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Belfast Cookery School Experience

If you live in Northern Ireland you will most likely have
heard of either the Mourne Seafood Bar or Belfast Cookery School. Having heard
countless positive reviews about the cookery school we decided that we just had
to try it for ourselves. We decided to opt for the ‘Steak Night’ in the cookery
school schedule, being keen on ordering steaks when out in restaurants we liked
the idea of being able to master cooking a steak at home for ourselves. So the
date was set and we added it to our diaries! If you are looking for something to do during you holiday you might be interested in something similar to these belfast hotel deals.
Chef Shea Trainor giving a demonstration.
Before we talk about the actual cookery class we feel it is
important to tell you a bit about the background of the Mourne Seafood Bar
itself as this is in close association with the Belfast Cookery School. One of
the key aspects of the Mourne Seafood Bar is that they pride themselves on
locally sourced ingredients; in fact they have gone one massive step further!
Their oysters’ mussels and cockles are cultivated in their very own shellfish
beds in the nearby Carlingford Lough and any steak or chicken is all reared
locally too. The Mourne Seafood Bar also loves to introduce its patrons to some
lesser known local seafood such as gurnard, ling and John Dory, we think this
is just fantastic. This reminds me of the time when I was visiting some friends in the US and they bought some Alaskan Harvest Seafood and it was so unbelievably tasty. The Mourne Seafood Bar has two restaurants, one in the village
of Dundrum at the foot of the wonderful Mourne Mountains and one in the heart
of Belfast City Centre next to the cookery school. So if you’re passing by
either why not pop in for a spot of lunch with a very local theme.
Now that you have a bit of background on the seafood bar we
can introduce you to the cookery school itself. The cookery school was the very
first purpose build cookery school in Belfast which allows you to book single
classes based on what you want to learn. The school, like the seafood bar uses
locally sourced ingredients from seafood to steak and chicken. The cookery
school is open to all levels of experience from beginner to professional you’ll
definitely pick up some top tips from the professional chefs of the Mourne
Seafood Bar.
Classes at the cookery school are all taken by the
professional and highly qualified chefs of the Mourne Seafood bar, Chef Wayne
Carville, Chef Shea Trainor, Chef Andy Rea or Chef Franco Cutrona. For our
class learning how to cook the perfect steak we had Chef Shea as our teacher.
Upon arriving at the cookery class evening you are welcomed with a glass of
wine as wait for your other fellow students to arrive, this gives the perfect
opportunity to make acquaintances with the other people there to learn the same
as yourself. Everyone is seated at two large communal tables which add to the
relaxed feeling of the class. The chefs make it very clear that they do not
want the evening to be stressful, it’s all about learning and fun and in our
opinion you learn a lot more from a class if you are enjoying it. The cookery
school has a specially designed portable workstation at the front of the
classroom; here the chef will demonstrate the ingredients and method which you
will use to create your very own gorgeous meal. The chefs are all very keen to
demonstrate how the cookery school is at the forefront of the latest cookery
technology. How can a cookery school use latest technology we hear you ask,
well the cookery school uses some fascinating induction hobs. If you haven’t
heard of these you’ll be wanting one in your kitchen after using them at the
cookery school. Induction hobs are quite complex but work through magnetism and
electrical resistance which causes the heat. It’s all quite technical but it
means faster cooking a lot more energy efficient. The hob only heats in the
area where the pot or pan makes contact so no wasted heat. The other magic
trick which this type of hob performs is that as soon as the pot or pan is
removed from the ring the process of electrical resistances ceases and the heat
stops immediately meaning the ring is fairly cool to touch. Chef Shea
demonstrated this in our class with a lot of ‘ooooh and ahhh’s’ from the
gathered students. This makes this type of cooker a lot less likely to burn you
accidentally. Each workstation is modern and well designed so everything you
need to create your masterpiece is at your fingertips.
Thai Steak Salad
In the steak evening class which we attended, like all
classes you make two courses. In this class we made a starter of Thai Steak
Salad and a main of Sirloin Steak with Spicy Potato Wedges and Diane Sauce.
First you will receive a demonstration at the front of the class and then pick
a workstation for the evening. During the demonstration the chef will allow you
to taste his finished dish which we found excellent in knowing how you wanted
to tweak your own creation, a little more chilli, a little less etc. Here you
will begin to create your wonderful meals under the guiding eye of the chef who
walks throughout the class during the lesson; at no point do you feel out of
your comfort zone. Once you make your starter you return to the dining tables
and enjoy your meal with your fellow students and as if by magic your wine
glass will be refilled, as every glass should be. Once everyone has finished
their starter, there is never any rushing; you will be demonstrated on how to
create the main meal. The process is exactly the same and you then sit down to
enjoy your meal you have prepared yourself. You leave the class feeling accomplished
in learning new skills and will undoubtedly want to show them off to your
We highly recommend Belfast Cookery School whether it is for
yourself or a group of friends; they even have a gift vouchers option, what a
perfect surprise for someone! You can visit the Belfast Cookery School website here.
Chef Shea Trainor


BakingBar was launched in 2010 to provide simple and straightforward baking guides and recipes. BakingBar are currently recipe developers for Neills Flour and MyProtein.