Sunday, 3 March 2013

Please may I have a Buffalo?

50 students, Darina Allen, 5 local producers and some buffalo. You guessed it, I'm talking about our Ballymaloe Cookery School Trip.

Thursday was the day when we were allowed out into the local population (for better or worse) to meet some producers/business owners who are making a success of it. First was Bill Casey, who is literally a stone's throw away from the school and is the one man band behind the award winning Shanagarry Smoked Salmon.

Second we trundled off to Mahon Farmers Market to witness the various stands and their wares in full force. Foot fall has actually increased in the shopping arcade due to the market and Thursdays are now the busiest of the week. A great plus.

Next we tootled off to West Cork and Toons Bridge Dairy were we met Toby Simmonds and his wife and got to see, in action, the making of the only Irish Buffalo Mozzarella. Very exciting stuff especially as we managed to get up close and personal to the Buffalo shipped in from Italy (my favourite bit).

Down the road was Donal Creedon (Macroom Oatmeal) who is another inspiring example of a one man band producing stone ground oatmeal. Only able to produce 1 tonne of oatmeal a week due to the intricate and delicate process to make this delicious product. It was a wonderful example of people doing something purely for the love, not necessarily the money.

We then visited Urru, a deli-come-cafe run by an ex Ballymaloe Student and then off to the The Poachers Inn for a pint and some tantalising nibbles again, run by ex students.

A great day with a range of different examples of business ideas.

We (friend + I) decided we should explore Ireland a little bit. So on Friday afternoon, after demo we headed to Limerick for some food and Rugby. A great weekend with some wonderful people (Peter from Country Choice was one of them), great atmosphere and far too much food at the Milk Market (surprise surprise!). On the way back we stopped at the largest Stone Circle in Ireland. Talk about atmospheric...


  1. I enjoyed your tour. wow it's so green there, I kind of miss the freshness in my corner of the world. Lucky you that you stumbledupon the stone circle. I would have been super excited! ;)

    btw your photos are inspiring. =)

  2. Thank you so much Helene for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the tour, will hopefully be doing a bit more in the following months. The stone circle was very atmospheric! If only the trees could talk :) Where is your corner?