From The Foreword - Alice Waters
Darina’s beautiful and unpretentious vision of cooking is connected to the land.
The Boston Globe, 3/12/2014 - Michael Floreak
Darina Allen has been called the Julia Child of Ireland by everyone from the San Francisco Chronicle to WGBH for good reason. From the kitchens, organic farm, and greenhouses of the inn and residential cooking school Allen runs out of converted farmhouse buildings at Ballymaloe in Kinoith, she has helped put Ireland on the international food map. Like Child, Allen, with her trademark glasses, is a familiar television presence in Ireland. In her book 30 Years at Ballymaloe, Allen, now in her 60s, chronicles the school’s history and the evolution of Irish cuisine in essays, photos, and recipes that range from her mother’s scones to Moroccan stew.
The Oregonian, 3/11/2014 - Grant Butler
In a nutshell: When Darina Allen and her brother Rory O'Connell opened the Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1983, they could hardly have known that it would grow to become one of the most-important food-teaching institutions not just in Ireland but in the world. But in the three decades since, the school has been at the forefront of important food trends that are common today, including the slow food movement and the push for chefs to use locally grown produce. The school has also given a voice to some of the most-important thinkers about food, including Alice Waters, Madhur Jaffrey and Marcella Hazan. This substantial volume offers a year-by-year chronicle of the school's legacy, featuring memories of the guest chefs and students who've studied there, along with recipes that showcase how far the school has come.
Take a taste: French Peasant Soup; Watercress, Blood Orange and Mozzarella Salad; Moroccan Lamb Pita Wrap With Hummus; Pickled Carrots With Star Anise; Raspberry and Fig Leaf Granita; Wild Garlic Custards; Marcella Hazan's Penne With Cauliflower, Garlic and Oil; Baked Trout With Spinach Butter Sauce; Ballymaloe Chicken Pie; Pumpkin, Goat Cheese and Kale Tart; Pizza With Roast Peppers, Olives and Gremolata.
What's hot: There are plenty of ambitious recipes to challenge serious home cooks; the book is filled with photos that capture the school's history – the images of Allen's ever-changing eyeglasses are a hoot.
Food Arts, 3/17/2014 - Beverly Stephen
Don’t tell Darina Allen there’s no distinct Irish culinary tradition. The co-founder of the 30 year old Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland, is an enthusiastic missionary for the Emerald Isle.
Ballymaloe practiced the farm-to-fork philosophy way before those words entered the popular lexicon. “It’s not a conversion on the road to Damascus,” she says. Ballymaloe is on the farm with cows, pigs, and chickens, an extensive garden, and, of course, bees. It actually started as a farm when Myrtle and Ivan Allen bought the Ballymaloe house in 1948. Ivan was practicing farming methods ahead of his time and was one of the first to grow tomatoes and cucumbers in Ireland.
The way things are done has not changed much since Myrtle Allen, who just turned 90, opened her dining room to the public in 1964—except the growth of the school. There are now 14 teachers employed for the 12-week certificate courses held throughout the year, and over 60 short courses ranging from half a day to a week. Plus, there’s a stylish shop and a conference center. In addition, they’ve recently introduced their Gourmet Irish Ketchup along with other relishes, in the United States, which are available both for the consumer and foodservice. Darina Allen’s nephew, Sean Hyde, is head of sales and marketing. The launch was inspired by the fact that the original Ballymaloe Country Relish was the third most requested item for tourists visiting Ireland to bring back to relatives in the United States.
Bon Appetit, April 2014 - Favorite Cookbooks of the Spring
30 Years at Ballymaloe pays tribute to the Emerald Isle’s most influential cooking teacher, Darina Allen. The tome serves as both a history of her prominent school and a collection of recipes. If you worship Alice Waters and have considered a backyard chicken coop, this is your book.
The New York Times, 3/7/2014 - David Tanis
I was headed to County Cork for a food festival put together by the Allen family of Shanagarry. For decades, the Allens’ restaurant and country inn, Ballymaloe House, has helped pave the way for a kind of revolution, a return to the Irish food of a time long before modern fast food invaded.
At Ballymaloe, I tasted the freshest eggs, butter and cream; sampled the prawns and salmon of the surrounding seas; ate asparagus and lettuces straight from the garden, and dined on fine pastured beef and lamb. And there were foraged ingredients, like wild garlic and carrageen moss, a type of seaweed. Everything was cooked simply, with just enough interference from the kitchen to enhance these basic goods.
Los Angeles Times, 3/12/2014 - Russ Parsons
In the compendium 30 Years at Ballymaloe, daughter-in-law, teacher, cookbook author and television presenter Darina Allen collects recipes from the many noted cooking teachers who have passed through the school — Claudia Roden, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey — as well as the current staff, including Darina Allen’s brother and chef Rory O’Connell, her daughter-in-law and fellow teacher Rachel Allen, and, of course, Myrtle Allen herself. To an American reader who presumably already has access to the American editions of cookbooks from those authors, it is probably the recipes from the latter that will be most interesting. It’s hard to imagine anything that sounds more delicious than Myrtle Allen’s hot buttered oysters — shucked, firmed in warm butter and napped with a reduced sauce of butter, oyster juice and parsley.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/12/2014 - Gretchen McKay
That terrific recipe came from 30 Years at Ballymaloe by Darina Allen (Kyle, March 2013, $35), who founded the internationally renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork in 1983 and today is a tireless ambassador for Irish food both at home and abroad. Here's where I also found a new use for parsnips—in a layer cake sweetened with maple syrup, apple, orange and mascarpone. We always knew the carrot-like root vegetable—high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C—is good for us. Thanks to Irish chefs such as Ms. Allen, now we know the veggie also can make its way into a wonderful dessert.
The Baton Rouge Advocate, 4/7/2014 - Cheramie Sonnier
Allen has taught many Irish people to cook through her television cooking program, Simply Delicious, and her weekly food column for the Irish Examiner. But, she is best known internationally for Ballymaloe Cookery School, which she and her brother Rory O’Connell first opened in 1983. Ireland’s longest running cooking school, Ballymaloe—and Allen—are renowned for a commitment to preserve Ireland’s culinary heritage. She also is a leader in the Slow Food movement, according to Alice Waters, who wrote the book’s foreword. “Ballymaloe’s great and powerful message is not just about bringing back an appreciation of food and taste, but an understanding of the culture of dood, and of Ireland: a culture of stewardship of the land, tradition, hospitality, and, above all, beauty,” Waters says. In her book, Allen takes the reader from the beginnings of the cookery school through today, introducing guest chefs and students who cooked there, many of whom contributed recipes for the book.Among its recipes are Vegetable and Red Lentil Broth, Pork Belly With Green and Black Olive Tapenade, Honey Mousse With Lavender Jelly, Gluten-Free Raspberry Muffins, spiced Cauliflower and Tomato With Parsley, and Kaitlyn’s Lemon Curd Meringue Cake.The book is beautifully illustrated with photos by Laura Edwards and photos from the school’s and Allen’s personal archives.
Providence Journal, 3/17/2014 - Gail Ciampa
Newly released in America, Ballymaloe (Kyle Books, $35) has a personality with every recipe. Allen uses Irish cheeses in the soufflé but she also offers easier-to-find alternatives. I was especially attracted to this soufflé not just for the lovely look of the flower-garnished dish, but also for the hope that spring is coming. This would make a nice brunch dish. But for now make it a supper dish, served with a green salad. If you’ve been reluctant to give goat cheese a whirl, why not try it this way. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Irish Central, 3/23/2014 - Kate Hickey
Her new book includes 100 new recipes which Allen says reflect 'what’s happening at the moment.' I think people often think people considered Ballymaloe to be more traditional stuff but our food is very multi-ethnic and always has been.
The Kitchn - Emma Christensen
Some books pull you in because they promise to teach you something. Others pull you in with lush photographs and long anecdotal essays. Others are fodder for new meal ideas, pure and simple. It's rare that a book meets all three pulls with such magnetic strength. This book is a tribute to all the meals that have been cooked at Ballymaloe and all the chefs and students who have passed through its doors. The book takes a meandering approach, weaving together key events in the school's history, profiles of beloved instructors, and of course, recipes in a rough timeline from 1983 to today. Thumb through the pages and you'll notice two things: First how the culinary zeitgeist slowly morphs over the years, and second, that despite all this change, how the core spirit of Ballymaloe stays constant. Same pastoral images of the grounds surrounding the school. Same eager smiles on the fresh-faced instructors and students. Same energy of community and a passion for learning. Whether this book ends up living on your coffee table or in your kitchen makes no difference. It will likely travel back and forth. Either way, definitely plan to spend some time with this book—there's so much here to absorb and discover.
The Splendid Table - Jennifer Russell
The legendary Darina Allen is a woman of many talents and passions. She is an award-winning author, chef, teacher, TV personality, farmer and founder of the famed Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland, the only cooking school in the world that happens to be located in the middle of its own 100-acre organic farm. The author of 30 Years at Ballymaloe explains what actually might be on the table at a typical Irish St. Patrick’s Day feast.
NPR, 6/12/2014 - A Sweet Solution For Dandelions: Eat 'Em To Beat 'Em
When searching for ingredients to cook with, Irish chef Darina Allen sometimes has only to make a short trip — to her yard. There, she's sure to find a constellation of bright yellow dandelion flowers.
"Where other people see weeds, I see dinner!" she says.
NPR, 6/12/2014 - .
A Sweet Solution For Dandelions: Eat 'Em To Beat 'Em When searching for ingredients to cook with, Irish chef Darina Allen sometimes has only to make a short trip—to her yard. There, she's sure to find a constellation of bright yellow dandelion flowers. 'Where other people see weeds, I see dinner!' she says.
Epicurus, 8/1/2014 - Laurie Burrows Grad
30 Years at Ballymaloe: A Celebration of the World-renowned Cooking School with over 100 New Recipes by Ireland’s best-known foodie Darina Allen is a wonderful look at this evolving and exciting cuisine. I was fortunate to eat at the restaurant and stroll through the gardens a few years ago. Now the recipes come alive in this wonderful volume. When Ballymaloe’s doors opened to students in 1983, there were 15 courses available. Today there are over 100 courses, reflected in the recipes collected here. The book chronicles how the school has been at the forefront of cooking and food trends since its inception, from Darina’s championing of the Slow Food movement and her highlighting the importance of using local, seasonal and fresh produce to installing a wood-burning oven and expanding its gardens so students can learn the importance of eating less meat and more vegetables and preserving heirloom varieties of produce.
8/7/2014 Baret News Wire
If you want to get a sense of the best that Ireland has to offer in terms of culinary delights, check out 30 Years at Ballymaloe, a combination memoir and cookbook replete with recipes, history lessons and glorious photographs of both mouth-watering dishes and lush photographs of the Emerald Isle’s verdant countryside. The elegant and practical coffee table opus is the labor of love of Darina Allen, co-founder with her brother Rory of the famed Ballymaloe Cookery School. Long esteemed as the Julia Child of Ireland, Darina staked her career ages ago on a health-oriented, "Slow Food" approach emphasizing organic, locally-grown, seasonal produce and cooking in wood-burning stoves. So, the sort of Irish food you’ll see trumpeted here ranges from "Ballycotton Shrimp with Watercress and Homemade Mayonnaise" to "Carrageen Moss Pudding with Poached Apricot and Sweet Geranium Compote." The author also offers tips on keeping cows which, in turn, enables her to make such fresh favorites as "Virgin Jersey Butter" and "Caramel Ice Cream." Darina has a fruit garden, too, of course, where figs, gooseberries, raspberries, figs, plums and green almonds can be found in abundance. And she bakes everything from brown bread to a chicken pot pie that sticks to the ribs, although the irresistible entrée that I just have to attempt is the pizza with roast peppers, olives and gremolata. A practical primer on the farm to fork philosophy proving Irish culinary fare to be far more sophisticated than the sorry slop and green beer celebrated all across the U.S. every St. Patty’s Day.
8/17/2014 Zester Daily
Thirty years since Darina Allen first opened the Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1983 with her brother Rory O’Connell comes 30 Years at Ballymaloe, a cookbook that charts the life of the school and the people who have taught and learned there. Known for its commitment to preserving Ireland’s culinary heritage and educating the public about the importance of quality food, the Ballymaloe only offered 15 courses when it first opened. As of 2013, that number is closer to 100. This cookbook is your chance to make the recipes yourself. With over 100 never-before published ones from Darina’s ever-growing cookbook repertoire, you’ll delight at the range of dishes from former students who are now well-known chefs like Claudia Roden, Marcella Hazen, and Madhur Jaffrey, to name a few. Recipes range from Irish staples such as Venison Sausages with Colcannon and Boiled Leg of Mutton with Wild Garlic Sauce to dishes inspired by Darina’s world travels from India, Thailand, Morocco, and more. The best part are the stories told throughout that illustrate the history of the school and the legacy it leaves behind.
Like Alice Waters's 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, this cookbook presents a retrospective of a revered culinary institution. Here Allen's Ballymaloe Cookery School, established in 1983 in County Cork, Ireland, is richly remembered by its founder, students, and guests through chronologically arranged essays, recipes, and images. Memories from notable chefs and authors, including Skye Gyngell, Claudia Roden, Madhur Jaffrey, and the recently deceased Marcella Hazan, as well as more than 100 new recipes (e.g., pickled carrots with star anise, Oaxacan chicken soup, watercress, sorrel, and wild leek broth) representing a range of world cuisines and skill levels, fill the pages. VERDICT This fascinating read would make a spectacular gift book for gardener-cooks, slow food advocates, and lovers of elegant, seasonal cuisine.