Ballymore Cookery School
DONE BY: Nan M. | Saint Ann's School | Stanford '20
HELPFUL LINKS: http://www.ballymaloecookeryschool.com/
LENGTH: can choose from a ½ day workshop to a 12 week intensive certificate course which prepares students to enter high level food professions.
LOCATION: 100 acre farm in Ireland
COST: length dependent, €85 - 12,770 + accommodation
- 8:00am-9:00am: Go into kitchen
- 9:00am-1:00pm: Cook until we'd prepared everything we had been assigned (they assigned everyone certain recipes the night before)
- 1:00pm-1:45pm: Present our dishes to our teachers (cold plate? Points off! Poor presentation? Points off!) and eat lunch (a buffet of everything everyone had made)
- 1:45pm-5:00pm: Demo for the next day; we were shown how to make the 30+ recipes we would be working on the next day
DESCRIPTION OF WORK/ACTIVITIES DONE:
The school is situated on an hundred-acre organic farm so a lot of the vegetables and all of the herbs and lettuce we used came straight from the greenhouse or gardens, picked freshly each morning. There were also lots of chickens and cows so we had fresh eggs and milk, too. There were 62 students of ages varying from 17 to at least 60.
At the end of the 12-week intensive course we had practical and written final exams. For the practical, we each had to make a 3-course meal and a randomly-assigned type of bread in 3 hours (points detracted for overtime). We created our own menus, taking into account what foods were in season, what would look nice together, balancing heavy and light, etc. The written exams took place the day after the practical. We had 3 tests, totaling around 4 hours. Questions were on everything from food hygiene to jam-making to identifying cuts of meat and what recipes could be made with them. It was intense!
MORE NO CRAP TALK: Overall the course was a lot of work, but really fun, and I now have a certificate that is apparently very well recognized in Ireland and Britain and also parts of the US should I ever want to involve myself in the restaurant industry.