Darina Allen

© Ballymaloe Cookery School

© Ballymaloe Cookery School

Darina Allen is an Irish food writer, chef, teacher and television presenter. Darina worked as a chef for her mother-in-law’s renowned hotel and restaurant, Ballymaloe House. In 1983, after gaining such great experience, Darina and her husband Tim decided to open their own business from home and so the highly regarded Ballymaloe Cookery School was born. She has since been awarded the International Association for Culinary Professionals’ award for Cooking Teacher of the Year.

As the leader of the Slow Food movement and founder of some of Ireland’s first farmers’ markets, Darina is famously passionate about good quality, organic food as well as traditional and regional cuisine. This is nowhere more evident than in her running of the Ballymaloe Cookery School. The school is located on an organic farm, ten acres of which are designated for growing organic market gardens, orchards and greenhouses so that its students can learn to cook with good quality, fresh produce.

Darina has written a number of cookbooks published by Kyle Books, including BALLYMALOE COOKERY COURSE (2007) and IRISH TRADITIONAL COOKING (2012). Darina’s FORGOTTEN SKILLS OF COOKING, which was published by Kyle Books in 2009, won the André Simon Award for Best Cookbook. Most famously, Darina presented nine series of her hugely popular television series, Simply Delicious, for which she wrote a number of tie-in cookbooks, including SIMPLY DELICIOUS CHRISTMAS (1989), SIMPLY DELICIOUS FISH (1991) and SIMPLY DELICIOUS VERSATILE VEGETABLES (1994) all of which were published by Gill & Macmillan in Ireland. 30 YEARS AT BALLYMALOE was published in Autumn 2013 by Kyle Books and a new edition of SIMPLY DELICIOUS CHRISTMAS was published by Gill & Macmillan in October 2014.  GROW, COOK, NOURISH came out with Kyle Books in 2017 and SIMPLY DELICIOUS THE CLASSIC COLLECTION in 2018.  ONE POT FEEDS ALL was published by Kyle Books in Autumn 2019. 

HOW TO COOK is Darina’s latest book and was published by Kyle Books in 2021.

THE BALLYMALOE BOOK OF BREAD will be published by Gill Books in 2023.

Darina Allen lives in County Cork, Ireland with her husband Tim.