Award-winning Irish chef, food writer and pioneer, Myrtle Allen, sadly passed away on Wednesday 13th June.
Aged 94, Myrtle is the mother-in-law of Irish food writer Darina Allen and is recognised as an advocate of Irish food.
A major influence in the Irish food scene, she was the first Irish woman to be awarded the prestigious Michelin star.
Recently in April, Myrtle received a Hall of Fame award from touRRoir and Good Food Ireland.
The founder of acclaimed Ballymaloe cookery school passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at Cork University Hospital.
In 1964, Myrtle Allen opened the restaurant at Ballymaloe House and went on to expand into the hotel business. She then helped to establish Ireland’s Blue Book travel guide, which aimed to promote Irish country houses like Ballymaloe.
Myrtle Allen enjoyed over fifty years in the hospitality industry, inspiring chefs and enthusiasts across Ireland with her passion for using the best local and seasonal Irish produce.
Set on a 300-acre farm in West Cork Ballymaloe House offers stunning accommodation and some of the best modern Irish cuisine.
The restaurant at Ballymaloe is listed by the 2018 McKenna Guide as one of Ireland’s 100 Best Restaurants. Focusing on quality ingredients Ballymaloe understand the importance of farm to table dining with menus changing daily – as Myrtle Allen always practiced.
Michelle Maguire, CEO of Ireland’s Blue Book commented: “We are so sorry to hear of the loss of our great friend and mentor, our sympathies are with the Allen family at this time. We owe a great deal to Mrs. Allen, it is because of pioneers like Myrtle, that historic Country House Hotels have become such a vital element of the Irish tourism story.”
Ballymaloe is still owned by the Allen family and Myrtle’s legacy will continue live on within the Irish food scene and with her loving family.