Award winning Tipperary chef Dermot Gannon (The Old Convent, Clogheen) and local chef, marketing specialist and food writer Janine Kennedy (The Siucra Shack) will be teaching a new course at Thomastown’s School of Food entitled 'Modern Skills For Modern Chefs'.

This module, starting on February 26 will turn out 16 restaurant-ready commis chefs by May.

Created in conjunction with Taste 4 Success Skillnet, the course will be fully funded for those who meet the necessary criteria. Curated by chef Edwina Gaisford-St. Lawrence of Howth Castle (and Howth Castle Cookery School), she maintains that the curriculum was developed with modern Irish cuisine in mind:

“In order to turn out restaurant-ready commis chefs’ you need to ensure they are trained not only to a high standard, but also with modern technique and style in mind. Modern Irish chefs have many basic requirements for their cooks and we aim to exceed these requirements through this course.”

As this course (a QQI Level 4 equivalent) will be completed in a short amount of time, it will be hands-on and intensive.

“80% of this course is cooking,” Chef Gannon notes, “the other 20% will be a small amount of theory, essential HACCP and health and safety training and the necessary assessments.”

While the module is open to people of all backgrounds, there is one requirement from the school: you must be able to commit to full-time attendance for the 11-weeks.

“The course will take place Monday to Friday from 9.30am til 4.30pm at the School of Food,” Gannon explains. “Once we know you meet the requirements from the Department of Social Protection (you must be a job-seeker to be eligible for this course) you also need to agree to the time commitment.”

From the seventh week, students will spend one day per week working in a professional kitchen under one of the school’s preferred chefs. This aspect of the course will give the students valuable industry experience and; hopefully, will inspire them as they pursue their culinary careers.

Those interested in learning more about this opportunity, visit Late applications are currently being accepted.