What’s next? Ballymaloe!

Darina Allen's Ballymaloe Cookery Course aka The Grey BookWell, I’ve taken the plunge. Notice has been given at work. Going away parties (the Baggott Inn’s self-serve Guinness taps proved particularly popular!), dinners and drinks have been partaken in. After ten years living in Dublin and five years in Cork city, it’s time to return to the country. This weekend, the Husband and I move out of our horrible little Dublin flat and, in less than two weeks, on 17 September, I start the 12-week certificate course at Ballymaloe Cookery School.

It really is going back to school time. For the first time since I left second level, I have a uniform list and had to wander down to O’Connor’s Workwear on Capel Street yesterday afternoon to purchase two sets of chefs’ rig outs – white jackets, check trousers, the lot. Aprons, engraved knives and wine textbooks have been ordered directly from the school and a trip to Reeds filled my stationary requirements. All equipped, I’m ready to embark on a new phase of life as I take my hobbies – writing about food and cooking – and try to make them into something that I can earn a living from. Wish me luck!

Caroline

Caroline

Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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29 Responses

  1. Laura says:

    How scary but exciting Caroline, good luck! Let us know when you have your own restaurant up and running I’ll be there!

  2. Julian says:

    Very good luck to you! I really hope you enjoy it – and I hope you find time to keep us all posted too.

  3. Sarah Bell says:

    Good luck! I hope to do something similar eventually!

  4. Good for you Caroline, I love seeing people run with their dream. Looking forward to hearing all about the course.

  5. Val says:

    Hi CarolineHow exciting. Are you leaving Dublin for good? I’m settling in in Limerick and it’s so much quieter, which is both good and freaky. I have also been considering a Ballymaloe course but I don’t really plan on being a cook, but a food writer yes. I wish you all the best on a most excellent adventure.Val

  6. Oh how exciting Caroline!! I did the same thing, packed up the high flying sales job and took the plunge and I have never looked back! Best of luck, I’m sure you will bring us on your journey!!

  7. plum says:

    Congratulations on your big adventure!

  8. barbara says:

    What wonderful news Caroline. Congratulations. How exciting to have a school shopping list as an adult. As a child I loved shopping for the new school term. It must be even more exciting to be shopping for school as an adult.

  9. Tiptoe Shortbread says:

    oooooooooo lucky you, congrats and good luck Caroline

  10. Caroline says:

    Thanks everyone. It’s a scary but exciting move, not just leaving my job but also heading back to the countryside I ran out of fifteen years ago without a backward glance!I’m not sure if I want my own restaurant, Laura – food writing is my first love, although café cooking is something more up my street. Working in the kitchen of the Woodlands Hotel near Adare many moons ago wouldn’t exactly encourage anyone to run a restaurant!I’m not sure if this is the end of my life in Dublin, Val – nothing is ever set in stone – but we’ll see how it goes. Once the Husband gets into gardening that’s not just confined to weekends there’ll be no stopping him or pawning him off with a garden-less flat in the future!Hope to keep you all updated at this end, if I can get round the ridiculously bad dial-up connection at the cottage which, typically, seems to be in a broadband blackspot.One major advantage is being so much closer to the English Market – I’m sure I’ll be into Bubble Brothers a lot more in the future, Julian! I’d also love to check out that Saturday market in Limerick – maybe we should organise a bloggers get-together there some weekend?

  11. Jen says:

    Congratulations on making the decision and following your dream. Wishing you every success and trying not to be too jealous. Hope you will get the chance to update the blog and let the world know how you are getting.

  12. Kathy says:

    Oooh fantastic – best of luck with the new, or at least evolving, career path. Please blog about it – I’m sure I’m not the only one who’ll want to hear all about it. If you’re not too worn out from all that chopping, stirring and learning, drop me a line once you are there and I’ll meet you for a coffee.Cheers!Kathy (aka RandomGrub)

  13. Gerry says:

    Congratulations,I did the course myself a few years ago and loved every minute of it. Moved from mangement consulting to cheffing. The move can be scary but nothing ventured…I’ll hopefully drop by some time during your course for lunch and will say HI.

  14. Suzy Byrne says:

    Claps hands…Great news and well done!! Enjoy it and I wish you could blog it but I think you’ll be wrecked!!! But the good kind of wrecked!

  15. Sinéad says:

    Delighted for you! All sounds very exciting, best of luck with it. I demand to see a photo of you in your chef’s gear on Facebook. 🙂

  16. Caroline says:

    Wreckedness – and time! – allowing, I definitely want to blog while I’m studying. I know that reading former student’s blogs (Karen in County Cork especially) has been really both interesting and helpful.Kathy – I’m definitely on for that coffee! Where are you based?Gerry – will be watching out for you in Ballymaloe one of these fine days.Sinéad – if you only saw the gorgeous chefs’ trousers I got the other day, you wouldn’t be saying that!

  17. M Buckley says:

    Wishing you every success with this new venture. The Ice Cream recipes from Ballymaloe are exceptional. And many thanks for posting to my blog.Regards,M Buckley

  18. Daniela says:

    Hi Caroline,wishing you the best of luck in your new adventures, Ballymaloe and going back to living in the country.You really had a busy year so far between getting married, buying the cottage etc. Really the best way to live life, cease the opportunity rather than looking back one day and thinking “what if”.Enjoy every minute of the Ballymaloe course! I did the Cooksacademy course in January (four weeks in Dublin, not quite the same but well worth doing!) I gave up career in financial services and am now building my own gluten free catering business. Couldn’t imagine going back to old job ever!Best of luck and take care.Daniela

  19. Treasa says:

    Good luck Caroline, hope it goes well for you.

  20. abulafia says:

    Fantastic. You’ll be amazing. Great food fed to the masses.

  21. Kieran says:

    Well done, and best of luck!

  22. Deborah says:

    Fantastic – good for you Caroline! Thought about doing it myself when we moved back here! Instead I am applying to med school… talk about different directions!I wish you nothing but the best. I’m sure you’ll be a natural!

  23. Vera says:

    learn how 2 make icecream…mmmh!!!!

  24. Thanks everyone! Enjoying my week off – the calm before the storm – setting into the cottage.
    Hope your business goes well, Daniela. Isn’t it great to be actually doing something that you’ve dreamed about for so long?
    Deborah – what’s this about med school?! Are you going back to college? Tell on!
    I’ll ask specifically about ice cream making, Vera, to keep you happy! Now that we’ve got the freezer at the cottage you could call over and help me to try out some recipes some Saturday.

  25. Maria says:

    Best of luck Caroline – enjoy your first day back at school! Talk soon.

  26. tara says:

    Congratulations! I’m looking forward to hearing about the cooking school.

  27. I certainly did enjoy my first day but – wow! – am I tired. Hope I’ll be able to do full justice to writing about it over the coming weeks.

  28. So brilliant to go back and see where you got started Caroline…..where am I going to start with this interview?! You’ve your hands in everything! Really inspiring. x

  29. Caroline Caroline says:

    You certainly have plenty of material to wade through, Imen!

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