Celebrity chef Shane Smith has launched his own online cooking school, realizing a huge personal ambition. The Lavey man is a fantastic baker and pastry chef who has been in the industry for 25 years. Opening her own cooking school has always been a dream of Shane’s. But this year he finally made it a reality.
“I’ve been followed in a really good way by so many people asking me when I’m going to be teaching. I toyed with the idea for many years but the timing just wasn’t right so I guess I bit the bullet earlier this year and started looking into it.”
Shane opened the school last month and has already seen a huge amount of interest. “It’s proving very popular. I’ll be teaching as long as I can as soon as people get interested in baking.”
The school is suitable for all ages and abilities, with specific classes designed for different levels of knowledge. Students learn everything from the basics of baking to more technical skills that allow them to cook up their own storm.
To date, all of Shane’s courses have been live. Participants were encouraged to participate and ask questions to get the most out of the lesson. Each class is recorded and given to each member for review as needed.
“The only thing about the courses that has been a huge learning curve for me is seeing what people want. Many people like to just sit back and watch the class. Then they watch the class at their own pace. I will be building self-paced courses so people can buy them and bake at their own pace.”
The chef, who is also one of the Kelt’s resident chefs, is looking forward to Halloween.
“I’m totally in Halloween mode at the moment. There are pumpkins and faux cobwebs everywhere you look, so I’m totally into it,” says Shane enthusiastically.
“Something I’m really looking forward to is my first backcamp, which is coming up during the October break. This is aimed at young bakers who are taking their Halloween break and will run over a seven day period.”
The camp runs from October 31st to November 6th, where mini bakers learn how to create many amazing dishes through live and recorded classes.
Shane has always loved sharing his passion with others and tries to pique their interest and spread his knowledge.
“The most important thing for me during Covid and before Covid was to share all my recipes and even inspire people to start baking and also take away their fear of baking.”
An e-book of Halloween-themed recipes has also been published on Shane’s website.
“I’ve just released my first Halloween e-book, which features 10 of my favorite Halloween recipes, and that’s another thing that’s going really well. People love to bake, especially with their kids at home on Halloween.”
Shane’s students aren’t the only ones who have learned something new over the past few weeks as the celebrity chef brushes up on his IT skills.
“In this day and age, a lot of things have moved online. From working in a kitchen for the past 25 years to sitting behind a laptop and all that stuff, it’s been a big learning curve,” he reveals.
It was love at first bite for the celebrity chef, who entered the world of baking after watching his mother and two grannies prepare delicious dishes in their kitchen.
“My mom used to bake at home, and so did both of my grandmothers, so I always absorbed that subconsciously, but I’ve known since I was 15 that I wanted to get involved with food in some way. From there, everything just snowballed.
“I started working in the kitchen here in Cavan when I was 16 and I got a weekend job at Kilmore and from there it went to college in Killybegs and then I graduated from GMIT and yes I am now 25 years old in the food industry!”