Tivoli, Cork, County Cork, Ireland
|Residence||Shanagarry, County Cork|
|Known for||Michelin starred Ballymaloe House|
|Spouse(s)||Ivan Allen; six children|
Myrtle Allen (born 1924, Tivoli, Cork, County Cork) is an Irish Michelin star winning head chef and co-owner of the restaurant The Yeat's Room of Ballymaloe House in Shanagarry, County Cork. Besides her cooking duties, she has also been a writer, hotelier and teacher.
In 1943, Myrtle Hill married Ivan Allen, a vegetable grower, who was working at the farm Kinoith in Shanagarry. In 1947 the couple bought Ballymaloe House and the surrounding farm. Ivan managed the fruit- and vegetable farm and worked on Kinoith, while Myrtle took care of the children and the manor. Later, in 1958, Ivan Allen inherited Kinoith from Wilson Strangman, the deceased owner.
With her husband a successful grower of fruit and vegetables, Myrtle had an abundance of fresh products in her kitchen. Under the guidance of her husband, an avid gourmet, she learned to cook by taking cooking courses at the School of Commerce and self-study. That went quite well and in 1962, she was cookery correspondent with the Irish Farmers Journal. Originally the Irish Farmers Journal was a publication of Macra na Feirme. Myrtle Allen was very active in this young farmers organisation, eventually becoming "Vice President for the Munster Region" of the "National Council" of Macra na Feirme in 1959. A bid for the presidency in 1963 was unsuccessful.
In 1964, Myrtle decided to start a restaurant in her own dining room dubbed The Yeats Room. Later she changed a few unused rooms into rooms for a guesthouse, which grew into the hotel Ballymaloe is today. By the 1960s she and her sous-chef, Darina O'Connell, started giving courses in cooking. Later Darina, by then married to Myrtle's son Tim Allen, moved the cookery classes to Kinoith under the name of Ballymaloe Cookery School.
In 1986 Myrtle Allen was part of founding Euro-toques International and founder of Euro-toques Ireland. Euro-tocques is an organisation of professional cooks promoting and protecting Europe's culinary heritage, and defending the quality of local and carefully cooked food.
Myrtle Allen's husband Ivan died in 1998.
- 1975–1980: one Michelin star
- 1975–1981, 1983–1984 and 1987–1988: one star in the Egon Ronay Guide
- 1981–1994: Red M awarded by the Michelin Guide
- 1984: Cesar Award in the Good Hotel Guide
- 1988: Ballymaloe House included in the Courvoisier book of best hotels
- 1990: the Ackerman Martell Guide the black four leaved clover for excellence in all aspects of the hotel and restaurant business
- 1991: Ballymaloe House included in Harpers and Queen 'The one hundred Best Hotels in the World'
- 2000: Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa – awarded by the University College Cork
- 2011: Taste Icon award – presented by Taste of Dublin
- 2001: Lifetime Award – Women and Agriculture awards
- This year the penny has dropped... bling is over
- Schultz, Patricia (2003). 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Workman Publishing Company. pp. 70–71. ISBN 0-7611-6102-3.
- The emergence, development and influence of French Haute Cuisine on public dining in Dublin restaurants 1900–2000: an oral history. Thesis DIT by Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, 2009. 3 downloadable volumes.. Part 2, pp. 459–462
- A voice for the country – 50 years of Macra na Feirme by Jim Mileym pp. 191–2 (1994)
- Heart and Hearth
- About Euro-Toques
- Michelin Online
- The emergence, development and influence of French Haute Cuisine on public dining in Dublin restaurants 1900–2000: an oral history. Thesis DIT by Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, 2009. 3 downloadable volumes.. Part 2, p. 348
- The emergence, development and influence of French Haute Cuisine on public dining in Dublin restaurants 1900–2000: an oral history. Thesis DIT by Mairtin Mac Con Iomaire, 2009. 3 downloadable volumes.. Part 2, p. 345
- National University of Ireland
- Championing Irish food
- Myrtle Allen receives a Lifetime Award at the Women and Agriculture awards
- http://www.worldcat.org/title/ballymaloe-cook-book/oclc/60079122&referer=brief_results WorldCat