I’ve been going on for a long time about doing a good cookery course, but have never actually managed to get around to doing one. Well, my family were obviously sick of my talk so they very kindly gave me money for my Christmas present last year with the provision that I would book a course. I looked around at a few different courses but I knew that I wanted to do one in the Tannery Cookery School in Dungarvan if possible. The school is run by chef Paul Flynn and his wife Máire and I am a big fan of their restaurant of the same name. So began my emails to the school to see if they would be running one of their five day courses this year. I probably had them tormented about booking a date!! Anyway, I booked this three day course which took place on June 16th-18th last.
The course was facilitated by Paul Flynn on the Monday and Tuesday and by Michael Quinn on the Wednesday. There were 12 participants on the course. We were warmly welcomed by both Paul and Máire on the Monday morning in the school kitchen which is big, bright and airy. The day started with a tour of the garden with an impressive array of fresh herbs and vegetables in glorious sunshine. Then it was back into the kitchen where Paul worked through the list of recipes below. The rate that man works at is astonishing!
Nearly all of the recipes listed below were made each day. Plus a few extra ones for good measure as Paul showed us how different flavours work together. We were encouraged to come forward and help with the preparation of each dish. Of course I didn’t volunteer, knowing my luck I’d have chopped off a finger or something with an audience to witness the whole thing! We got to sample everything and at the end of each day we had a full meal in the glorious sunshine in the garden. On day 2 we made four dishes ourselves in the afternoon and enjoyed that four course dinner as a reward. The lucky people who didn’t have to drive had plenty of wine to enjoy too.
Recipes from Day One with Paul Flynn
Tuscan bread salad
Mussels with fennel and Pernod
Slow roasted shallots with Serrano ham and mozzarella
Spaghetti with crispy garlic, rosemary and chilli
Parmesan and potato cake with mozzarella and prosciutto
Moroccan chicken with tomatoes saffron and honey
Lemon hummus cream
Mint feta cream
Moroccan citrus salad with yoghurt ice cream
Recipes from Day Two with Paul Flynn
Creamy corn chowder
Soft goat’s cheese with walnuts and beetroot puree
Buttermilk chicken with leeks and bacon
Thin apple tart, maple pecan sauce
Crab crème brulee
Pea soup with crab and avocado crème fraiche
Nico’s light garlic cream
Wild mushroom cream
Recipes from Day Three with Michael Quinn
Smoked haddock soup, curry oil and coriander
Scallops St Jacques
Roast duck breast, rillettes, potato apple and thyme stuffing, burnt orange sauce
Roast cod, leeks, French beans, parmesan and bacon
Roasted cauliflower with buerre noisette, almonds and sherry vinegar
Crozier blue cheese, poached pears in red wine, spinach, walnuts and honey dressing
Smoked haddock soup, curry oil and coriander (See recipe here)
Before doing the course I would have thought it would be more hands on. However, I think it was definitely better the way it was. Both chefs talked us through everything and were able to offer invaluable advice to the whole group. This would have been lost if they were walking around to individual work stations. There were a few people there who had their own cafes and bistros. Paul showed them how to adapt the dishes to work for them. For instance the crab creme brulee is one of the signature dishes from the restaurant (if you ever got here make sure to try it), but he explained that you could use different fish or even cheese or smoked bacon in place of the crab to make it work for your own needs.
I have tried a couple of the recipes myself already and they have been hugely successful. I’ll be sharing a few here over the next couple of months.
I loved every bit of the course. My only regret is that I didn’t take enough pictures. If you have a genuine interest in cooking, regardless of your own skill levels, I would highly recommend this course. The course cost €550 for the three days with enough food to put the bikini diet into chaos!
The Tannery Restaurant Limited, 10 Quay Street, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
Tel.: +353 (0)58 45420
Edited: details of 2015 course here