Ballinacurra House, Kinsale Launch new Kinsale Gourmet Academy

Friday, October 17th, 2014

The Kinsale Gourmet Academy at Ballinacurra House was officially launched by Mayor of Cork Alan Coleman and Chapter One Celebrity Chef Ross Lewis, as well a number of other names from Ireland’s Food Industry this week. The Academy will also feature a new Cuban Cocktail Lounge.

The Kinsale Gourmet Academy will be a unique cookery school that will offer individuals, groups or corporates the opportunity to come and learn how to cook like a pro in a positive, creative and stress free environment.   It will showcase the skills of Head Chef David Rice in the private and exclusive environment of Ballinacurra House, against the backdrop of Kinsale with its rich history and culinary heritage.

The specially staged  launch included presentations from the Mayor Alan Coleman a fun cookery demonstration with lots of banter from Ross and David, an outdoor food fair, cocktails by Havana Club in the Cuban Cocktail Lounge and entertainment with the fabulous sounds of soul legend Jo Petit.

Ross Lewis made particular note in his speech of the importance of food tourism and gourmet travel and the combination of Ballinacurra House and all that Kinsale has to offer is a “winning combination”.   Ross also made note of the fantastic produce that Ireland has to offer and this will be part of the focus of the Kinsale Gourmet Academy with a number of twists.

“There is a definite “food movement happening in Ireland. The new Kinsale Gourmet Academy will be putting a major focus on artisan suppliers and fun, intimate and interactive classes with an a la carte menu of  add ons such as private cocktail making classes, movie nights and a whole lot more,” said Ross Lewis of Michelin star restaurant Chapter One.

“There will also be residential classes and patrons can also avail of all the activities and attractions that culinary capital of Kinsale has to offer – it’s a winning combination and very different from what a lot of other schools can do,”

Balllinacurra House has been operating as an exclusive use private estate for private premium weddings and corporate events to great acclaim for 10+ years.  And Ballinacurra House & Kinsale have become synonymous with fabulous food for many years.

“The new Gourmet Academy will further strengthen Kinsale’s reputation as the ‘culinary’ capital’.  It was one the key factors missing in Kinsale’s bid as ‘Foodie Capital of Ireland’ and we feel it’s the final piece of the jigsaw which will further add to the prestige of the town,” said Ballinacurra House owner Des McGahan.

“Food tourism is a growing sector within Failte Ireland’s remit and this puts Kinsale firmly on the map to be able to offer gourmet tour groups a further reason to visit and stay in Kinsale, whilst incorporating a food demonstration or hands-on session as well as all the other elements on offer. It’s going to be different in many ways with David’s expertise and the added ingredients of our private property and the reputation of the town and the ambiance that both offer. ”

The 40 acre Ballinacurra House offers all the luxuries you would expect in any 5 star setting, with prime location, unique themed rooms, great service, world class activities locally including Old Head Golf Course. It has attracted a blue chip clientele that is looking for that special unique ambiance and quality that you cannot get by other standard offerings. The new Kinsale Gourmet Academy will compliment that.

Before joining Ballinacurra House, David spent 2 years working as head tutor at Dublin’s premier cookery school, Cooks Academy.  This enabled him to extend his skills beyond just cooking, and develop further his people and teambuilding skills.

Prior to this, David worked as a senior chef at Dublin’s Michelin star restaurant Chapter One.  Before that he was head chef at the Mustard Seed in Adare, Co. Limerick for three years.  Whilst at the Mustard Seed he won Best Chef in Limerick at the Restaurant Association of Ireland awards 2010.  In addition, the Mustard Seed won Country House of the year in 2008 and Best Use of Local Ingredients in 2009 at the Georgina Campbell awards.

The modern, industrial chic cookery school will become a hub of fine food in West Cork and it will create a place where foodies can come to cook, relax and learn in Gourmet capital of Ireland.

The Academy is fitted out with the top of the range equipment and support from Neff, Pallas Foods, Havana Club and Bosch.

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