SCHOOL FOR THOUGHT
The new year’s resolutions The Menu is most likely to adhere to are those involving further culinary education and he presents, for your delectation, a round-up of courses and classes to get you started. Colette McMahon of the True Food Academy runs a day-long GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) workshop (Feb 27), lunch included, in Mountshannon, Co. Clare, examining the relationship between a healthy gut and a healthy mind. (Places limited, tel Lorraine on 087 6595 417.)
Ongoing cookery classes at Griffin’s Garden Centre include a baking course (Jan 30) and a seafood masterclass (Feb 6), covering filleting and cooking fish, plus compatible side dishes, and Savvy Stocks, Soups and Sauces (Feb 13) is designed to enhance your dishes. (Booking essentiall call 021 7334286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) Sean Smith, head chef at Dublin’s Cliff Townhouse, continues to share his ongoing love affair with the sea, offering lesser-known varieties of fish on his menus throughout January and hosts a seafood masterclass (Jan 27), including complimentary glass of bubbly and tasting plates.
(Booking required, www.theclifftownhouse.com) While we are privileged to enjoy some of the world’s finest meats, reared on our fair green isle, a healthy diet should make equal time for vegetarian options and a one-day Vegetarian Workshop (Jan 30) at the Cook’s Academy is as good a place as any to start if you’re in need of a little instruction in that particular department. www.cooksacademy.com
Kelly’s Resort Hotel, in Rosslare, a great favourite of The Menu and family, is reopening for the new season and the new schedule of culinary classes by day followed by good food and exceptional wine in the evening, should make for an exceptionally conducive learning environment.
Michelin-starred chef Derry Clarke joins Kelly’s Executive Chef Eugene Callaghan and Pastry Chef Stephane Rochard for a series of classes (Feb 21-26), covering Clarke’s Michelin-starred dishes (Feb 23 & 24), Callaghan’s bistro-style dishes (Feb 22) and Rochard’s dessert specials (Feb 25). (www.kellys.ie)
If the learning all gets too much for you and energy expended on New Year’s resolutions has you already exhausted and fit for the knacker’s yard, one of the Spring Specials (one night or three nights, throught February, April & March) from BrookLodge & Wells Spa Hotel may well restore a little pep to the step, including a variety of spa treatments and dinner in the renowned Strawberry Tree Organic Restaurant or La Taverna Armento, their Southern Italian-style restaurant. www.brooklodge.com
A pan-fried cutlet of fresh, Irish-caught tuna is hard to beat but many’s the culinary hole from which The Menu has extracted himself out of over the years by rapid and judicious recourse to one of the better brands of canned tuna until the sustainability of same became an issue too pressing to ignore. However, his recent discovery of Shine’s Seafood seasonal Irish-caught Albacore Tuna has prompted a revision, the tender meaty chunks immersed in olive oil a cut above the usual tinned mush.
Served with some homemade gnocchi and a winter salad, The Menu’s progeny were not only baying for more but also demanding its regular inclusion in the school lunchbox. With new single serving cans coming online soon, The Menu is more than happy to oblige. www.shinesseafood.ie
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