Ireland - Day 2: English Market and Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork

Pat narrows his eyes and shows a big smile. Like a schoolboy, he grins over both ears. He is used to cameras here. And not only those of the many tourists who march on the English Market and admire the display of his fish stall. He reminds me of actor Steve Martin. How he stands, in his starched white chef's jacket, his shiny apron and the funny hat. He wears thick rubber gloves and bulky rubber boots and yet it resembles a uniform he wears with pride. He leads the family business "K O'Connell Fishmongers" here, amid the venerable halls of Cork's English Market. A few years ago, the Queen was a guest on her trip to Ireland and of course there is also a picture of this unique visit with Pat.

He proudly presents Shane with the current catch, keeps fish in the air, shows the clear eyes and wet gills of freshly caught goods. Salmon and mackerel are still the most popular fish in the Irish. Nevertheless, he also offers exceptional specimens such as rays. However, there are hardly any small fish in its range. The Doraden of him are currently from a breed from France. The reason for this is that you want to give the fish here in Ireland time to grow. Smaller specimens are thrown back into the water.

Pat could continue to talk for hours, instead we have to say goodbye to him after the presentation of his magnificent Irish lobster. We want to see, take pictures and film more in the impressive market hall this morning. We visit butchers who process half pigs or cattle locally and sell From Nose To Tail . There are again family businesses, several generations work hand in hand here. We visit vegetable stalls, find local strawberries, new Irish potatoes but also all sorts of exotic things.

In addition to meat, fish and vegetables, you can always find sausage specialties here. And a Black Pepper Sage in the early morning can not hurt. Especially as it is served in a deliciously fluffy bread roll with homemade sauces, fresh peppers and stewed onions. If that's too much for you, you can order from 10 different sausage specialties "Sausage on a stick" and get a freshly roasted sausage for 2 €. Nothing that does not exist here - we even find our own stand specializing in bacon.Enjoy a leisurely lunchtime market lunch or simply enjoy its seafood or Irish beef.

Toby Allen welcomes us with a firm handshake and a friendly smile , He is managing director of the Ballymaloe Cookery School, founded in 1983 by his mother Darina Allen. She is the most famous Irish cook, author of numerous cookbooks and presenter of cooking programs. Her daughter Rachel has also followed in her footsteps and has made her own name as a cookbook author and TV cook. Toby originally studied computer science, but then quickly returned to the family business. This is now an empire.

The cooking school is not just a cooking school. In 12 weeks you will be trained from the ground up and should then be able to easily walk in the restaurant. Not for nothing, the Ballymaloe Cookery School was voted one of the top 10 cooking schools in the world! At the same time, it is an almost self-sufficient farm specialized in organic farming. In addition to the keeping of cows, pigs and chickens, the Allen family grows fruit and vegetables in various fields, in magnificent gardens and in its own glass greenhouse. The artichoke field alone includes a variety of four different varieties. All in all, however, one relies on class instead of mass and only builds up small quantities for their own use and sales in the in-house farm shop. Here you will also find eggs, cheese, dairy products, freshly baked bread, kitchenware and, of course, the numerous publications of the famous owners.

Rory O'Connell is also a family member. Together with his sister Darina he founded the Ballymaloe Cookery School. After some stops abroad, including in London and San Francisco, and the leadership of the "Ballymaloe House" hotel, he and his sister trained the budding cooks. Today, however, he takes his time for us and together with Shane he prepares classic Irish scones and lemon curd. With a lot of humor he leads through the down-to-earth recipes and together we enjoy the pastries in the afternoon.A private photovoltaic system breaks through the idyll, but of course it also serves self-sufficiency. The real highlight, however, is certainly the view from the conservatory to the Atlantic. And as the Irishman says: Four seasons in just one hour - we experience our visit to the Ballymaloe Cookery School. From bright sunshine in the baby blue sky over a hailstorm and whipping heavy rain to rising wind and light drizzle. Five minutes later, the sky is clear again and we can continue filming outside.

As wild as the uncontrollable weather here on the rugged Atlantic coast, are the charming kitchen gardens of Ballymaloe. Fragrant wild garlic grows and blooms here, tender apple blossoms entwine with filigree trees, herbs sprout over the ground and fresh carrot leaves stretch out of the moist soil. We try rocket with flowers directly from the plant and are thrilled: not bitter, but with spicy mustard notes. Just as rocket just tastes when it is freshly harvested and has no long transport routes behind it. A tradition is the daily fresh salad at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. Every morning at 6:30, the cooking students are on hand to pick crisp lettuce, spicy herbs and fresh vegetables, which then land on the large dining tables punctually for lunch.

With The many impressions of the day we sit later with our driver Jimmy in the car. We take a look at the first pictures of the day, we exchange and enjoy the sight of the setting sun over Kinsale, the next stop on our journey. Jimmy always drives without Navi and although he comes from Dublin, he seems to know every place, even every intersection, and can tell us something about anything.

Both the English Market, with its variety of products and stores, and the Ballymaloe Cookery School with their overall concept have impressed us sustainably. In both cases, it is about the simple, honest and authentic Irish cuisine and the variety of ingredients and products. Which we will get to know in the coming days ...

All the articles of my Ireland tour:
IRELAND - DAY 1: FLIGHT TO DUBLIN AND RIDE TO CORK
IRELAND - DAY 2: ENGLISH MARKET AND BALLYMALOE COOKERY SCHOOL IN CORK
IRELAND - DAY 3: IN THE BULMAN PUB IN KINSALE AND ON THE CATTLE IN OLD HEAD
IRELAND - DAY 4: FROM THE MILKFARM TO THE IRISH CHEDDAR IN THE COUNTY CORK OF IRELAND - DAY 5: FROM LIMERICK AND ADARE TO THE CLIFFS OF MOHER

Disclosure: For the tour of Ireland, I was invited by Kerrygold, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland. The experiences and experiences are my own impressions.