Essentially Winter: Cookery Course

We are really looking forward to our upcoming Essential Winter Cookery Course (running again on 6th March) so we thought we would share a little bit about what’s involved in a week-long course at Cooks Academy.

Our chefs welcome the new recruits with some warm coffee and tea and fruit-infused water to refresh them for the day’s activities. Students meet and greet each other around the table and get to know who they will spend their week with.

Day 1 begins with the all important knife skills. Our chefs explain and demonstrate how to handle knives in the kitchen and how to use them efficiently and safely. This is a fundamental skill for any aspiring chef, whether in the home, or workplace.

After the serious stuff, we move swiftly on to the fun stuff! First up is Curried Parsnip Soup. Root vegetables are one of those go-to ingredients for winter cooking. Their earthiness and wholesome flavour compliments any stews and soups.


This is followed by Oxtail Ghoulash with Marmite Creme Fraiche, Polenta Mash, served with a side of Warm Mushroom and Charred Onion Salad. Oxtail sounds daunting – but it’s anything but – and when teamed with Marmite creates a seriously hearty dish.

After lunch, attention turns to dessert, which is Cider Braised Apples. Apples are a quintessentially autumnal fruit which, when stored correctly, will last for months and so can be used all through the winter. In this recipe they are baked and served with pecan nuts and oats – we can’t think of anything more wintry than that!


Day 2 turns to the towering splendour of our Tien of Beetroot, Quinoa, Red Onion, and Mozzarella. These gastronomic towers are impressive looking – and even more impressively healthy – fresh, and full of flavour. They are sure to impress at any dinner party!


For our main course, we make Sole Meuniere with Celeriac and Potato Dauphinoise and Pickled Fennel Salad. Fennel is an often underestimated root vegetable, yet it goes particularly well with fish, and here we serve it with Sole Meuniere. Cooking sole a la meuniere makes it rustic and full of flavour.

In the afternoon, that cake which you can almost say is good for you, Carrot Cake! It’s one of those cakes loved the world over – and we’re not surprised, the carrots provide a moistness to the sponge, flavoured with cinnamon and mixed spice and textured by the sultanas and walnuts. We even add a secret ingredient to make it extra special!


Day 3 starts off with a Light Smoked Mackerel & Apple Mousse with Melba Toast. Light and full of flavour, this is the perfect starter.


For the main course, we have Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks with Harissa and Maple Roasted Carrots and Winter Slaw Pears and Pumpkin Seeds. There is nothing more comforting than slow cooked food – it epitomises winter – and the addition of the harissa and maple syrup to the roasted carrots makes the dish really special.


The final dish of the day is Hot Passionfruit Souffles which are easier than they sound and worth it for the pungent passionfruit. We teach all the tricks of the trade to achieve a truly puffy and magnificent souffle.


Day 4 entails of Pan-Fried Duck Breasts with Herb Polenta, Sherry and Raisin Sauce.


Dessert is Auntie Margaret’s Boiled Cake. It is made first and allowed to cool before being cut and sampled!

On Day 5 we turn to make Cashel Blue, Black Pudding, and Apple Tartlets. We are very proud of the extent of Irish producers that we promote through our recipes and Cashel Blue is no exception.

For lunch, it is Malaysian Fish Curry with Pollack, and Flatbread.

And in the afternoon, what else but Triple Chocolate Brownies, the ultimate dessert!

So why not come along to take part in our next Essential Winter Cookery Course? Book here!






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