Joe McNamee wrote a really nice article about...
Sean Dunne from Irish Central, a hugely popular Irish-American website, recently posted a comprehensive article about Ballymaloe.
The revolution in Irish cooking and the uptake in organic wholesome food where the focus is on ingredients, can be credited to one family in Ireland, the Allens.
The family who own the famous Irish cooking school Ballymaloe, are the ones who helped start the revolution towards Irish food with their family run business which now spans four generations.
Heading up the New York based franchise of the company is 24-year-old Sean Hyde. He is the fourth generation of the iconic Irish family to help spread the quality Ballymaloe is known for to the American market. His grandmother, the legendary Myrtle Allen grew the company to what it is today.
Ballymaloe House is located in the rolling green hills of County Cork, in the South of Ireland.The house is built around a 15th century Norman castle that remains as part of the structure today.
The dynasty of the cooking school was started by Ivan and Myrtle Allen who lived in Shanagarry, on a neighbouring farm to Ballymaloe.
Ivan had glasshouses in the 1940s that were developed with grant aid money from Éamon De Valera’s government.
They practised revolutionary farming methods for the time and it is said that Ivan would have been one of the first people in Ireland ever to grow tomatoes, which would become a very important part of the business almost 50 years later.
A neighbour and friend of Ivan’s was selling Ballymaloe House by auction and he asked his friend to add funding to the bidding and try to boost the selling price on the day. Ivan didn't intend to, but he ended up having the highest bid and bought Ballymaloe House in 1948.