Dates: February 26th – March 3rd, May 14th - May 19th and October 8th - October 13th
Times: Sunday: 5:00 pm arrival dinner,
Daily: 10:00 start,
Thursday Evening Dinner with a guest,
Friday: 3:00pm (ish) finish.
Simple! To teach you a whole repertoire of starters, main courses and puddings. Not to mention all those little extras that impress people; things like delicious home baked bread, home-made mayonnaise and great cakes, all in five and a half days.
A tall order?
Not really, because there will be just eight students on each course and plenty of extra kitchen staff – so a week with no washing up! To use a bit of management gobbledygook, this course is ‘results driven’. I have been running this course now for ten years and all the students are so amazed with what they have learnt, the confidence they have gained and the relaxed approach they now have to cooking.
Why have I called it the Five and a half Day Kitchen Miracle Programme?
Because it is a miracle that I have managed to squeeze so many things into a single week! Some of my students have said everyday has been a miracle for them. A few years ago someone even referred to it as a life-changing experience!
What can you expect?
Well, you can expect to work quite hard. OK – very hard. First, I’ll demonstrate something, then you’ll make it and later we’ll all eat it! In order to pack more in, you’ll have several things on the go at once. We also have a number of outings planned for the week. The week will start with a trip to Gubbeen farm where Clovisse will give us a guided tour starting with the cheese, and ending in her garden with a home cooked lunch in the Gubbeen Kitchen. Depending on the tides, Sally McKenna will take us to the beach for a seaweed talk and, here, we will cook monkfish. April Dannan will join us later in the week for a demonstration on fermentation. Personally, I cringe when I read that something is going to be ‘fun’ or ‘entertaining’, so let me put it another way: You have my word that you won’t be bored. Yes, we’ll be covering a great deal of ground, but you’ll be working in a calm and cheerful environment with plenty of support.
What will you learn?
My passion is for cooking with really first class, local, seasonal and (where available) organic ingredients. As the courses are held throughout the year, we won’t be sticking slavishly to the idea of ‘local’ and ‘seasonal’, but it will form the backbone of what we are doing. Indeed, understanding how to recognise really good quality ingredients is an important part of learning to cook well. The course is very ‘action orientated’. At the end of each day you will know how to cook half a dozen, or so, more things, plus you’ll have picked up any number of insider tips and tricks. I am a real believer in learning basic techniques that can then be readily adapted. For instance, how to sweat, sauté, pan fry, sear, make a basic soup and tart– skills which are applicable in a wide range of recipes. Essentially, you’ll come away from this course proficient and confident. I’d go so far as to say that there won’t be a recipe in the world that will phase you.
Where does the course take place?
In our cookery school above the Good Things restaurant in the lovely market town of Skibbereen.
Is this the course for you?
This course is relevant regardless of your level of experience. I teach you my method and style of cooking, show you how to create a great dish from a few ingredients and that keeping it simple is always best.
You will know all the cooking basics, from filleting fish, to making stock; from roasting meat, fish and vegetables, to baking bread.
You will have a good repertoire of recipes so that you can confidently cook at least twenty dishes.
You will have the confidence to tackle any recipe.
I can go as far as saying that you won’t even need one!
I hate brochures where they hide the cost at the end. This course will cost you €900 for five and a half days. This may seem like a lot, but bear in mind it includes more than you can ever hope to eat, all made from the best ingredients, you get lots of stuff to take home and there is a wine tasting.
What the course fee does include:
1) Five and a half days of demonstrations and practical sessions
2) Visits to artisan producers
3) All ingredients
4) Light snacks, lunch and food to take home for your evening meals
5) Your own Good Things apron
6) Complete set of course notes and recipes
7) Dinner for you and a guest
8) Wine tasting
9) No washing up– so a week of just cooking
What the course fee doesn’t include:
1) Local accommodation. There is a wide range of self-catering, guesthouse and hotel accommodation available close to our location. I can supply a list, if required. (For this course, self-catering seems to work best).
2) Transport to and from the school each day.
3) Alcoholic drinks (I will open wine and beer every day and there will be the wine tasting so you will get some alcoholic drinks– but it won’t flow like water!)