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Sharpen Your Skills – Some of the Best Cookery Schools in Ireland

Ireland is fast gaining a reputation as a culinary destination, with not only amazing restaurants, artisan producers, and an array of food festivals but also world class cookery schools across the country.

You don’t need to be a visitor to our shores to indulge in a culinary adventure though, and with many of these schools run by some of Ireland’s most revered chefs however good you think you are in the kitchen, there’s always something new to learn.

So, whether you’re looking to gain more confidence in the kitchen, learn some new techniques to impress family or friends, or to kickstart a new career, we’ve rounded up some of the best cookery schools in Ireland to help make choosing your next culinary course a piece of cake.

Kevin Thornton’s KOOKS

KOOKS is what Kevin did next, Kevin Thornton that is. One of Ireland’s most celebrated, passionate and intriguing chefs, through KOOKS Kevin gives curious and knowledge hungry home cooks the chance to learn from a master in an intimate setting – his own home. Absorb a serving Kevin’s wisdom at one of his full day courses, afternoon classes, group supper clubs, or demonstration evenings. Read TheTaste’s review here.

Where: 63 Moyne Road, Ranelagh, Dublin


Ballyknocken House & Cookery School

Catherine Fulvio grew up in Ballyknocken House, the charming B&B in Wicklow run then by her mother, so she is no stranger to inviting people into her home. Taking on the business Catherine has added her own stamp to Ballyknocken by opening a cookery school, which has gone on to win the title of International Cordon D’Or Culinary Academy of the Year. Make a day of it by joining one of her courses and then staying on for dinner and the warmest of hospitality in the seven-bedroom 1850s farmhouse.

Where: Glenealy, Co Wicklow


Waterman House Cookery School

Previously named James St South Cookery School, Waterman House is run by celebrated chef patron Niall McKenna and his team. They offer you the chance to learn the tips, tricks, and recipes behind one of Belfast’s most acclaimed restaurants. With over 40 different classes to choose from, students will learn from Niall himself, as well as head chefs Cathal Duncan and David Gillmore.

Where: 33 Hill Street, Belfast


Aniar Boutique Cookery School

JP McMahon likes to keep himself busy, it seems. On days when the Michelin starred Aniar is closed, the chef patron behind four restaurants in Galway refuses to rest and runs a boutique cookery school from where he furthers his drive to educate people about Irish food. With just six students per class you can join JP for a one day courses in How to be a Better Cook or Planning a Dinner Party on Sundays, and six week courses in Bread, Fish, Pork and Beef that take place each Mondays. Read TheTaste’s review here.

Where: 53 Lower Dominick St, Galway


Ballymaloe Cookery School

Ballymaloe Cookery School is an institution in culinary education in Ireland. Set on a 100 acre organic farm, the school run by brother and sister Rory O’Connell and Darina Allen, Rachel Allen, and other family members has gained a cult status and global recognition in particular for its 12-week certificate course which has educated well-known chefs, food producers and food writer in the signature Ballymaloe culinary ethos. Shorter courses, day-long and evening classes, and guest chef demos are also key features on the exciting and ever-changing calendar of events.

Where: Shanagarry, Co. Cork


Dublin Cookery School

Frequently scooping awards and topping ‘best of’ lists, Dublin Cookery School is run by Lynda Booth who in 2007 converted a disused warehouse in Blackrock, Dublin into the purpose built facility it is today. As well as Pop Up Restaurant Nights, which always sell-out, Dublin Cookery School runs Saturday and evening classes, full-time one-week courses and one month courses and the high regarded professional three month cookery course. Guest chef tutors include the likes of John Wyer of Forest Avenue, Chapter One’s Darren Hogarty, and pastry queen Aoife Noonan of Luna.

Where: Blackrock, Co. Dublin


Firehouse Bakery
Firehouse Bakery and Bread School

Leaders in the ‘real bread’ revolution, Firehouse is an artisan bakery, cafe and bread school on Heir Island, West Cork, with a second bakery in Delgany, Co Wicklow. You can get a slice of baker Patrick Ryan’s knowledge during an evening course in Delgany learning how to make sourdough breads, yeasted doughs, soda breads and sweet baking, or, to really immerse yourself in the art of bread making, you can head south, hop on a ferry to Heir Island, and take part in their extremely popular one-day course.

Where: Heir Island, Co. Cork; and Old Delgany Inn, Delgany, Co. Wicklow


Kinsale Gourmet Academy

The coastal town of Kinsale, Co. Cork is regarded as a hub of great food and chef David Rice of Ballinacurra House has played a big part in establishing that status. The house is home to a purpose-built cookery school, Kinsale Gourmet Academy, that has a mission to make gourmet simple through its broad range of hands-on classes. Based in Kinsale there is of course a big emphasis on seafood and local West Cork producers, though there are also bread making workshops and classes that cover tapas, sushi, and curries.

Where: Ballinacurra House, Kinsale, Co. Cork


The Tannery

Founded in 1997 by celebrated chef Paul Flynn, the Tannery in Dungarvan is one of the South East’s leading restaurants. With the same focus on cooking the best of local and seasonal produce he established the adjoining The Tannery Cookery School, running courses year round including the popular Advanced Masterclass with Paul himself. The third string to The Tannery’s bow is the Townhouse boutique style accommodation, making this triple treat a must visit for any food lover who wants to spend a day or two fully immersed in great food and hospitality.

Where: 10 Quay Street, Dungarvan, Co, Waterford


Belfast Cookery School

Belfast’s first purpose built cookery school from the people behind the iconic Mourne Seafood, Belfast Cookery School has brought a fun, fresh approach to teaching people how to cook to the city. Chef Stephen Jeffers leads a highly-experienced team that not only specialises in taking the fear out of cooking fish but offers a diverse range of cookery classes. With 16 cooking stations the venue is also perfectly equipped to host team building sessions, and ‘Cook your own’ evenings whereby you get together as a group and cook your own evening meal along with one of our chefs.

Where: 53 Castle St, Belfast


Dingle Cookery School

The foodie haven of Dingle is not only home to one of country’s most popular food festival and top seafood restaurants but also one of the most interactive cookery schools. Owned and operated by chef and Fáilte Ireland Food Champion Mark Murphy, at the Dingle Cookery School you can take to the kitchen for a more traditional class, or you could hop on a boat for a two-hour fishing trip on Dingle Bay, or take to the seashore for a foraging class before returning to the school to turn your haul into a delicious feast.

Where: An Choill, Dingle, Co. Kerry


Howth Castle Cookery School

Situated on the north side of Dublin Bay in the beautifully restored Georgian kitchen of a 12th Century castle the award-winning Howth Castle Cookery School is one of Ireland’s most unique, atmospheric cookery schools, that combines old world charm with a state-of-the-art cooking facility. Take on a week long intensive cookery course or a short hands-on class, where you’ll take to the kitchen for two hours before getting the chance to sit down to eat all that you have prepared with a glass of wine.

Where: Howth, Co. Dublin


Dunbrody House

While the coastal views from Kevin Dundon’s Drunbrody House may be dramatic there’s less drama in the kitchen at the adjoining cookery school. The one or two-day, half-day and evening courses as well as the Five-Day Masterclass are all designed by Kevin and carried out by cookery school chef Julien Clemot who will in a friendly, relaxed manner will impart his expertise. Choose from courses like The Art of Slow Cooking, One Pot Wonders, or the 2 day Dinner Parties for 6 course – but be quick, that one frequently sells out.

Where: Arthurstown, Co. Wexford


The Neven Maguire Cookery School

Spend a few hours at the Neven Maguire Cookery School and you’ll soon realise why fans of the well-known chef often utter ‘thank heaven for Neven’ as they put another one of his no-fuss, delicious recipes to work. Students at the school, which is set alongside the incredibly popular McNean House and Restaurant, will get hands-on kitchen time with Neven himself or get to watch the man in action, who shares tips on sourcing the best ingredients and produce and specially selected recipes.

Where: Blacklion, Co. Cavan


Alix Gardner Cookery School

Ireland’s first practical cookery school set up by Alix Gardner, a renowned cookery teacher with more than 2 decades of experience. With plenty of cooking classes available, from scheduled to private, with a focus on individual attention for each student. Schedules classes are restricted to 8 students per class. With options from dessert classes, to hen parties, to learning how to become a confident cook, as well as online classes, Alix will ensure confidence in each student.

Where: Ballsbridge, Dublin 4


Online Classes with Aoife Noonan

Multi-award winning pastry Chef, Aoife Noonan, has set up online classes for the budding home baker to become a master in patisserie. With over a decade in the food industry, giving demonstrations and masterclasses across the country, Aoife is the perfect tutor. Learn everything about your favourite desserts and the tricks of the trade from the comfort of your own home with Aoife Noonan.

Where: Online


Bread 41

If you’re based in Dublin, you’ll certainly have heard of Bread 41 and their impeccable pastries, breads and everything in between. With queues always out their door, we can now be graced with the presence of a hands on course bread making course. If you want to recreate the most delicious breads but don’t know where to start, this 3 hour bread making session is the perfect guide. Classes are limited to 10-12 people, and you’ll leave the class with plenty of goodies to continue making fresh bread at home.

Where: Pearse Street, Dublin 2


Ciara’s Kitchen

Starting out at the Ballymaloe Cooking School in 2004, Ciara now runs classes with a variety of topics designed to suit any and all levels of cooks. Starting out purely online during Covid, Ciara now does a mixture of online and in person classes with very reasonable prices. Whether you’re a busy person looking for some cooking tips, or want a guide on dishes for entertaining, Ciara’s Kitchen has you covered.

Where: Online, or Delgany, Co. Wicklow


Just Cooking Kerry

Another affordable option, Just Cooking cookery classes are ran by Chef Mark Doe, who has over 20 years of experience and a passion for sharing knowledge. You’ll gain invaluable experience at any of the classes, with options like Thai cooking, gluten free baking, or vegetarian cooking. Classes are limited to 12 people, an the classes will certainly be an evening to remember.

Where: Killarney, Co. Kerry


Cookery Cottage

The Cookery Cottage caters for people of all ages, offering classes for children’s birthday parties or drop in evening classes for adults, ranging from Indian, Italian or Fusion. There are also a handful of 4 week courses for those who want to become masters, such as Keto, or a hands-on beginners baking course. They even offer a Come Dine With Me option for those who want to show off their cooking skills to friends.

Where: Douglas, Co. Cork


Picado Mexican Cookery Classes

Whether you’re trying to impress someone or just want to master your tortilla making skills, Dublin’s one-stop shop for Mexican ingredients are running a number of cooking classes. They offer regular cooking classes, or masterclasses for those who want to fine-tune their traditional Mexican cooking skills. Classes are run by Lily Ramirez-Foran, the founder of Picado, and the author behind the popular food blog ‘A Mexican Cook’, and the author of the recently published cookbook, Tacos.

Where: Dublin 2


Italian School of Cooking

As Dublin’s first Italian cookery school, the staff focus on teaching Italian cuisine at its core, ensuring all products used are maintaining Italian authenticity. Hands-on cooking classes will make you feel as though you’re in Italy, ranging from Homemade Pizza and Calzone classes, to Ravioli and Gnocchi classes, to A Taste of Sicily. Impress your friends by making them some authentic Italian pizza, you’re sure to become a master after any of their classes.

Where: Dublin 12


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