What our clients say about us.
Our full-time courses are a huge success. Anyone who saw the feature on Dublin Cookery School on RTE’s Nationwide, 16th November 2011 (see video link on home page), will have got a good sense of the lively and upbeat atmosphere on the course. The guests who came to our previous ‘restaurant nights’ will attest to the outstanding level of cooking our students have attained and to their efficiency in working together as a team to prepare a stunning meal.
Each course seems to draw participants from further and further afield. To date we've had students from the UK, Spain, France, Canada, the USA and Venezuela. The age range is anything from 18 to “none of your business”.
In terms of level of prior experience, students range from those who are very new to cooking through to those who are skilled cooks and are interested in following a career in cooking, or are already cooking professionally.
The expectations of participants on our full-time courses are generally far exceeded - their feedback is wildly positive and some examples are set out below.
What prior cooking experience do people have, and what do they want to get from the course?
“I see myself as a solid domestic cook”.
“Twenty years of kids and my cooking repertoire had dwindled to a few tired recipes and a few dinner party specials”.
“I was looking around hoping that there were would be others with as little knowledge as myself.”
"I have had a long term love of cooking but always wanted to fill in the gaps and be challenged."
“I wanted to increase my skills and take my cooking to the next level. I also wanted to see if I might be interested in food as a career by immersing myself in the course.”
"There was no way I could take on a two year or even a three month commitment at my stage in life but I wanted a professional experience."
"This was the opportunity to do something I wondered would I ever get around to".
What are people’s early impressions of the school?
“I had been to other schools for demos and had not been very impressed. When I walked in here, I just gasped.”
“I am so delighted. It is such a pleasure to come in here every day. I love the place. I love the brightness, the cleanness. I am eating things using ingredients I never would have used before. And I don’t feel indulgent because I am being stretched. Indulgence would not leave me so wrecked at the end of each day!”
How do they find the teaching style?
“I didn’t know what was meant by ‘immersion’ but I do now! But the pace varies, the chefs change and you never feel swamped. You do an intense day and then a calmer day, or fine food and then suppers.”
“Even after a few days we were all so different: tasting, seasoning, chopping, having different things on the go. There is no such thing as a mistake so everyone is stuck in and the place is humming.”
“You do most of the work in pairs and it keeps you focused. It is very social. And it helps. You are exposed to seeing how other people do things and working out how they go about things”.
"Great learning environment where all questions, queries and concerns were dealt with professionally."
"I didn't want rules and uniforms and rigidity and yet I wanted professionalism and that is what I got."
What do people enjoy most about the course?
"I enjoyed the intensity. I wanted to be thrown in - and boy did that happen!"
“I actually thought that the recipes on my chair were for the week, not the first day! But I wouldn’t want to convey that things are crammed in because you got plenty of chance to repeat essentials.”
"I can't believe the sheer amount we covered. I wouldn't have dared hope that we'd be producing food of the complexity we were mastering by the end."
"I loved the total immersion, away from any other distraction."
"Much centres on Lynda. I would call her style "laid back professional" because she is not in the least intimidating."
“Lynda is great fun – she has such an energetic personality and the course really runs on her steam”
"Her passion is contagious. She is inspiring, sometimes mesmerising, never lecturing."
“There is total respect for our personal goals. This is not an exam or race.”
"Don't be fooled by her humour - she is serious about food."
"She is an incredible woman. To have someone with her knowledge and experience teaching you is, without doubt, the school's greatest asset."
“I love the mix of people. We are a very diverse group in age, nationality, background and we have grown closer each week.”
"Good chance to network with others and to meet people in different areas of work."
"We had a ball on the last evening when we ran our own restaurant."
"I loved the fact that the school is purpose built and really well designed. It was such a treat to be able to sit down every day in such lovely surroundings and enjoy the food we had prepared."
How do people find working with the guest chefs?
"Because Lynda is so passionate, she attracts others with the same passion. I couldn't believe the standard of people who came in to us. We had Oliver Dunne the week after he had got his Michelin star. Paul Flynn did a masterclass on sauces which is something that had always fascinated me. It was extraordinary to have a chef of the calibre of Alan O'Reilly teaching me how to debone a chicken or organise the kitchen for a meal service. How does she know all these people!"
"The two days that stood out for me were ones I felt I started at 0 and believe I reached a 10: bread with Rossa and sauces with Paul."
“I hadn’t really taken on board that the guest chefs would cook with you. I knew they would be giving a demo but I was blown away that they would be back the next day making sure that you could reproduce it.”
“I had actually picked up Derry Clarke’s cookbook in a bookshop and I thought this is way, way out of my league. We did three recipes from it with him and suddenly the whole book opens up and if I can cook from that, then what does that say of how far I have come?”
"Having Alan O'Reilly have us work and plate up as in a professional kitchen was a thrilling experience. It was also great preparation for the restaurant night, the culmination of it all. To spend the day cooking, serving strangers the most amazing food and then sitting down ourselves with some wine and toasting the month gone by was the best way to end it."
Are people’s expectations met? Is the course considered good value?
“It is a quality course. I can’t fault it. I am a nitpicker and I can’t think of a single thing I would want changed.”
"All of my expectations were met and more. I feel I learned so much each day."
“I read about it: great venue, great guest chefs, great tutors and I thought, well they would say that, if I get half of it, I’ll be happy. But it was true. It was as promised.”
“Not sure exactly what my expectations were but they were certainly very high and I remember looking up even on the first day, and thinking ‘Wow this is great’”
"My sense of taste and feel came on in leaps and bounds. I was tasting my sauces and knowing exactly what I should add next."
"I didn't expect it to be so utterly professional and quite so much fun".
"Despite there being a mixed bag of age and ability, there was never the feeling that you were going to feel awkward or uneasy about what you didn't know. It was the safest of learning environments."
"I am not sure how but it seemed to work for different levels. I think that it was perhaps because there was so much individual attention."
"There is no skimping here. Lynda is not business-minded in that sense. You use the best ingredients and the best equipment. It's no holds barred all the way."
"I felt that the course description undersold itself - when you put it all together, it was outstanding value."
"I remember at the time thinking that it was a bit pricey. But looking back on all we achieved, I'd gladly pay it again. I only wish there was a two month course!"
"Considering the standard of tuition, the guest chefs, the facility, the quality and quantity of ingredients, yes, it is great value."
"Cooking for Life" is excellent value for money. It is one of the top 10 experiences of my abundant, adventurous, awesome life!"
“I am recommending the course to anyone and everyone who is interested in food.”
“The last day was highly emotional. We will miss the course and the group terribly.”
“It has been a big deal for me to get here every day and so I did have expectations. These have been so fully met. I would do it all over again. In fact, can I do it all over again?”
"I am so much more confident and less intimidated. I am determined to go further."
"If you have a genuine interest in food and a desire to learn more about it then, trust me, do this course and have the most rewarding 30 days you'll ever spend in a kitchen."
"I will miss the fantastic atmosphere - I have never seen such positive energy within a group that had only known each other for a short period."
"I will miss this course so much."