The Irish National Bakery School is finalising details of a new degree course for the next academic year, writes Ann Marie Foley. It is also advertising short bakery courses for chefs in Ireland’s top catering magazine. This follows the popularity of last year’s short courses among people from small catering and café businesses. “This year we decided to target hotels, on the basis that many are now using frozen bought-in product. I believe it is often the same and not of top quality,” said Derek O’Brien, head of the National Bakery School. He explained chefs tend not to tackle bread-making but that the three-day course can be tailored to their needs. “In America, they offer what they call signature bread, which is specific to a restaurant or hotel. Avoca in Bray makes its own bread and you cannot get it anywhere else. So that is what we are suggesting.” The school’s full-time two year Higher Certificate course will be extended by a year to become a degree course. However, students who want to leave after the two years will still receive the Higher Certificate. The degree course is aimed at technicians and technologists and those entering the bakery industry but also the wider food industry, such as delis and cafés that offer their own bread andbakery products. The school also offers four part-time courses that are continually full: Professional Baking – Bread; Cake; Fruit Bread; and Pastry. These and other short courses receive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) qualifications under the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) of which the Bakery School is part. While the school once catered for all bakery training in Ireland, enterprise-led support body Skillnets now offers workplace courses. The DIT and all its schools such as the bakery are to move to a new Dublin location during the next few years.
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