One of the most charming things about Ballymaloe House is the different characters who work here and have helped to make it what it is over the years. Some of our more established staff who you may meet during you time here include:
Ivan and Myrtle Allen came to Ballymaloe in 1948. Ivan was a successful fruit grower in Shanagarry and wanted to branch into mixed farming. Myrtle had access to the most fantastic farm and glasshouse produce and Ivan was a gourmet, always guiding her in how food should be cooked. Their table was loaded with fine food. So in 1964 when the children were beginning to grow up, Myrtle decided to open the house as a restaurant. She cooked, whilst Ivan kept an eye on the business. Myrtle still works around the house, sadly Ivan passed away in 1998.
Hazel and Rory Allen
Rory was running the farm with his father when Hazel started working in Ballymaloe in 1967, fresh out of catering college in Dublin. She was brought up on a farm in County Laois, so the situation in Ballymaloe was familiar to her. They were married and settled in the cottage in the walled garden where they still live. She now runs the house and gardens and he oversees new developments on the farm, whilst developing Ballymaloe as a venue renowned for great music.
Jason started working in Ballymaloe House in 1997. Since November 2004 he has been head chef. He is dedicated to keeping the standards set by his predecessors, Myrtle Allen and Rory O'Connell. He carefully ensures a balance between innovation and tradition, making use of the best produce.
Joe and Rita Cronin
Joe Cronin has been working in Ballymaloe since 1951, starting on the farm and in the garden. Soon after the restaurant started he began to work in the house. Shortly afterwards his wife Rita came to join our team as a waitress.
Ann came to us in 1969. She looks after breakfast and any problems that arise in the front of the house in the early mornings. She mothers younger guests and adults alike and keeps the new waitresses in line!
Myrtle’s youngest daughter has worked in the hospitality industry around the world. She works on Sundays serving at the buffet.
Colm McCan & Samuel Chantoiseau
Our duo of Sommeliers. Both are well-respected professional in their field, and are always happy to make recommendations to match your taste, budget and choice of menu. Colm & Samuel run regular wine events - details here , and also see Colm's wine blog on previous wine events here