Ballinacurra House to Launch Kinsale Gourmet Academy
Posted by Kinsale Newsletter on Monday 13 October 2014

Ballinacurra House will launch the Kinsale Gourmet Academy tomorrow, Tuesday October  14th. Kinsale Gourmet Academy will be a unique cookery school that will offer people 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 award winning 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.
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 ambience 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 ambience 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 restaurant 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. 
He was also fortunate enough to spend a year in the famous kitchens of Roly’s Bistro in Ballsbridge and to have completed work experience in London at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridges, River Café and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in Cornwall.
David has done cookery demonstrations and pop-up restaurants with some of Ireland’s top chefs, such as Ross Lewis, Oliver Dunne, Stephen Gibson, Paul Flynn and Kevin Dundon.
“Kinsale has long been associated with being the gourmet capital of Ireland. It is where I began my training as a chef. It was the starting point to a career which has brought me so much joy and it has given me the opportunity to work with some amazing people”, said David.
“I have learnt so much about food over the last 15 years and am now privileged to be in a position to launch Kinsale Gourmet Academy at Ballinacurra House. Our aim is to create a very relaxed atmosphere where people can come and learn how to cook modern food for a modern lifestyle. Our ethos is to keep everything simple and elegant and focus on using locally sourced ingredients and train people on how best to let them shine on a plate.
“Teaching has always been a passion of mine and the greatest gift that you can give to someone is knowledge.  For me the true joy in teaching is seeing people becoming more confident. Cooking should be accessible to everyone and I hope to demystify complicated cooking techniques in a fun and relaxed environment.”
The classes will always be small and intimate with dedication and attention to the students so they can fine tune their skills.
The modern, industrial chic cookery school will become a hub of fine food in the west of Ireland 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 best equipment on offer and with sponsorship from German company Neff. Neff has built a global reputation for producing appliances that not only look good but cook brilliantly, with continuous innovation over the years to make the kitchen experience even more pleasurable. 
Chapter One Celebrity Chef Ross Lewis and Mayor of Cork Alan Coleman will be in attendance at the official launch tomorrow, as well a number of other names from Ireland’s Food Industry.
We wish the team at Ballinacurra House the very best of luck with this fantastic new venture.


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