Sunday, 29 January 2012

Ballymaloe Day 5, 13th January - Wine, Theory, Bacteria!

So, Friday the 13th, end of Week 1 which has raced by and a weird title for this post!
Our first theory day and it was good to have a break from the kitchen after three days in a row. Luckily one of our first tastes of theory was regarding wine!

We watched a brief introduction to wine video by Hugh Johnson, a wine maestro apparently although I didn't know who he was! It was a hilarious 80s-style video where this Hugh explains storing and serving wine and serving it in a restaurant etc. Next week we'll begin the wine lectures with the sommelier from Ballymaloe House, very exciting! Darina also introduced us to some of the artisan farmhouse cheeses which Ireland has become famous for including Gubbeen, Mileens and Cashel Blue. We were also taught how to handle, store and serve the cheeses; no lopping the nose off a cheese!

We also had lectures on fire prevention and food safety, including preventing food poisioning and information on various types and bacteria! Was actually way more interesting than it sounds, I was quite into it.

Lastly today we also met some of the local food producers who Darina likes to introduce us to so we can learn more about how all this lovely food is produced. Today we met Jane Murphy from Ardsallagh Goat's Cheese whose cheese we will be using in the salads on Monday. She has built the business up from one goat to supplying supermarkets and winning awards: http://www.ardsallaghgoats.ie/

We also met Mark Kingston of the Golden Bean Roastery who roasts coffee in the grounds of Ballymaloe House. He sources his coffee from a single estate and treats it as a fresh product getting it to the customer within three weeks. I'm hoping to sample his coffee at Ballymaloe House soon, but not this weekend as I have a full day tomorrow helping out at the Farmer's Market in Midelton, 6.30 am start!