VALENTINES Day doesn’t have to break the bank according to local Chef Gillian Crawley. With her Valentines Cookery Demonstration filling up fast, Gillian who regularly runs cookery classes in the Cooley Kickhams Complex plans to make this one more than a little bit special and cheaper than eating out.
“The Valentines demonstration will concentrate on a lovely meal for Valentine’s Day because it’s always nice to be able to cook a meal for someone you love that is that wee bit more special than you would normally cook.
“It will also be a lot cheaper than going out for the night and you will be in the comfort of your own home. This meal is sure to impress and is suited to any special occasion for family or friends. We will be doing a three course meal that has been designed not to put the cook under any pressure”.
A qualified chef, Gillian is an experienced chef turned stay-at-home-mum but her love of cooking led her to launch her business thymetocook.ie, a mix of catering and cookery demonstrations, “I love cooking as it really relaxes me as you switch off from everything else around you and just concentrate on whatever it is you are making.
The end results are great as you get to impress family and enjoy a freshly home cooked meal with great satisfaction’. “I got the idea to do cookery demonstrations as friends where always asking me for recipes. My initial idea was to teach mothers how to cook for their new babies/toddlers’.
“I try to focus on dishes that suit families with busy lifestyles that want healthy, tasty food that can be quickly prepared with a little preparation in advance’.
“It’s always nice to get new ideas for dinner or lunch because you can get fed up cooking and eating the same thing. Each class I try to do a soup or starter, two main dishes and a desert usually with a budget in mind. Some weeks there might be a theme such as baking, curry night, Christmas, Easter, Friday night supper etc.”
According to Gillian experience is not necessary as her classes are open to people of all levels.
“You don’t have to have any cooking experience to attend my classes. All dishes are explained and are easy to follow. Everybody is welcome no matter what level of cooking skill they feel they have. Everybody can learn to cook, people think it is harder than it looks but I try to make it simple. Questions can be asked at any stage during demonstration and a copy of each recipe is given to everyone’.
“Even if you are already a good cook it’s a great fun night out and you can pick up tips from other people in class and at the end of demo you get to taste what is cooked have a cup of tea and a chat’.
Valentines is the theme for this week’s class and according to Gillian she always keep her themes current,
“It’s great to cook something while it is fresh in your mind and after Valentines, Easter will be fast approaching. In that class we will be doing some traditional Easter deserts like Easter Simnel cake but with a twist, Lemon cheese cake, Chocolate roulade, Victoria sponge and a fun kids treat’.
Gillian’s classes run in the Cooley Kickhams Clubrooms. Each class runs for approx. 2 hours. Participants receive hand out and at the end of the class there is a tasting get to taste food and have a cup of tea and chat. Each class costs w20 with discount for multiple classes. The next classes will be on Feb 7th - Romantic dinner for Valentines, March 14th- Baking for Easter, March 21st- Easter Sunday Dinner. Limited places available so early booking is essential. Contact Gillian on 087 2896894.