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 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 focus then was the training of chefs for the catering industry. In 2019 it was decided to shift this focus to a more general and inclusive model.

The courses run now are open to all and one of the kitchens is available for new food producers needing an approved space for piloting their products. There is also a seminar room where theoretical courses are taught, the garden is run by the school for the local community.

The second kitchen is used by Alan Cullen – well-known caterer in Thomastown.

Our Ethos:

At the School of Food, we believe all food education should be affordable, accessible and sustainable. The School of Food has evolved to provide specialist and leisure food training. It also provides making-space for new and emerging food producers and it links its garden with its kitchens.

We support our local food producers and use produce from our own school gardens wherever possible.


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

We are also located just an hour and 30 minutes from Dublin, 30 minutes from Waterford and is an easy commute from Tipperary, greater Kilkenny, Carlow and Wexford.

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