Darina Allen Receives 2023 Listowel Food Fair Lifetime Achievement Award

Celebrity chef and food writer Darina Allen was recognised for her significant lifetime contribution to Irish food last week at the 2023 Listowel Food Fair.

Darina Allen was presented with the ‘2023 Listowel Food Fair Lifetime Achievement Award’ by festival chairman Jimmy Deenihan.

Ballymaloe Cookery School

Darina Allen is owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork.

The cookery school celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

Additionally, Darina Allen was a founder of some of the first farmers’ markets in Ireland, and continues to be involved in helping set up new markets, and she is currently chairperson of the Midleton Farmers’ Market.


“Darina Allen is a trailblazer in Irish food and has inspired a whole generation of chefs, who trained with her at Ballymaloe Cookery School, and are now working in the Irish and international food and hospitality sectors,” said Jimmy Deenihan, Listowel Food Fair chairman and former minister of state in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

TV Cookery Show

Darina Allen started giving cookery courses in the 1960’s at Ballymaloe House, which later developed to be held at Ballymaloe Cookery School.

The food writer said she was inspired to pursue cooking through her own mother and her mother in law, Irish Michelin award winner, the late Myrtle Allen.

She became host to RTE’s TV cookery show ‘Simply Delicious’ which included nine series, and has published several culinary books on the topic of Irish food.

‘Lifetime Dedication’

“On behalf of the Listowel Food Fair, I would like to recognise and thank Darina Allen for her lifetime dedication and significant contribution to Irish food,” said Jimmy Deenihan.

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