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You could be the next Nigella.

If you’ve always longed to share your recipes with the world, but don’t quite know where to begin, a two-day course taking place in West Cork this spring could be the key to unlocking your publishing dreams.

The second ‘How to Make a Cookbook’ workshop (last year’s was a sell-out success) hosted by Belfast-born food writer and renowned cookbook author Trish Deseine and French food and lifestyle photographer Virginie Garnier takes place in April – and the schedule is the stuff of dreams for cookbook lovers and budding food photographers.

Wannabe-writers will spend two packed yet relaxed days learning how to collect, organise and cook recipes, set the scene, style and photograph dishes.

There will be hands-on cookery, styling, photography and ‘find your signature’ writing sessions as well as time to hear from the experts about what really goes into publishing a bestselling cookbook – something Trish knows all about.

Trish Deseine

Trish, who now lives in Schull in West Cork won the prestigious Ladurée and SEB prizes for her first book ‘Petits Plats entre Amis’. Her subsequent 24 French cooking tomes have sold like hot cakes. In fact, she’s even been dubbed the Nigella of France.

Aside from filming cookery shows for BBC NI, Trish also writes a column for The Gloss magazine, so there is no more accomplished mentor if you’re looking to take your own love of food to the next level.

Virginie Garnier’s work (over 20 cookbooks) has been published by Hachette, Ducasse and Mango. She contributes regularly to the French food and lifestyle press and is currently working on a book with much loved ‘Frenchie’ chef, Gregory Marchand.

Virginie will be teaching the group how to photograph landscapes and portraits, with a one-on-one production session to help you process your images and develop your own writing and photographic styles.

The best bit? It all takes place in the magical surroundings of Bantry House, where the Shelswell-White family will be welcoming the group to be inspired by one of Ireland’s best loved, historic houses and gardens.

Bantry House

The two-day course (€485pp, booking here) includes all of the above as well as a light welcome supper on Friday evening, two light lunches, coffees, teas and cake (most important for focusing the mind). Ingredients will be sourced from Glensallagh’s organic garden and some of west Cork’s celebrated producers, so the inspiration will continue apace, even during the breaks.

Overall, the course promises participants a unique insider’s look into the world of cookbook publishing. It might even set you on your journey to cookbook stardom.

‘How to Make a Cookbook’ takes place on Friday, April 6th (welcome supper at 7pm), Saturday, April 7th and Sunday, April 8th (workshop: 10am – 4.30pm each day). Accommodation is also available in Bantry House. (email [email protected] for booking).

Images: Virginie Garnier


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