About Us

The School of Food has been developed in the former Boys’ National School in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, a site associated with education for almost 100 years.

The renovation of the old school building and its 2 acres of land is the focal point for this culinary school. The building has been renovated to include state-of-the-art training kitchens.

The School of Food was officially opened on January 15th, 2015 by Minister for Food and Rural Affairs, Ann Phelan TD and Steven Lamb, Head of Brand, River Cottage UK.

The School of is a not-for-profit Food School providing training in modern culinary techniques. We incorporate Food Business Training, Chef Courses, Irish-centric culinary training, knife skills and important add-ons, such as HACCP, Health & Safety and manual handling certification. We also provide a wide range of Cookery Classes.

Since opening it’s doors, the School of Food has evolved to become one of the leading culinary colleges in Ireland. We provide professional chef courses, which provide the best chef training in Ireland allowing participants to become chefs, enhance their cooking skills, or even establish their own food business.

From seed to plate, we aim to educate our students in every aspect of food production and the culinary arts. Our chef tutors are highly skilled professionals who continue to operate within the industry – their passion for food is infectious; their love of teaching palpable.

All of our chefs have a depth of experience of launching new food businesses. As part of our chef courses we teach you how to develop a new food product. We also help you start to sell your new product at local markets.

Our Ethos:

At the School of Food, we believe all food education should be affordable, accessible and of the highest quality. This is why we make our chef courses as cost-effective and time-sensitive as possible. In addition to this, we aim to add value to the education of our students by teaching the most up-to-date curriculum and helping ensure our students obtain the skills required to design and launch their new food business.

We support our local food producers and use produce from our own school gardens wherever possible. We also encourage our students to participate in local events and take time to immerse themselves in Thomastown’s vibrant community.

The Community of Thomastown:


Thomastown is located along the picturesque River Nore, just a 15-minute drive from the city of Kilkenny.

This vibrant town is home to a plethora of unique food businesses and people, making it an ideal location for the School of Food. As a school, we enjoy active involvement in the community and regularly partake in events with our student chefs. It’s a wonderful place to spend 11 weeks!

Thomastown is surrounded on all sides by artisan food producers and farmers who regularly supply us with ingredients and support our endeavours. Throughout the our Modern Skills for Modern Chefs programme, students have many opportunities to visit and gain knowledge from these inspirational food entrepreneurs.

Thomastown is a great place to spend the duration of our Modern Skills for Modern Chefs programme. From homestays to airbnb’s, we can help potential students find accommodation that best suits their lifestyle and budget. A town full of artists, musicians and great pubs, the night life in Thomastown is electric and the small-town-feel makes our trainee chefs – no matter where they’re from – feel at home. We are also located just an hour by train from Kildare, 30 minutes from Waterford and are an easy commute from Tipperary, greater Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford.

Read more about how Kilkenny City recently won the Best Food Destination 2018.