Darina Allen

Darina Allen bigraphy, stories - Irish chef, food writer, TV personality, and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School

Darina Allen : biography

1951 –

Darina Allen (born 1951 in Cullohill) is an Irish chef, food writer, TV personality and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland The Observer, Sunday 31 January 2010 (Accessed 22 Nov 2011) by Andrew Carey, The Limerick Post, 4 NOVEMBER 2011 (Accessed 22 Nov 2011) The University Observer, 12 November 2011 (Accessed 22 Nov 2011), Trainer, Melissa A., New York Times, January 2, 2005 (Accessed 22 Nov 2011), Turner, Sarah (2006) The Observer, Sunday 5 February (Accessed 22 Nov 2011)


Cooking Teacher of the Year Award from IACP 2005, Recipient of Honorary Degree from University of Ulster 2003, Winner of Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year 2001, Waterford Wedgwood Hospitality Award 2000, Langhe Ceretto Prize 1996, Laois Person of the Year 1993

Gilbeys Gold Medal for Catering Excellence jointly with Myrtle Allen 1992 Hon, Fellow of Irish Hotel and Catering Institute.


Member of Taste Council of Irish Food Board, Chair of Artisan Food Forum of Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Food Safety Consultative Council of Ireland, Trustee of Irish Organic Centre, Patron of Irish Seedsavers.

Member of Eurotoques (European Association of Chefs), IWF (International Women’s Federation), Network Ireland, Guild of Foodwriters in UK and Ireland, International SLOW Movement, Bread Bakers Guild of America, IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals – Darina Allen is a Certified Culinary Professional and Teacher and the school is accredited by IACP).

Councillor for Ireland in Slow Food Movement and President of East Cork Convivium of Slow Food.


A graduate in Hotel Management of the Dublin Institute of Technology, she is the author of several successful books on the topic of Irish cuisine. She is a leader of the Slow Food movement in Ireland and instrumental in establishing a network of farmers’ markets in the Cork area. She lives on her organic farm, Kinoith, in Shanagarry. Allen has been voted Cooking Teacher of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland. The school is situated on an organically run farm. (Accessed 22 Nov 2011) Mostly Food (Accessed 22 Nov 2011)

Founder of first Farmers’ Markets in Ireland and involved on an ongoing basis in helping set up new markets, Darina is currently chair of the Midleton Farmers’ Market.