Waterman House Cookery School is the new location of Niall McKenna’s The Cookery School at James Street South. Niall also operates two restaurants with his expert team at James St. and Hadskis, both located in Belfast City Centre.
When Niall came up with idea to open a cookery school back in 2011 it soon became more than a place for him to share his passion for great food. Niall is well placed to share his knowledge and passion having been cooking from the early age of 16.
Trained under great Belfast chef, Paul Rankin of Roscoff and Cayenne fame, was followed by 12 years in London with chefs Gary Rhodes, Nico Ladenis alongside legendary chef Marco Pierre White resulted in him returning home to Belfast to open his first independent restaurant James Street South back in 2003. This was followed by the opening of The Bar + Grill, alongside the cookery school and in 2013 Hadkis opened in the cathedral quarter.
Since then Niall has opened in the Titanic a casual diner Cast and Crew and has refurbished all his restaurants to the highest standard from design, comfort to great food every day.
In 2014 Niall launched his own Chef Apprenticeship scheme, dedicated time, energy and passion to passing on his knowledge and skills to a new generation of future cooks.
Niall has won numerous awards over the years for his cooking, the restaurants and has a natural ability to showcase the best of cooking using local, seasonal ingredients.
Niall is a Tourism Hero and has an honorary diploma from Belfast Metropolitan College and has been visiting professorship from Belfast University of Ulster since 2017.
The team are joined by guest chefs from time to time, who showcase the best of their cooking and specialities. To find our more about these one off events please sign up to our email subscription list below.
We ask everyone coming to Cookery School to advise us if they have had a high temperature, developed Covid-19 symptoms or have been in contact with a person with Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days. If this is the case we are happy to offer a new class/course at a later date. Safety in protecting everyone against Covid-19 is of primary importance. Anyone coming into the kitchens will have to be 100% compliant with our procedures. If they are not, we will ask them to leave the premises immediately as we cannot compromise the health of others at any time.
Temperatures of our staff, are taken on arrival and carefully recorded. We are used to doing this so it is quick and easy.
On entry to the kitchens everyone is required to use an alcohol rub on their hands.
Contact details, previously provided, held on file.
All stations and worktops are cleaned and sanitised prior to your arrival.
Before starting to cook everyone is asked to wash their hands.
Everyone has to use a face mask when moving around the kitchen, our stations are based on bubbles of people who come together otherwise everyone is a minimum of 1m apart.
We now have a ‘ventilate, ventilate, ventilate’ mantra and keep air in the kitchens moving.
Everyone is reminded to wash their hands regularly with soap and water to limit the spread of Covid-19 and any bacteria.
Surfaces are wiped down regularly, using appropriate cleaning products, by our staff who are trained in our new cleaning regime.
Eating periods at the end of each class are socially distanced.
In classes where food is taken home, we ask students to bring in their own containers and refrigeration bags with freezer blocks to transport food safely to avoid contamination. Cookery School is not responsible for what happens to food once it leaves our premises as it is in perfect condition before then. In the case of breads, cakes and pastries, we supply cake boxes in which to carry these items home.
The above protocols will be reviewed frequently and as the level of infection in the country reduces and more information is available on the spread of covid, we will alter these protocols accordingly.