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Hi there and welcome. My name is Valerie and I have a life of experience working in food that started at my Mother's table. From cooking in kitchens from Malaysia to Germany,  photographing and styling food for film and TV and magazines, food is my lifelong passion. Writing about food and food producers all over Ireland as well as teaching cooking, food growing and fermenting to people who are hungry for more, food is what I live for. 

"After a full belly, all is poetry "
Frank McCourt

I am passionate about where our food comes from and firmly believe in the link to our health through our food. 

It’s not just about what we eat, but the fact that we are hands on in the preparation of our own food. Never before have people been so disconnected from their food, yet so passionate about it at the same time. I seek to help to close that gap and encourage people back into the kitchen for the sheer joy of finding out how easy it can be to grow, prepare and eat healthy and delicious food.

LATEST BLOGS

Read my latest blogs

Books

I have three cookbooks published by O’Brien Press and have written for many of Ireland’s top newspapers and food magazines as well as regular TV appearances.

Val's Kitchen

Real Food Real Easy


With budgets and nutrition always in my mind, here are some recipes that apply to the world we live in now, with gluten and sugar free options, there is plenty here for the family kitchen in the modern world. With classic dishes that we love to order in restaurants that are cheap and easy to make at home


Bread on the table

Baking Traditions for Today


Bread on the Table shows cooks at home how easy it is to whip up a batch of griddle cakes faster than driving to the shops, parking and paying for a plastic loaf. This is a book for everyone: parents who want to put better bread in their kids' lunch-boxes, those who want to bake things for themselves, and people hoping to save money and have some fun in the kitchen.

Irish break

Baking for Today


Irish Bread Baking for Today shows visitors to Ireland how easy it is to whip up a batch of griddle cakes, bake a gorgous Irish soda loaf, even make your own butter. Recipes include: boxty and other potato breads, guinness bread, spotted dog, griddle scones, spelt bread, and many, many more.



Featured In

"A party without cake is just a meeting"
Julia Child

WORKSHOPS

In my new online venture I seek to connect with people in their own home through a series of live workshops, video tutorials and masterclasses. If you have never cooked, baked or helped a seed to grow and would love to get started, then this is the place for you.

Sourdough Baking Interactive

Workshop

Saturday 23rd May 2020
11:00-17:00
€40.00

Join us for this day-long interactive sourdough bake.

You will be shown, step by step how to achieve a straight-forward loaf that you can bake again and again.

This interactive day will involve check-ins at different times starting at 11am and finishing at 5pm.

We will be checking in 5 or 6 times but just for short intervals. The rest of your day is to do other things while your dough takes care of itself.

For this class you will need:

An active sourdough starter

1kg strong white bread flour - preferably organic

Sea salt

Spring water

A large bowl for mixing

A spatula or dough scraper

A 2 litre capacity pyrex dish with lid or a cast iron pot with lid, Le Creuset or similar

Sourdough Baking Interactive

Workshop

Saturday 6th June 2020
11:00-17:00
€40.00

Join us for this day-long interactive sourdough bake.

You will be shown, step by step how to achieve a straight-forward loaf that you can bake again and again.

This interactive day will involve check-ins at different times starting at 11am and finishing at 5pm.

We will be checking in 5 or 6 times but just for short intervals. The rest of your day is to do other things while your dough takes care of itself.

For this class you will need:

An active sourdough starter

1kg strong white bread flour - preferably organic

Sea salt

Spring water

A large bowl for mixing

A spatula or dough scraper

A 2 litre capacity pyrex dish with lid or a cast iron pot with lid, Le Creuset or similar

What Others Say

"


I never made soda bread in my life (57 years!) thinking it was too difficult for me. I hate reading recipes and really struggle to comprehend the steps needed by just using the written word. So imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled across Val on video in her cistin showing me how simple it was. I dived in! Resounding success! Thank you Val - my next 57 years will be the richer for your no-nonsense approach.


Colm O'Brien

Carambola Kids

"

I would recommend Valerie's workshops to anyone looking to hone their skills in producing tasty probiotic vegetable fermenters like sauerkraut or Kimchi.  

A graduate of An tIonad Glas Organic College Valerie has been returning to us over the last decade us to share her expanding knowledge in food preservation.  Her workshops are always fun, engaging and informative and you too can come away with new skills and produce!

Get with the beneficial microbes and Valerie! 


Catherine Caulwell

Lecturer, An t'Ionad Glas, Drumcollagher Co.Limerick

Get in touch

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