On our April 2014 Three Month Certificate course, one of the school’s favourite guest chefs, American Matt Sigler, flew into Dublin especially to come and spend a whole week with the students. In full flow, Matt is an impressive sight. Whether he was showing the students how to butcher half a lamb and make use of all of the different cuts of meat to creating delicate ribbons of pasta, his enthusiasm for creating great tasting food is infectious. The students found being around him for a full five days hugely inspiring.
During Matt’s time here, the students learnt how to make several different fresh pasta doughs. These included green pasta with spinach and nettles, a porcini mushroom dough as well as linguine, papardelle, ravioli, cappelletti, mezzaluna, garganelli, scarpinocc, angolotti and orchiette. Come the end of the week, the students had created all of these pasta themselves and our favourite dishes included:
-Pea and ricotta cappeletti
-Smoked aubergine mezzaluna with pesto and oven dried tomatoes
-Scarpinocc with taleggio cheese and balsamic vinegar
-Braised lamb with baby carrots, broad beans and pappardelle
Lynda arranged for the students to spend the day working alongside Dublin’s Best Chef (Irish Restaurant Awards 2014), former Dublin Cookery School Tutor and regular guest chef, John Wyer at his recently opened Forest Avenue restaurant. John had them in the kitchen during the morning so that they could appreciate first-hand, exactly how much work goes into all of his dishes. He then handed the reins over to them in the afternoon, allowing them to take control of lunchtime service. Spending time cooking with a chef at the top of his game like John was invaluable for the students and offered them a taster of what life in a professional kitchen is like.
With so many locations close to the school offering up amazing seasonal wild ingredients, we like to organise fields for the students to go out and enjoy what the local countryside has to offer. Back in June, the students spent the day doing some coastal foraging with local chef Niall O’Sullivan close to Greystones, Co Wicklow. They returned to the school in the afternoon with a plentiful supply of coastal plants including wild garlic and marsh samphire amongst other things. Niall then demonstrated how these can be used to create simple, flavourful dishes.
Indian chef Sunil Ghai from the Ananda restaurant in Dundrum, Dublin is a regular guest chef at the cookery school and also occasionally helps host our Pop-up Restaurant evenings alongside Lynda.
Both our One and Three Month Certificate students got the chance to learn from Sunil on his most recent visit in April and got to recreate some of his most popular contemporary Indian dishes themselves during their hands-on session; guinea fowl and crushed spiced aubergine with a carrot and ginger purée and Vegetable tempura with tamarind chutney.