Well, I’ve done it. I’ve survived Ballymaloe! I’ve just had my first full day of being home, and honestly, I feel like I’ve been hit by a train I’m so shattered. It was heaven to have over 4 hours sleep for the first time in a very long time last night.
The last few weeks really have passed by in a blur, with exams, revision, baking, work and what with huge periods of internet outage, I certainly have a lot to catch up on.
Above is a quick photo of my final dishes which lovely Tracie took whilst I was flapping around preparing for tasting. My final menu included:
- Potted shrimps with lemon, garlic and marjoram, served with my own sourdough, grilled
- Roast leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary, salsa verde, aioli, purple sprouting broccoli, roast potatoes and green salad
- Normandy pear tart with softly whipped cream
I went over time-wise, and finished in 3 hours 50, which I will be penalised for, but I am actually really happy with. There was a hell of a lot of work in there – cooking and peeling the prawns, making pastry and frangipane, poaching pears etc, and of course, we have to be cleared up and have a spick and span section before we’re tasted (with hot food on hot plates), so I was very happy with that. Darina, Rachel and Isaac marked me – no pressure!
Aside from the practical exam, I have so much to tell you about Ballymaloe, and so much to digest. It has been a truly profound experience on my behalf, and I think it will take some time for it all to sink in.
I’ll be back soon, with more.
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me over the last few months. I couldn’t have done it without you.