Founder of Ballymaloe house and award winning chef Myrtle Allen has sadly passed away, aged 94.
Remembering Myrtle, we’ve decided to take a look back at her family photoshoot with daughter-in-law Darina and granddaughter-in-law Rachel which took place almost a decade ago.
Back in Decemeber 2009, VIP sat down with three of the Allen women to hear all about the family business and their lives together.
Speaking about how she was first introduced to Myrtle and the Ballymaloe world, Darina tells us, “It was the late 60s. I was doing hotel management but not interested in it. I just wanted to cook but couldn’t get into the cook kitchens because men were chefs.
“Through my college headmistress, I heard about Myrtle Allen who lived in Cork. I wrote to her and Myrtle wrote back a really lovely letter and said, ‘We’d love to have you, we even have children of your age.’
“I went and never left! I met Timmy on the first day I arrived in Ballymaloe. He was a year and a half younger than me. It wasn’t until the end of the summer that we started going out together. We married in 1970, the reception was at Ballymaloe House.
“We had our first child Isaac (Rachel’s husband) the day before our wedding anniversary, then came Toby, Lydia and Emily.”
Darina formed an incredibly close bond with her mother-in-law from the minute they first met and was constantly in awe of Myrtle.
“I feel so fortunate that our paths crossed. Myrtle is such an inspiration to me.
“She has also been enormously supportive and has taught me so much. She still influences me to this day. She’s just amazing, really.”
She’ll be sadly missed by all .
Check out some of the gorgeous snaps from their shoot below: