Why Choose Us?

With so many chef courses on offer in Ireland, it’s important to do your research and find the course that suits your availability, budget and personal professional goals.

At the School of Food, we specialize in one-on-one goal achievement. What do you want to get out of your culinary education? Some want to enter the restaurant industry as a commis chef to continue their chef training. Others take short courses to help them on their way to open their own small food business or cafe. Whatever your end goal may be, the School of Food will do what it takes to help you achieve it.

Stephen McArdle and Janine Kennedy

This training course is designed to provide a very low 8 to 1 student/tutor ratio; much lower than other courses on offer. This course itself is hands-on – It is primarily practical with essential theory classes making up a small portion of the course. Each student gets the personal attention she wants and deserves to learn the skills and to practice the techniques required to become a great chef.

Our Chef Tutors are industry specialists and business owners. As they are actively working chefs, they are able to teach the latest trends in plating and technique while instilling a true sense of modern Irish culinary skills in their trainee chefs. Chef Stephen McArdle is Chef Patron at Barrow’s Keep in Graiguenamanagh. His co-tutor is Janine Kennedy, Executive Chef/Owner of The Siùcra Shack (Thurles, Co. Tipperary). Our third tutor, Éadaoin Walsh, is a passionate, professionally trained pastry chef and has been involved in the School of Food since its inception.

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In keeping with our professional approach, starting in week six, each student spends one day per week in a restaurant or hotel kitchen for their work placement. We regularly place students at Campagne and The Lady Helen at Mount Juliet Estate; both One Star Michelin restaurants.

From seed to plate, we aim to educate our students in every aspect of food production and the culinary arts. The School has a one-acre chemical-free vegetable and herb garden, which supplies the students with local seasonal produce for their recipes. In autumn, preserving and pickling are essential classes for students to learn how best to use our vegetables at their peak. Time is also spent foraging for seasonal ingredients in the nearby forest.

Near the end of this training course, the students become directly involved with the planning and execution of our Schoolyard Market. Each student develops a food product – considering everything from packaging to costing – which will be sold at the market. This project requires team-work and a high level of organisation.

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School of Food Alumnus Mark Fowler during the Schoolyard Market, 2018

The graduation event that concludes the Modern Skills for Modern Chefs training course is an 8-course Tasting Menu for 40 guests; which is planned, prepared, plated and served entirely by the students.

The School of Food awards each graduating student with a European Union-recognised Certificate.

Tuition fees are €5,200 for the full 11-week duration. As the School of Food is a not-for-profit organisation, we can charge substantially less than comparable courses. We consider this chef training course to be the best value in Ireland.