I finally got to spend some time in Cork last week after 6 months of being estranged! I had such a lovely time, mostly focused on friends, family and food! The hardest thing I find about going home is that there is never enough time to do all the things I want to and to spend time with all those dear to me! I can usually just about manage a dinner or lunch with different groups over the course of a week. The best thing about that is I can usually choose to eat somewhere I love whilst catching up with everyone!
This time, I did feel like I had more time to enjoy my time at home. I didnt put myself under too much pressure. I managed to squeeze in many of my favourite food spots. Liberty Grill on Washington street got its usualy visit for some scrummy eggs benedict, which always lives up to my expectations. I always love the staff there and the recommended some great breakfast places in London which are on the To-Do list! I picked up plenty of O’Connails chocolate to make myself some perfect hot chocolate at home and of course I couldnt leave without a visit to Mahon Point Farmers market. I purchased myself lots and lots of wonderful Green Saffron spices, including trying their Tikka Masala for the first time. It was amazing and may have surpassed Rogan Josh as my favourite! I also stocked up on their devine mango chutney which Ive been devouring with cheese and crackers since!
I think I may have visited every cafe/food store in Cork! I was surprised at how quiet the city centre was but the suburbs were buzzing with ladies who lunch in the fabby food stores and yummy mummies dropping in for scrummy dinners! I particularly loved the huge On the Pigs Back cafe and food store in Douglas and the cosy GoGos on the Well Road. Jam at the Kinsale Road roundabout was also buzzing and we could barely get a seat at 3pm on a Wednesday! I also paid several visits to Cinnamon Cottage in Rochestown and was actually surprised about how quiet it was. They have stopped making ready to go dinners and I have heard people saying they are disappointed by that. I think its a shame as it was alway top of my list for great food, desserts and dinners.
Best of all, I was lucky enough to visit the wonderful Ballymaloe Cookery School. A friend of mine is currently doing the Twelve week course and invited me to come visit and watch a cookery demo. It was incredible, the most inspiring afternoon of my life! I have always wanted to do the course, it truly has been a lifelong dream. But after spending time with those doing the course and witnessing how dedicated the school is to contributing to the development of the Irish food industry, educating people about ingredients, techniques and just the incredible passion involved, I am convinced that it is excatly what I want to do.
Unfortunately for me it is still a dream, but I will spend every minute of my life working towards achieving it and in the long term, establishing my own food business. For anyone who is interested in food and developing a food business, I genuinly think you can not find a more incredible school than Ballymaloe.
I was so inspired by my day at Ballymaloe that I went home and tried out some recipes straight away. My favourite (and my mums!) was Lemon Souffle! So light and fluffy and still so tangy! Yum!
So that was that, im back in London now. I think my main focus is to enjoy how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful and diverse city. I am going to eat as many different types of cuisines as possible, visit food stores and markets and just learn as much as I can about food while Im here. How many of us get the chance to live in a city like this! I always miss home but it will always be there! Who knows how Long I can eat Japanese food for lunch and Brazillian food for dinner!