The Beginning of Mastering, “Master It”

First cooking demonstration June 2015
Attending Ballymaloe Cookery School’s 12 Week Certificate Course in the  Fall of 2013, located in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland is the true beginning of my culinary journey, which has led me to a desire of Mastering,  Master it.  Having had the privilege of  spending three months there was truly the most challenging and life-changing experience encountered in my life.  All Good!!

Note: To read more about by time at Ballymaloe visit:

Many people where my cheerleaders prior to me attending and afterwards.  So to no surprise many wanted me to share with them what I had learned and experienced when I returned home.  Which I did!  However, it wasn’t until I returned home from a five-week internship at Ballymaloe in the spring of 2015, did some of these lovely ladies convince me to do cooking classes.  I also received some words of wisdom and encouragement by way of an email from Darina Allen who wrote “Get teaching, your brilliant at it, start small and on you go…”     

Before my  first cooking class began everyone agreed we would work our way through a cookbook called Master it, which I had suggested.  Books were ordered from the Ballymaloe Shop in Ireland and even personally autographed by Rory O’Connell to each of the ladies in the class, which I refer to as my pilot group.  To keep the focus on my culinary experience while at Ballymaloe we also followed other recipes written by  Mrs. Myrtle Allen and Darian Allen and a lifetime of recipes that the school had collected from visiting chefs and students.

Why choose Master it?

The author was one of my instructors while at Ballymaloe and as I read through the book I could hear his voice and cleverness in my head still teaching me the way to go at a recipe.  Also, Master it, is the first cookbook published by  Rory O’Connell, Co-Founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Chef, TV personality just to mention a few of his many accolade and he DID NOT disappointed with this long-awaited cookbook!  RTE television had also just released Rory’s first series of cooking shows called: How to Cook Well,  which I watched numerous times as they replayed on YouTube.  They were brilliant, well still are!!  Master It really just “ticked” all the boxes as they might say in Ireland.  From the moment I read the Introduction to the book it was evident for me that it was perfect for these classes!  Master it had a stated focus on cooking techniques for the modern cook, so while demonstrating these recipes, skills would be learned but also recipes enjoyed that take advantage of the changing seasonal resources. (He also really knows how to excite the taste buds, more on that coming..)  Rory also shares in the introduction “that his basic approach to cooking is simple and not new.  Use the best ingredients you can find, get organized and follow the recipe.”  I have tried to follow that approach to the best of my ability with success. However, one can always get better and his recipes are so worth Mastering !

Enjoying the end of class by sitting out on the patio.
So I would like to declare and share this goal with you, that over the next twelve months I will succeed in  Mastering, “Master it” and of course have fun accomplishing that goal!

Join me as I describe my journey Mastering, “Master it”…




2 Comments Add yours

  1. I just returned from a weeklong cooking class in Paris with Patricia Wells and next on my list is Ballymaloe Cookery School! Good luck teaching… in my life prior to kids I was a first grade teacher. I’ve often dreamed of teaching cooking classes. Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jean, I started with just a couple of BCS’s 2 1/2 day classes and returned two years later for the 12 week course. Never been to Paris but can say for sure that Ballymaloe is a great place to learn to cook! Get a copy of Rory’s book and join me on this journey! All best, Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

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