Rachel Allen

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Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen at MAD Symposium.jpg
Allen at MAD Symposium in 2014
Rachel Sheila O'Neill[citation needed]

Dublin, Ireland
Alma materDublin Institute of Technology
Years active2000–present
Known forTV chef
TelevisionRachel's Favourite Food
Rachel's Favourite Food for Friends
Rachel's Favourite Food at Home
Rachel Allen: Bake!
The Restaurant
My Kitchen Rules
Lucca Allen

Rachel Allen (née O'Neill) is an Irish celebrity chef, known for her work on television and as a writer. She has often appeared on Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ).

Career as chef and writer[edit]

Allen went to the Ballymaloe Cookery School at the age of 18.[1] After graduating from the school she cooked at the Ballymaloe House Hotel, eventually returning first to test recipes and then to teach at the school. She worked for a while as a caterer in Vancouver[2] before returning to teach at Ballymaloe Cookery School.

In September 2004, RTÉ broadcast Allen's first series in Ireland Rachel's Favourite Food, which has also been broadcast in Australia, Canada and Europe, and elsewhere. A book, Rachel's Favourite Food, accompanied the series, published by Gill & Macmillan. Two further TV series and books followed, Rachel's Favourite Food for Friends and Rachel's Favourite Food at Home; reruns of the latter became part of Create's television schedule in the United States starting in September 2010.[3]

Allen is a frequent guest on BBC's Saturday Kitchen, and was one of the presenters on the Good Food Channel's Market Kitchen show. In 2008, she was in a series called Rachel Allen: Bake! for RTÉ.[4]

Allen has written for many Irish publications, including three years with Irish lifestyle magazine Image and a weekly column in The Sunday Tribune Magazine. She has also contributed to BBC Good Food magazine and AWT at Home magazine.[citation needed] Rachel's books have sold in excess of 1 million worldwide.[5]

In 2010, Allen launched a line of products for Tipperary Crystal, including crystal stemware, porcelain dinner sets, and kitchen/dining essentials.[6]

In 2012, she was involved in a controversy over hunting pictures of her posted on Facebook.[7] She soon appeared as a guest on The Saturday Night Show to discuss her behaviour.[8] Allen won the 2012 Irish Book Award for Best Non-Fiction for Easy Meals.[9]

March 2017, Allen opened her first restaurant 'Rachel's' in Cork's Washington Street, part of a business venture with her husband, Isaac, and publican Paul Montgomery. The restaurant closed on 8 August 2018, for an eight-week, a €1m revamp.[10] The restaurant was reopened and its name changed to Dwyers of Cork, to reflect the heritage of the original Dwyer's of Cork factory.[11]

September 2019, Rachel Allen returned as a judge and co-host with chef Marco Pierre White on the popular Irish television series The Restaurant.[12] Allen joined the series after food writer Tom Doorley left in 2017.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Rachel Allen, mother-in-law Darina Allen, uncle in-law Rory O'Connell, all chefs, at MAD Symposium about "Passing on Skills" in 2014

Rachel grew up in Foxrock, a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Her Icelandic mother, Hallfríður Reichenfeld, was in the fashion business and had clothes shops. Her father, Brian O'Neill, had inherited the Winstanley shoe manufacturing business. Rachel and older sister, Simone attended Alexandra College in Milltown, Dublin, which she attended from age three to 17. It was a three-month course at Ballymaloe that sparked her passion for food.[14] It was while attending Ballymaloe Cookery School and learning from Myrtle Allen, Rachel started dating Myrtle's grandson, Isaac, when they were both aged 18. They married in 1998.[15] The wedding took place at Cloyne Cathedral. The reception was at Ballymaloe House and they honeymooned in New York.[16]

After graduating from the school she cooked at the Ballymaloe House Hotel, eventually returning to teach at the school. It was when an RTE producer enrolled in a cookery course at the school asked Rachel if she would like to do a TV show.[4]

Allen lives at a seaside home in Shanagarry, County Cork with her husband Isaac, the son of television chef Darina Allen, and their three children, Joshua, Scarlett and racing driver Lucca.[1][17]

In July 2012, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of Ulster at Belfast's Waterfront Hall for her contribution to the culinary arts. Her mother-in-law, Darina Allen, received an honorary doctorate from the same university in 2003.[18]


  • Rachel's Favourite Food ISBN 978-0717138982
  • Rachel's Favourite Food for Friends ISBN 978-0717139996
  • Bake ISBN 978-0007259700
  • Rachel's Favourite Food at Home ISBN 978-0007275793
  • Rachel's Food for Living ISBN 978-0007288229
  • Home Cooking ISBN 978-0007259717
  • Entertaining at Home Hardcover ISBN 978-0007462377
  • Easy Meals ISBN 978-0007309047
  • Cake ISBN 978-0007309054
  • Rachel's Irish Family Food ISBN 978-0007237623
  • Rachel's Everyday Kitchen ISBN 978-0007462377
  • All Things Sweet Hardcover ISBN 978-0007462407
  • Coast: Recipes from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way ISBN 978-0007462438
  • Recipes from My Mother Hardcover ISBN 978-0008179793
  • Home Baking Hardcover ISBN 978-0008179823
  • Soup Broth Bread ISBN 978-0241486290


  1. ^ a b "Rachel Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School". Ballymaloe Cookery School. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  2. ^ "BBC – Food – Chefs: Rachel Allen Recipes". Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Irish Cooking Star Rachel Allen Joins Public Television's Create Channel in September". Create. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Rachel Allen: 'I've always loved the creativity of cooking, but didn't dream it would lead to TV career". Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Rachel Allen at Ballymaloe Cookery School". Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  6. ^ "RTÉ Television – The Afternoon Show". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  7. ^ "TV Chef Rachel Allen Addresses Controversial Pheasant Kill Photo With Facebook Post". Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Rachel Allen among O'Connor's guests". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Rachel Allen Author". Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Rachel Allen to close city restaurant for €1m, eight-week revamp". Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  11. ^ "It's set to reopen on Thursday after months of refurbishment, but Rachel's restaurant will no longer be called after celeb chef Rachel Allen". Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Virgin Media's The Restaurant Returns and Wants You to Take Part as a Diner". Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  13. ^ "TV3 replace Restaurant star Tom Doorley with Cork cook Rachel Allen". Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  14. ^ "LIFE Lust For Life: Queen Of Irish Cuisine Rachel Allen". Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  15. ^ "First Encounters: Rachel and Isaac Allen". Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  16. ^ "How in just 24 hours TV chef Rachel Allen's perfect life lay shattered". Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  17. ^ Kelleher, Olivia (29 November 2019). "Joshua Allen enters addiction treatment until sentencing hearing". Irish Times. Retrieved 8 January 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Rachel Allen – Celebrity Chef, TV Presenter & Writer". Retrieved 22 April 2020.

External links[edit]