Tributes paid to Ballymaloe House founder Myrtle Allen

Tributes have been paid to Myrtle Allen, the award-winning chef, writer and founder of the Ballymaloe House hotel and restaurant, who has died aged 94.

Ballymaloe House confirmed the news this morning (Wednesday, June 13), posting a tweet stating: “Myrtle Allen passed away peacefully at Cork University Hospital on Wednesday June 13, surrounded by her family.”

Several well-known figures in Irish agriculture have expressed their sympathies to the family of the Cork entrepreneur.

Taking to Twitter to offer his sympathies, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed tweeted: “My sympathies to the Allen family and all associated with the great lady. The Irish food family has lost a great matriarch today. May she rest in peace.”

Macra na Feirme national president James Healy has extended his deepest sympathies to the family of Ms. Allen who passed away earlier today.

Paying tribute, Healy said: “Myrtle Allen was a Macra na Feirme pioneer, she was the first ever female vice-president in the organisation, holding office for two terms from 1960 to 64.

She blazed a trail in Macra na Feirme for others to follow and will never be forgotten. Sincere condolences to all her family, friends and all the staff of Ballymaloe House. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

RTE Ear to the Ground presenter Ella McSweeney also paid tribute to her, sending a tweet saying: “Such sad news to hear of Myrtle Allen’s passing – she was a pioneer in her field. It was such a privilege to narrate this documentary about her remarkable life.”

Meanwhile, RTE’s Countrywide Twitter account has also expressed condolences, tweeting: “Our sympathies to the Allens and all at Ballymaloe. A legend has passed on and it’s no exaggeration to say Myrtle changed the way we look at food in Ireland.”

Ballymaloe House

Mytle Allen established Ballymaloe House restaurant with her husband Ivan in east Co. Cork in 1964, cooking with home-grown and locally-sourced produce, later opening a guesthouse.

It has since grown to incorporate the Ballymaloe Cookery School and gardens, a cafe and craft shop, as well as a resaturant and guesthouse.