I was very excited about my first outing to The Tannery Cookery School, I’ve wanted to go there since it opened however the opportunity never arose. The Tannery Restaurant, was opened in the old leather (tannery) factory in Dungarvan back in 1997, by renowned chef Paul Flynn & his wife Marie. His cooking is considered hearty & rustic & he has numerous awards under his belt.
About two years ago, Paul opened The Tannery Cookery School on Church St. & in 2009 Glanbia donated some scrap land adjacent to the cookery school to turn into a productive Vegetable Garden.
On arrival to the cookery school, we were welcomed & offered beverages & tour of the garden. I have to say the vegetable garden has come on leaps and bounds and is a credit to the gardener in charge there.
The most exciting part of the day was of course the cooking….The tapas & cichetti (Italian version) which Paul cooked were given an Irish twist using Blackpudding, Irish fish & local produce where possible.
The first dish was Chorizo Croquettes, which were absolutely melt in the mouth bite size nibbles, alternatively these could be adapted to crab,garlic & ginger croquettes or cheese.
The next dish was very simple but tasty, Crostini al gorgonzola with caramelised pear – the gorgonzola was mixed with mascarpone , until you get a creamy texture, simply spread this on the crostini or alternatively add a slice of carmelised pear. The sweet pear & the strong flavour of the blue cheese complimented each other excellently.
We also had a Chilled Cucumber Soup, I’m not a cucumber fan, but I think I would prefer this with Beetroot as an alternative.
One of my favourite dishes was the Chickpeas with blackpudding in garlic & parsley, this dish is traditionally made with morcilla (contains mainly pork blood and fat, rice, onions, and salt) in Spain. However as Morcilla isn’t available over here , black pudding is a perfect Irish twist. The chickpeas & blackpudding worked really well together & this dish was very quick to make & tasted fantastic.
The Rillettes of fresh & smoked salmon with creme fraiche, would be a perfect served on crostini for a dinner party or with a little salad for starter or on home-baked brown bread with rocket for lunch.
Tusan Bread Salad is a fantastic recipe, with vine tomatoes, roasted peppers, toasted ciabatta & olive oil had such an amazing mix of flavours of the mediteranian.
I have to admit that the reason behind me going to the cookery school this weekend was as a gift to my sister for getting into vetinerary college, as we went along together. However when Paul mentioned if anyone was squeamish, as he took the half quail out of a container, i nearly fell under my seat, my sister just looked at me & laughed!! I have to say that I did try the Roast Quail with sage, which had a beautiful flavour, however when Paul cut the little roast quail with the knife, when i heard the bones crunch that did slightly turn me off it! And to add to it an American lady at the dinner table beside me told me she had wild quail in her back garden & they were so cute she couldn’t eat them!! But don’t let me put you off them.
This tapas plate contains the following clockwise from 12 o’clock, tuscan bread salad, salmon & creme fraiche, roast quail with courgette flower, brandade of white fish, chick pea & black pudding & in the centre a potato & Cheese Tortilla.
Overall I have to say that the course was great value, it started at 1oam in the morning & we sat down for lunch at 2.30 with plenty of wine available. The food was fantastic & the recipes are definitely one’s that would be perfect for any occasion & I hope I will make loads of use of. The course was €70 for the half day & really enjoyable.
Enjoy Vick x
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