Exclusively for Premium Plus and digital website members, Hospitality Ireland presents a piece originally featured in the October 2017 issue of our print publication in which we talk to Lynda Booth, owner and director of Dublin Cookery School.
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Tell us about your business, in a nutshell.
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Dublin Cookery School offers everything from single evening courses to a professional three-month certificate course, specialist weekend courses, and corporate events.
How did you start off?
I started off in my home kitchen. I crammed in 30 chairs, handed around a pile of brochures and let word of mouth do the rest. A lot of young chefs who have gone on to do great things made occasional appearances, including a 20 year old Neven Maguire.
What was your best career/business decision?
The bank was keen that I develop slowly. I told them that I only wanted to make one move. They were freaked at the idea of a business needing to expand tenfold, but, in the end, they backed my move to the magnificent premises where I have now been for ten years.
What three attributes do you wish you had?
A rich husband, a perfect golf swing, and a kitchen porter in my home kitchen.
What is your favourite pub, restaurant and/or hotel?
I had a great meal in Forest Avenue two nights ago, so I am happy to opt for there, without wishing to offend all my other chef friends.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
What was your worst job?
Peeling vegetables in the Four Seasons Vancouver.
What was so bad about it?
They said if I stuck at it for a few years, there would be a great career path. I proposed an alternative path, and we parted company!
If you could do any other job, what would it be and why?
I would like to be a food writer. My second cookbook, Fearless Food, hits the shops in October, and I loved the whole process of design, photography, writing, and creating recipes.
Do you have any pet hates?
"Great food served all day" in neon lights – this sign always seems to translate into a culinary disaster.
What is your business motto?
Give a customer a great experience, and they will tell a friend. Give them a bad experience, and they will tell ten friends.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Get a financial adviser.
Name one thing that you always have in your refrigerator.
I call it my top shelf. I always have jars of sauces and marinades so that I can whip up a meal using whatever I come home with.
What would your death-row meal be?
Lobster ravioli with a shellfish bisque. I reckon I would need to hold out for another day or two while they source the ingredients and find someone who can pull it together.
What is the most enjoyable part of your career?
Stepping back from a class and watching the buzz as people create great food they had no idea they were able to produce.
Complete this sentence: "Nothing is more important than..."
Marketing my new book. Every week, something new rises to the top of my most-important list, and this week it is getting people to keep an eye out for Fearless Food.
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