Darina Allen is Ireland’s most famous cook and a best-selling author who has presented eight series of her cookery programmes Simply Delicious on television in Ireland. A tireless ambassador for Irish food both at home and abroad, Darina is also a passionate and committed teacher, and students come away from Ballymaloe inspired by her energy and ideas and the enthusiasm she and her team bring to their work. She has been instrumental in setting up the Farmers Market movement in Ireland. Darina chairs the Artisan Food Forum which liaises with the FSAI to articulate the difficulties and challenges experienced by the Artisan and Speciality food sector. She is vehemently opposed to the growing of GM crops in Ireland.
The Ballymaloe Cookery School was established in 1983, operates all year round and attracts students from all over the world. The school’s culinary philosophy is based on enhancing the natural flavours of the best and freshest local ingredients. It offers a wide range of courses from 12 Week professional courses for students who wish to pursue a career in catering, to short courses ranging from a day to a week long on a variety of subjects Simply Delicious Food Fast, Bread Baking, Seafood, Entertaining, Vegetarian, Introductory, How to Keep Bees and Have your own Honey, How to Keep a few Chickens in the Garden, How to Build a Smoker and Smoke your own Food.
Darina Allen is a member of Taste Council of Bord Bia, Chair of Artisan Food Forum of Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
She is a Member of the Advisory Board of Safefood, a Trustee of Irish Organic Centre, Patron of Irish Seedsavers, a Member of Euro-Toques (European Association of Chefs), Guild of Foodwriters in both UK and Ireland, Farmers Association of Ireland.
The Organic Trust – IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals – Darina Allen is a Certified Culinary Professional and Teacher and the school is accredited by IACP). She is a Founder of first Farmers Markets in Ireland and involved on an ongoing basis in helping set up new markets. She is Councillor for Ireland in Slow Food Movement and President of East Cork Slow Food Convivium.
In June 2014, The Ballymaloe Cookery School won the Restaurant Association of Ireland award for ‘Best Cookery School in Ireland’.
In February 2014, Darina won the ‘Best Professional Author & Chef’ category of the WORLD GOURMANDS for the UK for
’30 Years at Ballymaloe’ by Allen.
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