Myrtle Allen’s genius was simplicity itself

The legendary founder of Ballymaloe House, who died last week, shunned the noise that surrounds too many of today’s chefs, understanding that integrity and respect for your ingredients will always win out over fads, writes Gillian Nelis

Gillian Nelis

Managing Editor @gnelis
17th June, 2018
Myrtle Allen: stuck to the principles of simplicity and seasonality in cooking Pic: Fran Veale

‘Look around and see what the products of the area around you are, and then think about menus. Don’t do it the other way around.”

Five years ago, I drove to Ballymaloe House to interview the then 89-year-old Myrtle Allen. The occasion was the 40th anniversary of the setting up of the Blue Book, the association of country houses and manors that Allen and her late husband Ivan had helped to...

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