Sunday, 19 February 2012

Ballymaloe Day 23, 8th February - Calling Sirrallan!

Day 3 and as it was Wednesday, Theory Day. No wine for a change, instead we had a whole day on the Business of Food with Darina’s sister Blathnaid Bergin who is an expert on advising food businesses

Before that though a few of us students got up for 8am to meet with Soft Fruit expert Susan Turner, to learn more about growing them. I don’t even have a garden but it’s good knowledge to have for the future so we went out to learn a bit about pruning gooseberries and saw a Jostaberry, a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry I think. It’s great as the fruit gardens are springing into life and all the bulbs are starting to come out!

Back in the Demo Kitchen for the day and Blathnaid told us all about the common mistakes restaurants make and how to avoid them! We also looked at setting up a catering business as well as a restaurant and most importantly of all how your menu will dictate all the other decisions you have to make about your business from the interior to the staff. In the afternoon we looked at a case study of a former Ballymaloe student setting up his cafe and the decisions he made. It's interesting and important stuff, especially if you want to work for yourself. I did rather feel like I was in a food version of The Apprentice though, but it's good being surrounding by lots of ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. We need this knowledge when we're setting up in business, it's okay being able to cook, but you also need to be able not to go bust!

No food today but a few pictures of Ballycotton:

The lighthouse on the island

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