Imagine, if you will, the perfect pizza. Its base is made from a delicious yeasty dough with a thin bottom and a crunchy crust. Its topping is homemade tomato sauce, the freshest buffalo mozzarella and a few leaves of basil or perhaps wild mushrooms, chorizo and homemade goats cheese, shrimps from Ballycotton, local smoked salmon or maybe even fresh broccoli from the garden. OK. Let’s not get hung up on what the topping is. The real point is that this pizza is absolutely perfect and, if you sign up for our half-day Pizza Heaven demonstration, you’ll come away able to create an infinite variety of dream pizzas.
The chef running the course is Philip Dennhardt. The son of a master butcher he followed in his father’s footsteps (you may have attended one of Philip’s ‘Pig in a Day’ courses here at Ballymaloe) before he became more interested in cooking than cutting. He makes his own cheese, smokes his own food and for several years ran a cupcake business. Then he switched his attention to pizza. Off he went to Italy for a season to learn the art from pizza gurus in Rome. Afterwards, interested in how modern gourmet pizzas have evolved, he went to California and worked in one of America’s most famous temples to pizza, Pizzaiolo Oakland in California.
Now Philip is back in East Cork ready to reveal his pizza secrets. This three-hour course will take you through all the basics (choosing ingredients, making dough, getting the best results from your oven and so forth) before explaining how to produce both traditional and contemporary pizzas. We’re talking everything from Margherita, Pepperoni and Calzone to Shrimp (with watercress and dill-mayo) and Homemade Cottage Cheese (with mint, caramelized red onion and salsa verde).
As Philip will, in essence, be cooking pizzas for three hours on the trot there will be a lot of sampling so don’t eat too large a lunch beforehand!
Please note gallery is a selection of images but may not represent actual dishes featured on the course.