Saturday, 1 March 2014

Head Chef Junior Chef Course at Ballyknocken Cookery School (Ashford, Co. Wicklow)

The day last!

For almost two months we had been patiently waiting to enjoy our Christmas family present: a Head Chef Junior Chef course at Ballyknocken Cookery School for the four of us.

Dad is a good cook, and that is kind of normal for a Mexican!: he loves spending time at the kitchen, inventing recipes and looking for new tastes. And our older son is becoming just like Dad - it's normal to hear him say: "I'm going to prepare breakfast today Mum!" on Saturdays and Sundays, and he cuts fruit and mixes it with yogurt, buscuits, honey, granola...whatever he finds in the kitchen and serves it in bowls for all of us. Then he puts some butter in the pan and heats some crepes (already prepared) and serves them with maple syrup, or cream

That is why Santa thought it would be a super good idea to do a course together. It wasn't by chance that Santa chose Ballyknocken! He did his research, and he asked all his elves if any of them knew a good cookery school which offered that kind of parent-kid course. After his research, he chose this one. It's not specially cheap, but the elves who had tried it were all very happy with the experience.

So there we were, last Saturday afternoon, just outside the place (which is located only minutes outside Ashford, Co. Wicklow)

The place looks charming, even on a winter day like last Saturday: wet, cold, very dark. You can very well imagine it surrounded by colourful flowers, under the summer sun.

There are two main buildings: the guest house and the cookery school to its left. There is where we had our course. We went in just five or ten minutes before the class started and were welcomed with a cup of fresh coffee or tea and a piece home made cake. Our two teachers were already welcoming all parents and kids and we all introduced ourselves. Catherine Fulvio came in to say hello and chat a little bit with us. Very nice atmosphere and a bunch of super excited kids counting the seconds to start cooking! :-)

First of all, the teachers showed us how to prepare a gorgeous (I knew that after I tried it at the end of the class) chocolate bread.

Then we all went to our cooking counters and with the help and supervision of the teachers we prepared three dishes: 

Chicken and sweet corn noodle soup, beef stir fry and spaghetti and meatballs

All the tasks were divided between the four of us, and the boys learnt to chop onions (also they learnt the hard way that you cry when you chop onions!), to prepare soup from chicken stock and vegetables, to do meatballs.... I was sooooo surprised to see them doing everything with no sign of doubt and no fear, I was very very proud of them!

When we finished cooking, a long table was prepared for us and we all sat down and ate what we had cooked. Everything tasted wonderful!!!

A little bit more than three hours after we had started, we finished, all satisfied and with full well fed and happy stomachs and minds.

The following day, the kids prepared spaghetti with meatballs at home...all by themselves :-)

It was a lovely afternoon: full of anecdotes that we will remember for a long time. The kids learnt an awful lot, but the parents also learnt as much: I now trust the boys more, I know they can take a knife and they'll know how to use it (always under our supervision, of course), I can let them be around the cooker when the fire is on and the soup is boiling in the pot when they cook for us.

I'm sure this is just the beginning: there will be many more meals that we'll prepare as a family. Hopefully they'll keep enjoying the times in the kitchen, inventing recipes and experiencing new tastes....

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