The menu: Learn it, cook it

The new Kilkenny Cookery School has just been opened by wife-and-husband chef team, Mary and Neil McEvoy. 

The school offers classes to junior chefs from six-years-old up up to adults. Proud parents can espy their progeny practicing from Mary’s A Slice of Heaven café next door while perhaps contemplating taking a shot themselves at some of the adult classes from Neil — formerly head chef at L’Ecrivain and Dunbrody House — including One Chicken: Five Recipes (May 23) and Baking Breads (May 27).

Pastry specialist Mary offers It’s Nice To Ice (May 13), a cake decorating masterclass ( www.asliceofheaven.ie ).

Chef James de Burca, from Dublin’s renowned vegetarian and wholefood restaurant, Cornucopia, offers a series of vegan cookery classes (Cook’s Academy, beginning, May 11), always an excellent addition to any professional or amateur cook’s repertoire.

Also beginning the same evening (May 11), is a new one-week Essential Summer Cookery Course, offering seasonal cookery skills, techniques and recipes. ( www.cooksacademy.com ).

Tara Walker, formerly of The Tasty Tart cookery school, has re-branded and is now trading as the East Coast Cookery School, in Termonfeckin, Co Louth, offering classes to all ages and levels of ability.

Upcoming classes include: Casual Suppers for Friends; The Bad Ass BBQ, hopefully, to take place al fresco; Fish Landed In Clogher Head, featuring a range of fish and shellfish preparation and cooking methods ( www.EastCoastCookerySchool.ie ).

GO TO WORK ON AN EGG

Cork-based business networking group, Smarter Egg, host a food-themed Egg Talk & Red Chair Conversation (May 11), in the upstairs concert venue of Ballincollig’s White Horse gastropub.

It kicks off with a meal in the Kasbah dining area before heading up to listen to some local food and beverage entrepreneurs divulge the secrets of their winning ways.

Guests on the night include Jack Crotty aka The Rocket Man; Veronica Kenneally, founder of the award-winning Victoria’s Snacks; and Scott Baigent, co-director of Eight Degrees Brewing and there is also an in-depth ‘Red Chair’ interview with local restaurateur (The Electric, The Fish Bar, Sober Lane) and businessman, Ernest Cantillon. ( www.smarteregg.com ).

ART FOR BODY AND SOUL

A course in Botanical Art (May 14/15), with Patricia Jorgensen, at Longueville House, near Mallow, is open to residents and non-residents alike.

Finally, offering aesthetic pleasure for both body and soul, is the newly-opened Kalbo’s, in the only slightly older West Cork Arts Centre, The Uillinn, in Skibbereen, bringing together restaurateur and chef, Siobhan O’Callaghan, and a truly splendid venue. ( www.facebook.com/KalbosCafe at The Uillinn)

TODAY’S SPECIAL

Following an inspiring visit to Japanese chef Takashi Miyazaki in his new Cork city eatery, The Menu is revisiting an old favourite, Dashi, a class of Japanese stock that is both life giving and life affirming but instead of the traditional kombu seaweed, he is instead substituting Sea of Vitality’s Milled Dillisk for an instant blast of ocean for that classic umami hit. ( www.seaofvitality.ie )


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