School of Food opens its doors in Thomastown

River Cottage TV star and author Steven Lamb to officiate at launch ceremony

Steven Lamb, part of the River Cottage restaurant, cookery school and TV series enterprise headed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, is to officially open the School of Food in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny tomorrow, Thursday, January 15th. Lamb is the author of Curing & Smoking: River Cottage Handbook No 13.

The development is part of the Town of Food initiative, supported by LEADER and locally raised sponsorship, fundraising and donations, and is on the new food campus based at the former boys’ national school in the town. The project aims to promote Kilkenny as a food destination, support the production of local food and educate food service staff to address a local and national shortage.

The School of Food will offer chef apprenticeship training, as well as a variety of cookery classes aimed at amateurs, including secondary school students. The campus will also include a community garden and a food business incubation centre. Open days on Saturday and Sunday, January 17th and 18th (noon to 4pm) will introduce the school to prospective students and supporters.

“I love what is planned and what has been achieved to date. The bespoke chef training programme, with work placement, is very impressive and has a lot of similarities to the one run at River Cottage HQ,” Lamb said.

The schedule of classes has now been published and attendance fees start at €10 for two-and-a-half hour demonstrations on topics such as Healthy Eating on a Budget, and Cooking for Young Mums. A Morning in Tuscany, on February 21st, will include lunch as well as four hours of instruction and the cost will be €60. Gift tokens are available. See for further information and class schedules.