Catherine's debut on BBC in NEW series "Best Christmas Food Ever"

Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House & Cookery School debuted as presenter in a brand new Christmas food show on BBC1

Best Christmas Food Ever broadcast on BBC One afternoons every weekday from Monday December 3 to Friday 14th December with Catherine Fulvio joins Paul Ainsworth, Michelin star chef, presenting an entertaining and energetic new series.  Together they showcased 60 plus recipes over 10 episodes bringing culinary expertise and warmth the duo brought a fun tone to the show.  In each episode,  Catherine and Paul prepared seasonal dishes and their accompaniments worthy of the Christmas table. 

The first dish a show-stopping tasty recipe for last minute festive entertaining, the second dish inspired by an ingredient which epitomises the 12 tastes of Christmas for the hosts and the final dish a recipe close to the heart of the celebrity guest who appears on each episode.   If you missed the series or are looking for any recipes from the show please check Catherine's Recipe page for daily updates.

Memorable sweet recipes include Martine McCutcheon’s Stout Sticky Toffee Pudding which Catherine created to show her how easy it is to make from scratch, a seasonal Mincemeat Cheesecake and Chocolate Roman Numeral Tart for New Year’s Eve. 

Happy Christmas and enjoy the "best Christmas food ever" this Christmas.


NEW series of Tastes Like Home with Catherine Fulvio

Popular Cooking and Travel Show Tastes Like Home Returns for a Third Series

Six incredible cities, twelve emotive families and food cooked with a passion is the recipe for this year’s third season of Tastes Like Home with Catherine Fulvio.

The popular TV series, sponsored for the third successive season by Londis, returns to RTE ONE on Monday 5th November for six consecutive weeks, promising a serving of delicious recipes steeped in tradition and a flavour of incredible culture and sights from locations right across the world.


Hosted by well-loved Chef Catherine Fulvio, the Tastes Like Home team travelled down under to New Zealand and Australia, as well as closer to home by going across Europe to Sweden, Cyprus and Gran Canaria, to capture six (6 episodes) individual stories, from contestants who refuse to let the physical distance from home curb their appetite for a home-cooked meal, a taste of home.

As well as re-creating familiar, hearty recipes for loved ones living abroad, the show introduces a series of national dishes and traditional favourites from right across the globe, from the flat white coffee claimed by the Kiwis, to the sweet potato Kumaras found in Maori cooking.

 “Highlights from this year’s show include the taste of reindeer, bear and moose in Stockholm, learning about “wrinkly potatoes” in Gran Canaria as well as eating in one of the highest regarded restaurants in the whole world in Melbourne,” commented presenter Catherine Fulvio.

 Apart from the buffet of culinary delights, viewers will also receive a flavour of the culture of many of the contestants’ foreign homes and the traditions of their friends and families.

The first episode introduces contestant Liz from Cabinteely, whose son James lives in Wellington, and dreams of the flavours of Fish Molee curry, which Liz lovingly prepares from ingredients sourced at her local Londis store in Cornelscourt. 

The second episode begins overseas in Stockholm, where we meet Anders who teaches us how to cook a Swedish Smörgåsbord with meatballs, lingonberry jelly and pickled cucumbers for his daughter Marie who now lives in the Gap of Dunloe in Kerry. Anders shows Catherine the old town and encourages her to eat some very unique foods before checking in to a hotel that used to be an airplane.

Episode three features mother and daughter Kate and Sarah, Catherine gets a tour of "the Rocks" goes backstage in the Sydney Opera House, meets an Irish Sydney Swan and gets to eat at 12-Micron.

Episode four is centered around sisters Niki and Jill who live in Bray and Gran Canaria respectively and their love of a family favourite dish pork stuffed with prunes. In Gran Canaria, Catherine visits Europe’s only coffee plantation, and samples “wrinkly potatoes”, before visiting a rum distillery.

Father and daughter Lorcan and Colleen are the stars of the second last episode, when viewers are treated to the Cypriot national dish, Kleftiko, and Catherine learns the secrets to making halloumi cheese.

The final episode sees Catherine visit Felicity in Cavan before traveling to Melbourne, to see Eoin & Jultz and they all visit the real Ramsey Street and hang out with the cast on the set of Neighbours television show, before lunching on a colonial tramcar and eating some of the best dumplings ever.

Tastes Like Home is proudly sponsored by Londis, for the third year running. Commenting, Conor Hayes, Londis Sales Director, said, “The Irish are no strangers to the emotional relationship between food and family, and it’s this local connection that inspires our commitment to the sponsorship of the show year on year. Much like Londis, Catherine values quality, local produce and bringing fresh contemporary ideas to the table, so it’s a perfect match for us to partner with.”

Tastes Like Home Series III Running Order

19.30pm RTE 1 Ep1 Nov 05th  Cabinteely / New Zealand

19.30pm RTE 1 Ep2 Nov 12th  Stockholm / Kerry

19.30pm RTE 1 Ep3 Nov 19th  Lusk / Sydney

19.30pm RTE 1 Ep4 Nov 26th  Wicklow / Gran Canaria

19.30pm RTE 1 Ep5 Dec 03rd  Mayo / Cyprus 

19.30pm RTE 1 Ep6 Dec 10th  Cavan / Melbourne 


Back 2 School Lunch Box Hacks for a smooth start to the school year

It’s that time of the year again and although I thoroughly enjoy the freedom that the summer brings, especially as the children get older and become more independent, I have to admit I look forward to the routine that back to school brings.

Remember (or perhaps it’s your first time round) it does take a week or two to get into the swing of it; making lunches, having dinner on the table every evening, school runs, play dates and of course homework.  All in all it’s a busy time.

It is worth the effort of getting that routine in place as soon as possible and believe it or not children thrive on routine and what's more it is good for them apparently!  They say an organised home and predictable environment helps children feel safe and secure and allows them to learn more. 

With this in mind I would like to share some of my tips to help in achieving a smooth transition from summertime to the back-to-school routine by sharing some fail-safe recipes and ideas to take the chore out of healthy lunch boxes for you and your kids.  Having a great tasty lunch box will make your child's entire lunch experience so much better so ask them what they want and what they don't want (it will save money, waste and time). 

  • Plan in advance, and where possible get organised the night before – for example make up ham or cheese sandwiches and freeze them. By the time your child is ready to eat them at lunch the next day they are perfectly defrosted and totally FRESH!
  • Variety is the spice of life – so vary your child's lunch box menu from day to day.  Think pitta one day, crackers another, wholemeal bread, bagel or a wrap and that’s the week covered.
  • For snacks and sides think fruit – fresh or dried, veg - cucumber and carrot sticks are always a winner and of course rice cakes or yoghurt.
  • Be mindful of nut allergies - a lot of schools have a no nut policy these days.
  • Get your children involved in preparing their own snacks and drinks in the morning it is good training and will help relieve some of the pressure from you.

Be sure to check in on the website next week for my midweek back 2 school meal recipe!

Try these delicious courgette and corn muffins, one of my archived recipes from the RTE Guide that I often use, always goes down a treat!  The Cucumber Sailboats are a great after school snack for younger kids.   

back to school

Fresh Garden Produce

Having grown up on a farm, I can really appreciate the source of our daily ingredients and actively think about the way our food is produced.

You really get a sense of being back to nature when growing your own garden produce and it’s so lovely to be able to make family meals knowing that you have grown and picked your ingredients yourself.

Summer is such a great time of year for producing, light, juicy fruit and vegetables such as yellow and green beans, beetroots, peppers, butternut squash, melons, tomatoes and many more!

Here at Ballyknocken Cookery School we have a large vegetable garden and an exotic herb garden which supplies seasonal home grown ingredients to the guesthouse and cookery school.

We also have a new polytunnel, which is doing wonders especially with this exceptionally warm weather we’ve been having , Mark our head gardener has been kept very busy in there and only has good things to report back!BLOG CAT


 lamb cat

Having grown up on a sheep farm here in Wicklow, I can vouch for the benefits of the weather, which produces the ultimate grazing conditions for sheep.  Our lambs head to the hills in the summer where they enjoy all the hardy wild herbs and hedgerows before returning to the lowlands for early autumn to enjoy the rich grass and this is the case for much of the lamb farmed in Europe.  In fact it is one of the most naturally reared animals available and the results are appreciated by all in cuisines across the Continent. The tenderness, sweetness and subtle flavours are second to none and translate so well to so many preparations and styles.

What I love about lamb is that cooked simply, it’s always so tasty but it also takes additional flavours so well.  Here I wanted to share a delicious and easy meal in minutes of Lamb Cutlets served with Tzatziki. It’s prepared with some Mediterranean flavours of oregano, thyme and lemon and served with mint and rosemary.  All of these herbs grow very successfully in our herb garden here at the cookery school but I suggest that you use the herbs that you have – for example rosemary and fennel work well here too.  Try these cutlets midweek on the grill or BBQ.  Serve them accompanied with steamed or boiled new season potatoes – served hot or cold or an Italian Panzanella Salad for something different.


Buon appetito


   #LambTryItLoveIt #europeanlamb #bordbia


Lamb Cutlets with Tzatziki

Serves 4

Oregano grows very successfully in our herb garden here at the cookery school, as does thyme, so there is no reason why they won't grow in yours. These flavourful European cutlets grill fabulously on the BBQ and go beautifully with an Italian Panzanella Salad for something different this summer.

3–4 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped

2–3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Irish rapeseed oil

100g feta, crumbled

12 small to medium lamb cutlets or 8 large cutlets, French trimmed

2 medium courgettes, sliced lengthways into ribbons

Fresh rosemary sprigs, to garnish

Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish

For the tzatziki:

3 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

½ cucumber, diced

4 tbsp natural yogurt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix together the oregano and thyme with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil. Mix 2 teaspoons of this herby oil with the feta cheese and spread the rest over the lamb cutlets.

Heat a chargrill pan. Brush the courgette ribbons with rapeseed oil on both sides. Once the pan is hot, place the courgettes in the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Set aside and keep warm.

Place the cutlets in the hot chargrill pan and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like them.

Combine all the ingredients for the tzatziki in a small bowl.

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Bord Bia to help promote #lambtryitloveit, a campaign highlighting the benefits of cooking with European lamb. For more recipe inspiration, follow @trylamb on Facebook and Instagram.

bord bia 4

Lords and Ladles on Netflix


Netflix and grill? Fry? Saute, bake, boil, poach, roast or toast? How about all of the above! Lords and Ladles Season 1 is available on popular streaming service Netflix in the USA.

Join Derry Clarke, Paul Flynn and I as we recreate succulent foods in stunning locations. We visit some of Irelands iconic country manors, like the jaw dropping Castle Leslie in Co.Monaghan. The show will excite with a host of exquisite banquets from times gone by and the simply sensational scenery on offer from the opulent country manors in which they are re-created!

If you want to catch up with the adventure so far Season 1, 2 and 3 are available on the RTE player! The final Episode of Season 3 aired on RTE One last night. 

We’ve had such fun making this programme and hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

                                                                                                                BLOG PIC 1

Upcoming Demos

Limerick Stop Food Waste Demo9 11 17 LCCC Catherine Fulvio LIT 17

This summer you will catch Catherine demonstrating at:

Teagasc Sheep 2018: Farm to Fork event in Athenry on Saturday 7th July.

Catherine will be demonstrating twice during the day at 12noon and at 2pm

The event will take place in Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway on Saturday, 7th July 2018 starting 10.00am and finishing at 5.00pm.

Taste of Donegal Sunday 26th August 2018 at 3.00pm.

This year Taste of Donegal will be celebrating its 10th festival with promises to be a bigger and better than before.

Teagasc Demo CF


Fine foodCatherine FilvioGood living


Ballyknocken House & Cookery School
Glenealy, Ashford,
Co Wicklow, A67 X720
Ireland. Tel: +353 (0)404 44627
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