Dermot Gannon and Janine Kennedy will teach you how to cook.
Admit it: you spend most of your day thinking about food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee, cocktails – an end of day pint of beer – these are some of the most important parts of your day.
Not just because you need to eat; because food and socializing go hand in hand. You find out about your kids’ days while seated at the dinner table. You catch up with friends and co-workers over a mid-day coffee.
For many, eating well is a much-loved aspect of day-to-day life. But have you ever considered taking your interest in food a step further? With the new course at Thomastown’s School of Food entitled “Modern Skills for Modern Chefs”, you can become a fully trained commis chef in just 11 weeks.
Award winning Tipperary Chef Dermot Gannon (The Old Convent, Clogheen) and local chef, marketing specialist and food writer Janine Kennedy (The Siucra Shack) will be teaching this module starting on 26th February; turning out 16 restaurant-ready commis chefs by May.
Created in conjunction with Taste 4 Success Skillnet, the course will be fully funded for those who meet the necessary criteria. Curated by chef Edwina Gaisford-St. Lawrence of Howth Castle (and Howth Castle Cookery School), she maintains that the curriculum was developed with modern Irish cuisine in mind:
“In order to turn out restaurant-ready commis chefs’ you need to ensure they are trained not only to a high standard, but also with modern technique and style in mind. Modern Irish chefs have many basic requirements for their cooks and we aim to exceed these requirements through this course.”
As this course (a QQI Level 4 equivalent) will be completed in a short amount of time, it will be hands-on and intensive.
“80% of this course is cooking,” Chef Gannon notes, “the other 20% will be a small amount of theory, essential HACCP and health and safety training and the necessary assessments.”
While the module is open to people of all backgrounds, there is one requirement from the school: you must be able to commit to full-time attendance for the 11-weeks.
“The course will take place Monday to Friday from 9:30AM til 4:30PM at the School of Food,” Gannon explains. “Once we know you meet the requirements from the Department of Social Protection (you must be a job-seeker to be eligible for this course) you also need to agree to the time commitment.”
Gaisford-St. Lawrence agrees.
“Because this course is just 11 weeks long, you will be learning something of extreme importance every day.”
From the seventh week, students will spend one day per week working in a professional kitchen under one of the school’s preferred chefs. This aspect of the course will give the students valuable industry experience and; hopefully, will inspire them as they pursue their culinary careers.
“Our biggest hope with this course is to create a generation of passionate, well-trained Irish chefs to be sent out into the industry in a timely fashion. While it may solve the problem of unemployment or under-employment for many, we also think it will be a great help to the many chefs and restaurants crying out for professional, highly skilled employees. It’s a win-win,” Gannon remarks.
If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, you can like School of Food on Facebook or visit http://www.schooloffood.ie. Late applications are currently being accepted.