Tag Archives: Ballyamloe Cookery School

Ballymaloe Day 81: The studious adventures of Úna-Minh Kavanagh

Time flies when you get towards the end of an adventure.

Today I had a glorious lie-in, where my dreams weren’t filled with any sort of worry and my mind was at ease.

Despite having a long day of exams ahead of me on Friday, I was mostly calm throughout the morning. Getting some quick revision in, I went through notes and tidied before I nabbed a bite to eat.

In the larder, “Florrie’s Deli”, had opened where we could all pick and mix the various foods that students that had cooked in their exams.

I took my fill and brought it back to the house, then popping on my chef whites, I headed back in to help the busy Florrie with tidying and putting away dishes, along with Martha and Sophie.

It was great to see all the dishes come into the larder, and I’ve no doubt that people did really well in their exams – the standard was very impressive, even if we only got a glimpse of the final dishes.

Going through spices, cuts of meat and salad identification, we cleaned a revised as well as getting to taste delicious food!

Back in the Coach House, the next plan of action was sit back and go through the reams of notes that need to be somewhere lodged in my brain for the next 24 hours.

I’ve gone through so many things but I’ve no idea how it’ll all stay there…

Hard to believe that by this time tomorrow, we’ll be done…

Ballymaloe Day 80: Channeling my inner Florrie!

To say I’m exhausted is an understatement – I feel like the blood has been drained from my body and I’m left with a hollow shell of a person.

Today we had our main practical exam, and waking up after a surprisingly good sleep, I was anxious to actually just get into the kitchen and start cooking.

My official starting time was 11.30am, so there was a bit of hanging about before I began.

With last minute prep to be done, and a flick through the recipes and order-of-work, I braced myself for a long day’s cooking.

Channeling my inner Florrie – who’s one of our brilliantly supportive teachers here – I gave myself mini-pep talk throughout the morning, and fully aware that I was probably going to go over time, I kept cool.

Despite a brief power failure (just before I was going to put my bread in the oven), and having a battle with palm sugar, all-in-all it went quite smoothly.

This may shock you, but I went about an hour and a half over the designated three hours, but I didn’t mind and I certainly wasn’t the only one. My main goal was to plate up dishes that I was proud of and that I would gladly serve up to anyone.

So here they are, in all their glory!

To start: Spiced Indian Pakoras with Mango Relish


For mains: Chargrilled Squid with Chili and Parsley Oil and Vietnamese Cucumbers


And finally for dessert: Yoghurt and Cardamom Cream with Pomegranate and Rose Blossom Water


I also made a white soda bread, which thankfully seemed to come out well – but we’ll see what Darina thought.

By the way, I got to take Brienne home tonight, and I’m happy to report that she’s a very happy cheese!

The rest of the night I’m just going to chill and probably get to bed early – I’m wrecked. Bonne nuit.