Regina Sexton, UCC's Food and Culinary Historian, and great friend of the Allen family, will be working with the University’s specialist staff of archivists and its Special Collections section of the Boole Library to organise and curate the collection.
“Over the next few years, every single item in Myrtle Allen’s body of papers will be preserved and catalogued and this is a highly significant undertaking for the university,” said Regina Sexton.
“Myrtle Allen kept meticulous and extensive records,” Sexton says. “She seems to have kept everything, from recipes to the daily menus for the restaurant, which survive from the 1960s in their hundreds.
“There are journals from the restaurant, inherited hand-written family manuscript recipe books, correspondence with producers and chefs, restaurant and hotel reviews, and scrapbooks of traditional recipes send to her by readers of the Irish Farmers Journal.
“There are letters of advice to fledgling chefs, her correspondence and business with Euro-Toques, and the Cork Free Choice Consumer Group, which she set up in 1989 to showcase, promote and protect a community of emerging artisan and speciality food producers. There are drafts and proofs of her 1977 book, The Ballymaloe Cookbook, and photographs and files that reflect her interest in history, local history, genealogy and travel.”
The inaugural Myrtle Allen memorial lecture took place at the university on Thursday 9th May 2019, with writer Claudia Roden leading a panel of speakers that also included restaurateur and chef Ross Lewis, and writer John McKenna. We are also proud to note that Myrtle's papers and legacy will be part of the universties recently launched a post-graduate diploma in Irish Food Culture.
Read more and see more images via the UCC Website in the link below.