To mark the beginning of Cooks Academy’s 10 year birthday we hosted a Pop Up Restaurant charity fundraising event in aid of Pieta House.
Of course it was the perfect opportunity to show off a little as our 12 week certificate students put together a 6 course tasting menu drawing on the experiences they have gained and cookery skills learnt during their 10 week journey.
Once the menu was drawn up, Emilie launched herself into drying fruit for the table settings, Cormac designed the menu and everyone started focusing on their designated tasks as they were assigned stations to man.
The main course was preceded by lots of delicious nibbles and a nice little cocktail dreamt up by Nicola our cookery tutor who is a fermenting nut (recipe included home made kombucha, stock syrup, ginger and whiskey) to get everyone in the mood.
Once guests were seated plates of snacks for sharing were passed around each table which included Mini Beef Pies, Shredded Lamb on Spelt Bread and Pork Belly with Kohlrabi.
The Kohlrabi was plucked from the ground during our visit to the Eco Village Cloughjordan, and then fermented, as it happened. Salmon Gravadlax always features on the certificate course and as it is so light we like to include it as one of the courses in our menus.
After a shortbread lemon and raspberry nibble, we served a decadent Chocolate Silk Mousse, Peanut Brittle, Salted Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Soil (a bit of a deconstructed chocolate tart – in chef speak) which was added to the course by our inspired pastry chef Natasha Gibson whose husband Stephen Gibson, Pichet Restaurant delivered a full day hands on masterclass to the lucky students the week before the Pop Up (many of our chefs typically have experience in Michelin Star Restaurants).
These martini glasses were a last minute dash to the cash and carry, but sure we needed coffee filters anyhow.
And with teas, green teas and coffees came the Petit Fours. A wide range of skills and techniques were put into practice for this Pop Up event and we were really proud of the students’ achievements.
Madeleines, Macaroons, Fudge we like to leave the best to last.
After cooking up a storm, the team got a standing ovation after preparing their 6 course tasting menu for customers and invited media guests. And the party continued and it was hard to get the diners to leave…
At the final debrief we gave the students a sketch depicting a caricature drawn of each of them and the course that they were in charge of.
A nice memento, a great day, and one they will never forget!