Our visit to Ballymaloe

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Our first and most exciting visit on the way was to Ballymaloe Cooking school in Shanaggry, owned by Darina Allen and her husband Tim, it was fantastic. It is 25 years since I was last there and the way the school and grounds have expanded in the time is incredible, but then with acres of farmland at ones disposal, and a large creative family, they have four children and innumerable grand children all living within 10 minutes of Ballymaloe, that is maybe not to difficult, but it takes alot of hard work and dedication. That is also not including Rory, Darinas’ brother who started the school with her in 1983 on her husband Tim’s farm, and who has a large family too, he has his own cooking school and is involved with Ballymaloe House hotel and restaurant. I had met Darina many times in America at Conferences of the International Association of Culinary proffesionals. It was lovely to chat and exchange memories, as well as attending a slow food event in a nearby village 
Infact we both started our schools in the 1980″s. I in 1980 Darina in 1983. She beat me to writing her book 30 years at Ballymaloe, before I even started mine.Instead I now have this blog. 
The roots of their success is their passion for cooking and teaching about ingredients and food and their absolute dedication. Not only for themselves but for Ireland and the whole environment.. 
The school is famous throughout the world, as it well deserves to be.   
You must look it up to see for yourselves.
My text was” cooking is fun and we live in a world that lives from entertainment”

They run a 12/13 week cooking course 3 times a year with 60 pupils at a time, as well as individual one of lessons.
 Most of the students reside there on the farm in the old farm cottages.
The students learn not only about cooking, techniques, tasting and quality products but also experience at first hand organic farming, and cheese making. I tell you if I had to start again I would go there first instead of following my Home Economics course at Harrow Technical college.
Send your sons and daughters. Or yourself !!

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