Kamalika from Multyfarnham Cookery School.

Multyfarnham Cookery School team working to combat food poverty

Multyfarnham Cookery School has started a food appeal fundraiser for the upwards of 1,000 families who are going hungry in this region with the launch of a new cookery book, children’s cookery summer camps and a number of courses.

The fundraiser takes place on June 19 next from 6pm to 7pm with a cookery demonstration by the school’s founder, Kamalika Ranasingha, accompanied by Mullingar music maestro, Ray Dolan.

The online class will have a barbecue theme and participants can enrol by making a donation to the Food Appeal Fund at multyfarnhamcookeryschool.ie/class/.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner, Kamalika who is from Sri Lanka, said even though she had seen food poverty in Asia but never experienced it herself, she was “quite astonished that there is food poverty in Europe”.

She has been working with Noreen and Anthony Murphy in Mullingar and the Ken Smollen Food Appeal to help the estimated 967 families going hungry in this area at the moment.

Kamalika is launching her first cookery book this summer. It features recipes from her travels around the world and she will be doing a recipe from the book at the fundraiser class to give participants a preview.

During the lockdown, classes at the school have been online but the summer camps will be on premises and already the first course for five- to 12-year-olds is booked out and spaces on the teenage course are filling up fast.

Multyfarnham Cookery School opened nine years ago and offers three types of classes – the demonstration class for 15 to 20 budding chefs who get to taste the dishes after the demonstration, the Master Chef type class where, following a demonstration, the participants try their hand at making the dish, and one to one classes.

Groups can book private party classes with a chosen theme and enjoy the dishes they prepare with their own wine if they wish.

Kamalika has been cooking since childhood and since qualifying, has worked in several international five-star hotels.

She and her husband, Dan, also a professional chef, toured the world before settling in Ireland 20 years ago. Her passion for food prompted her to open the cookery school to encourage others to take up cooking