|Entrance to Tannery Cookery School|
Paul and Máire achieved one of their main ambitions when they eventually opened The Tannery Cookery School in 2008. Paul’s enthusiasm and love of food is infectious and makes him ideally suited to teaching, so setting up the cookery school seemed a logical progression. The school offers an exciting range of courses with something to suit all tastes and skill levels. These include half-day and evening courses along with some of a longer duration. Over the years the school has played host to a number of guest chefs/cookery writers including Neven Maguire, Richard Corrigan and Tamasin Day-Lewis amongst many others. It’s fair to say that I was really looking forward to finally attending a course in the cookery school and having the opportunity to meet Paul in person.
|Tannery Cookery School|
The course kicked off in a relaxed fashion at 10am with Paul describing the dishes that he would cook during the day. We each received a booklet containing all the recipes which we also used to scribble down the many tips and tricks-of-the-trade that we learnt along the way.
|Bacon, Onion, Potato & Sour Cream Tart|
Paul Flynn is an instinctive chef who approaches cooking intuitively adding a pinch of salt, a grind of pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar as required, in order to create a dish that is balanced. He emphasised the importance of regularly tasting the food as you cook it, making any necessary adjustments along the way. In a similar vein, Paul encouraged us to experiment rather than slavishly following recipes because he believes that cooking then becomes something that is fun and as he so succinctly puts it, “if it tastes nice, it’s right”.
Looking back I’m amazed by the amount of dishes we covered, all of which were to form the basis of a meal that we would sit down together to enjoy in the spacious and tastefully decorated dining room adjoining the cookery school, once the course was finished. After feasting on a fragrant dish of freshly-cooked Mussels with Fennel, Orange and Pernod we tucked into our main course of Confit Duck and Dauphinoise Potatoes, which was served with a simple Watercress & Celeriac Salad and Lentils Vinaigrette. Needless to say all of these dishes were delicious and seemed surprisingly easy to cook.
|Goat's Cheese Parcels|
I should point out that we were shown how to cook many other dishes during the day including a range of sauces, Goat’s Cheese Parcels with Caramelised Apples & Pickled Beetroot inspired by Nigel Slater who is Paul’s favourite cook and Cervelle de Canut - a flavoursome dip made with crème fraîche, garlic and an abundance of herbs including chervil, parsley and chives. This we ate with slices of sourdough baguette as a snack. One of my favourite dishes of the day was a simple Bacon, Onion, Potato & Sour Cream Tart which really proved that less IS more. Based on an Alsatian Tarte Flamiche, Paul had it assembled and baking in the oven in less-than-no-time and we descended on it like hungry vultures when it was ready.
|Making Tarte Tatin|
Further information on the courses offered in The Tannery Cookery School, including prices is available at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tannery Cookery School
10 Quay Street
This article first appeared in TheTaste.ie
|Paul Flynn making Tarte Tatin|