Darina Allen, owner of the world-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School, was last night honoured by Cork Chamber for her years of service and achievement in the food industry.
Ms Allen joined an illustrious list of previous winners in being handed the Outstanding Achievement in Business award at the event, in association with Ernst & Young (EY), at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel.
Speaking at the event, Cork Chamber president Gillian Keating said she was delighted to use this year’s event to recognise the important contribution made by the food and drinks sector to the regional and national economy, and Ms Allen’s achievements in particular.
“This year in particular we are pleased to be celebrating success from the food industry, to further highlight the region’s excellent resources which provide Cork with a solid foundation and valuable springboard from which to catapult itself onto the world stage as a leading player in agri-food and drinks sectors with resultant revenue and employment gains for the county and country.
“Darina Allen, in her capacity as owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School, has put Irish food on the world stage and has won many awards in her role as chef, food writer and teacher.
“But it is for her achievements as ambassador for Irish food and the business acumen that she brings to that sector that Cork Chamber are awarding her the Outstanding Achievement in Business award.”
Since establishing Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1983 with her brother Rory O’Connell, Ms Allen has written more than 10 books and presented a number of television series as well as being actively involved in some of the food industry’s key representative bodies, including the Taste Council of Bord Bia and as chair of the Artisan Food Forum.
She joins Seán O’Driscoll of Glen Dimplex and Fexco’s Brian McCarthy as previous recipients of the award.
EY partner, John Higgins, said that he was “personally delighted” to see Ms Allen receive the award and for the audit and advisory firm to continue to support the Chamber event, which is now in its fourth year and which attracted more than 550 guests last night from across the business and political communities of Dublin and Cork.
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