In March, Darina Allen, the internationally-renowned chef and co-founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School, was announced as the ‘Guaranteed Irish Food Hero’. A tireless ambassador for Irish food at home and abroad, Darina received the accolade for her significant contribution to the food industry in Ireland.
Darina Allen joins an elite list of Guaranteed Irish Heroes, each awarded the honour over the past 12 months for their various contributions to their respective sectors. Artist Maser, former Women’s Rugby Captain, Niamh Briggs and Professor Louise Kenny were named Guaranteed Irish Heroes for art, sport and science respectively.
Speaking about her appointment, Guaranteed Irish Food Hero Darina Allen said:
“I’m overjoyed to be announced as the Guaranteed Irish Food Hero. I have always been convinced of the superb quality produce that we can produce here in Ireland and I would encourage anyone who comes within earshot of Guaranteed Irish to support their local farmers and food producers, and serve Irish food proudly, just as we have been happy to do here at Ballymaloe and the cookery school for generations.”
Having founded the Ballymaloe Cookery School with her brother in 1983, Darina Allen is one of Ireland’s best-known ambassadors for food and has helped establish Ireland as a leading location for first class food. In 2013, Darina helped launch the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine, attracting a stellar line up of top international chefs and writers to Ireland.
Brid O’Connell CEO of Guaranteed Irish said:
“We are delighted to announce that legendary Irish chef Darina Allen is our Guaranteed Irish ‘Food Hero’. The calibre of individuals already credited with Guaranteed Irish Hero status is bolstered by Darina and her incredible contribution to the Irish food sector at a national and international level.
"With exports of Irish foods achieving record levels in 2017 and reaching over 180 markets worldwide, it’s important to recognise individuals responsible for helping establish Ireland as a world leader of food products and expertise. Darina’s stellar work in this field has contributed greatly to establishing a youthful generation of new foodies and cooks as well as securing Ireland’s status as a world leader within the food industry. There were many excellent nominations for the Food Hero award, but Darina’s contribution to the food sector is unparalleled.”