons, there are lectures on food-related subjects and guest lecturers, experts in their fields, talk to students on such diverse subjects as outside catering, managing a business and specialist butchery.
Practical and written examinations are held at the end of the course and certificates are awarded to students who have produced satisfactory work throughout and have passed the examinations.
Ballymaloe Cookery School graduates are much in demand, and often there are more jobs on offer than there are graduates to fill them. The course provides the basis for a wide variety of culinary careers and an illustrious roll-call of former pupils includes many chefs in top restaurant kitchens, caterers for dinner parties or boardroom lunches, food journalists, cooks on yachts in summer and in ski resorts in winter. The school also operates a job information service for both students and prospective employers on www.jobsforcooks.com.
Finally, if you would like to come and visit the school to see for yourself you will be most welcome. One option would be to sign up for an afternoon demonstration. This would offer you a flavour of how the school works and would give you an opportunity to meet students actually taking the course to hear how they are finding it.