Whether you are a novice in the kitchen or an accomplished home cook, sharpening your culinary skills is always a worthy investment, and one which will pay delicious dividends.
Ireland is home to world-class bricks and mortar cookery schools all over the island, as well as several innovative online courses with some of the country’s most talented chefs as your tutor.
We’ve compiled a list of the best cookery schools, classes and courses on offer in Ireland and Northern Ireland for 2022, so if you plan on cooking up a storm this year, read on to find the perfect class for you.
Alix Gardner Cookery School – Based in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Alix Gardner is a highly respected cookery teacher with over 20 years’ experience. Scheduled classes hold eight students and private classes are available for group bookings in Alix’s charming home kitchen. Choose from courses on gluten-free or healthy cooking for sociable, fun and interactive evening classes with friends, colleagues or by yourself to meet fellow enthusiastic home cooks.
Aniar Boutique Cookery School – Based in Galway City
Galway’s Michelin-starred Aniar restaurant is also home to chef-patron JP McMahon’s cookery school, which offers both an intensive six week “Understanding Food” course and various thematic one day workshops. Having dedicated an entire cookbook to Irish food, there are few chefs better placed to guide you through our culinary roots with a day long “Contemporary Irish Cooking” workshop including everything from butter-making to home-curing fish and meat.
Aoife Noonan – Online
If you are a home baker looking perfect your patisserie skills and make exquisite desserts, look no further than the gifted Aoife Noonan’s four week “Patisserie for Beginners” cookery course. Multi award-winning TV chef Aoife is the ideal tutor to guide you through everything from profiterole pitfalls to tempering tricks, all online and in the the comfort of your own home.
Ballyknocken Cookery School, Catherine Fulvio – Based in Ballyknocken, Co. Wicklow
Daytime Emmy award nominated TV chef Catherine Fulvio is best known for her Italian cooking but students at her Ballyknocken Cookery School can expect to learn the ropes of various cuisines. One day and weekend courses cater to all levels with practical themes like “7 Days, 7 Dinners” to hone your meal prep and planning skills, too.
Ballymaloe Cookery School – Based in Shanagarry, Co. Cork
World-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School is an institution in itself, with students travelling from all over the globe to attend. Ballymaloe is the only cookery school in the world with its own organically certified farm and students can expect to embrace the full farm to fork ethos here. Ballymaloe offers half, one and two and a half day courses, a five week long summer experience and the internationally respected, immersive twelve week certificate course for anyone considering a culinary career. With Darina and Rachel Allen as well as Rory O’Connell delivering classes at Ballymaloe, you really will gain a wealth of knowledge from the best in the business. You’ll even find a number of Ballymaloe alumni on this list, which speaks for itself!
Belfast Cookery School – Based in Belfast, Co. Antrim
The folks from Mourne Seafood are behind Belfast Cookery School and they offer a fun and varied line up of evening classes. Whether you wish to master the art of fish and chips, build on your bistro dish repertoire or just make a deliciously fun evening out of their beer and curry workshop, you can learn from some of Northern Ireland’s best chefs at Belfast Cookery School.
Bread 41 – Based in Dublin 2
Bread 41 on Pearse Street has been known to attract queues out the door for their baked delights, but if you fancy skipping the line and bringing some of that magic to your own kitchen, Introduction to Bread is the class for you. This three hour, hands-on evening workshop takes place on site and will include professional hacks and tips to take your bread-making to the next level. You will also leave with your very own sourdough starter and the know-how to keep it thriving and delivering perfect loaves for years to come. Give a man a fish and all tha
Ciara’s Kitchen – Based in Delgany, Co. Wicklow
Ciara’s Kitchen is a well-established cookery school situated just outside the beautiful village of Delgany, Co. Wicklow. Ballymaloe trained chef Ciara offers up to four cooking classes per week on-site, with themes ranging from vegan dishes to easy entertaining. Throughout lockdown, Ciara ran a huge selection of online classes at very reasonable prices and will continue to offer a number of these in the coming months as the school reopens for in-person classes.
Cookery Cottage – Based in Douglas, Co. Cork
Offering classes for all ages and cooking abilities, there is something for everyone at Cookery Cottage in Cork. For the little ones, fun birthday party cooking classes are available and they offer a 4 week cookery course for adults plus drop in evening classes on themes like Indian, Fusion and Italian cooking.
Cool Food School – Online
If you are hoping to instil a love of cooking in your little ones, look no further than the Cool Food School which offers a fun, interactive and highly educational online food and cooking course for pre-schoolers. Founder and food educator Deirdre Doyle is passionate about healthy eating and your kids will be too once they graduate from the Cool Food School.
Dingle Cookery School – Based in Dingle, Co. Kerry
Dingle is not only home to some of the best seafood in the country, it also lays claim to an award-winning cookery school. Naturally, you can enrol in classes like mastering shellfish and smoking and curing to make the most of the beautiful local bounty and chef Mark Murphy also offers a once in a lifetime “Catch and Cook” experience that sounds like a must for seafood lovers.
Dunbrody House – Based in Arthurstown, Co. Wexford.
TV chef Kevin Dundon’s Dunbrody House on the Hook Peninsula is also home to his excellent cookery school. Dunbrody caters for all levels of experience, from “Back to Basics” to more advanced courses on different global cuisines with both one and two day courses available. If you want to combine a break away with an unforgettable 5 day cooking experience, a special rate for students is offered, or you can partake in a week long online cookery course from home.
East Coast Cookery School – Based in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth
Run by Cordon Bleu-trained chef Tara Walker, the East Coast Cookery School offers courses for both children and adults and is currently running a range of online classes with accessible topics like “Good Food, No Stress” and “Healthy, Fast and Fresh” for a laid back evening learning to cook delicious dishes in your own kitchen.
Edward Hayden’s Cookery School – Based in Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny.
With many courses to suit all levels of culinary proficiency, this Kilkenny cookery school is a little gem, run by passionate TV chef and culinary arts lecturer Edward Hayden. Edward’s enthusiasm and energy make classes like “Edward’s Tasty Tapas” fun and laid back, and he is offering both online classes via Zoom and on-site workshops from March onwards.
Firehouse Bakery Bread School – Based in Newtownmountkennedy, Co.Wicklow
Bread expert Patrick Ryan originally ran classes from his very own bakery on Heir Island, off the coast of West Cork. Firehouse Bakery has since made its home in Wicklow and their new state of the art facility will be running full and half day classes on site, with an estimated opening date in April 2022. To get a feel for what you can learn at one of Patrick’s classes check our Sourdough Masterclass video here.
James St. South Cookery School – Based in Belfast, Co. Antrim
One of Belfast’s top restaurants, James St. South runs a purpose-built interactive cookery school with an attractive assortment of cookery courses. Classes have a maximum capacity of 12 people and at the end of the course you can enjoy the fruits of your labour with a well-deserved glass of wine, so it is a perfect class to book into with friends.
Chef Mark Doe offers a range of well priced cookery classes in his Killarney cookery school. Learn how to whip up an afternoon tea to remember with plenty of tricks of the trade from Ritz-trained chef Mark or book into the super practical “Family Meals for the Freezer” class to get ahead.
Kinsale Gourmet Academy – Based in Kinsale, Co. Cork
In addition to being a luxury guest house, Ballinacurra House is home to a Weber Grill Academy cookery school. Headed up by chef David Rice, Kinsale Gourmet Academy offers hands-on classes like “Barbecue Classics” and “Master Charcoal Grilling” for any aspiring grill aficionados out there.
Howth Castle Cookery School – Based in Howth, Co. Dublin
Set in the stunningly restored Georgian kitchen of Howth Castle, this distinctive cookery school runs a great selection of very popular courses which often sell out well in advance. We recommend ‘Feast from the Sea’, a class which includes a visit to a local fish shop on Howth pier to teach you how best to select seafood at your fishmongers. The class then returns to the Castle for a hands on class designed to help you master the art of cooking all types of fish. There are also amazing children’s cookery camps during the summer months.
Lynda Booth’s Dublin Cookery School – Based in Blackrock, Co. Dublin
Chef Lynda Booth’s Dublin Cookery School, winner of ‘Best Cookery School’ at The Irish Restaurant Awards (2013 & 2015) runs every kind of class you could want from an impressive, purpose-built base in Blackrock. Choose from over 50 different day or evening courses with everything from “Comfort Food for Rainy Nights” to a deep dive into decadent chocolate desserts on offer. For those looking to explore a culinary career route, DCS also offers intensive 4 and 12 week certificate courses.
Neven Maguire Cookery School – Based in Blacklion Co. Cavan
One of Ireland’s favourite chefs, the brilliant Neven Maguire, is sharing his passion for cooking beyond the TV screen with his Blacklion-based cookery school. The state of the art school offers a range of one and two day courses, with themes like “30 Minute Meals” and “The Nation’s Favourite Healthy Food”, based on Neven’s best-selling cookbooks.
Picado Mexican Cookery Classes – Based in Dublin 2
Newly published author of “TACO” cookbook, Lily Ramirez-Foran, runs Picado Mexican grocery on South Richmond Street. Here she became well known for hosting fun weekly cooking classes, demos and supper clubs on all things delicious and traditionally Mexican. While the pandemic saw these classes migrate online, Picado’s on-site cookery classes are set to resume in March so keep an eye on the website for details. In the meantime, on-demand masterclasses are available to get your fix.
Pinocchio Italian Cookery School– Based in Dublin 12
If you can’t hop on a plane to Rome, an authentic Italian cookery class with the hilarious and animated Giuseppe Crupi is the next best thing. Classes are suited for all levels of cook, from absolute beginner to the experienced. Learn to craft pasta from scratch, perfect your pizza skills and add classic Italian regional dishes to your repertoire. You also get to enjoy your efforts at the end of the class with a sit down meal so it is a brilliant evening out.
The Tannery Cookery School – Based in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Celebrity chef Paul Flynn’s Tannery restaurant is a long-standing favourite of Irish food lovers and this must-visit restaurant is also home to a modern cookery school. Paul’s half day cookery demos and practical classes should be on the bucket list of all home cooks, with themes like “Cooking for Friends” and “Middle Eastern Masterclass” to whet the appetite for learning, plus a leisurely lunch to reflect on the class afterwards. The Advanced Masterclass with Paul is extremely popular with accomplished home cooks, so make sure to book early when dates are announced.