I’ve crunched on fresh carrots before, but not ones so fresh they were pulled right out of the garden maybe two hours before we arrived for lunch, alongside fresh salads, radishes, goats’ cheese, smoked duck, black pudding, wild boar, and venison salami, at Ballymaloe Cookery School. The legendary school has been offering courses since 1983 using state-of-the-art kitchens and its teaching philosophy emphasizes the strong connection between farming and cooking by following the entire process from farm to plate in the most organic way possible.
The cookery school has its own 100-acre organic farm. Ten acres are used for market gardens, orchards, and greenhouses where they grow over 40 different types of tomatoes in addition to a wide array of vegetables, herbs, and fruits.
Behind the cookery school are members of the Allen family, specifically Darina Allen who essentially pioneered the slow food movement in Ireland and is arguably one of the most popular chefs in the country. Working alongside Darina are professional cook and bestselling author Rachel Allen as well as award-winning Ballymaloe House chef, Rory O’Connell.
I was in County Cork for the Travel Classics conference which was held at the exquisitely comfortable Ballymaloe House also run by extended members of the Allen family and it was there I got my first taste of wholesome, fresh, and organic Irish cooking with high quality ingredients.
I shamelessly ate as much fresh butter in four days as I typically do in six months and it was glorious.
Here are a few photos. You can check out more photos in my Ballymaloe Imagebank.
Featured on this “Producer Plate” presented by Good Food Ireland is Ummera Smoked Duck Breast, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese, Inch House Black Pudding, McCarthy’s of Kanturk Guinness & Cider Spiced Beef, Toons Bridge Mozzarella, McGeough’s Air-dried Lamb, Janet’s Country Fayre Beetroot Blush, Wild Boar, Venison Salami, as well as Ballyamloe’s own signature relish.
I’ve got a ton more shots including people, food, iconic properties, and more so check out more photos in my Ballymaloe Imagebank.
Have you been to Ireland before? Did you try traditional Irish food? Please share below.