It was synonymous with the Allen family for whom homecooking was the recipe for unparalleled success.
A name bound to boost the chances of any serious student of cooking fortunate enough to be able to include Ballymaloe Cookery School on his or her CV.
A highly-successful hotel, using local organic produce to feed its willing guests. A shop full of goodies for the visitor and weekends in the country available on its 400-acre farm with an award-winning restaurant to boot.
The Allen family’s bread and butter is suddenly under threat and in order to save their livelihoods, they are agreed that the man who brought the disgrace must no longer be involved in their business.
Tim Allen, now a convicted child porn offender, apparently agrees. Not surprising, when you look at the goldmine they are sitting on.
There’s the founder, Myrtle Allen’s (Tim’s mother) Ballymaloe Foods. You can get ‘the original Ballymaloe cookbook’ for €12.99 or a recipe for Carragheen moss pudding for €2.95. Her daughter Wendy Whelan, Tim’s sister, runs Ballymaloe shop.
Tim and wife Darina jointly ran Ballymaloe Cookery School and Gardens, up to last weekend The 12-week cookery courses run at the school are a significant money spinner. Those currently attending the certificate course will have paid €6,635. Later, in the peak season, the price will rise to €7,650.
There are regular waiting lists to get on these courses. Ballymaloe House Hotel is in the capable hands of Hazel, the wife of Rory Allen, Tim’s brother. Rory, a keen musician, organises Rory Allen’s Ballymaloe Music Weekends. Winter breaks at Ballymaloe House Hotel cost €265 for two nights/dinners for a standard room and €305 for a large room per person sharing. Yasmin Hyde, another sister of Tim, runs Hyde Ltd, relishes and dressings suppliers, trading under Ballymaloe Relishes.
Myrtle Allen’s grandchildren are also involved. Dervilla, the wife of Sacha Whelan, son of Wendy and Jim, runs The Café at the End of the Shop, her mother-in-law’s shop.
Sacha has Sacha Whelan Furniture, products visible via a link on the Ballymaloe website. Ivan, Sacha’s brother, runs the Grapefruit Moon Restaurant in Ballycotton.
Another of Myrtle’s grandson’s, Isaac Allen, operates the Crawford Gallery Café in Emmet Place, Cork city. So there’s a lot to protect.
Any wonder then that the decision to end Tim Allen’s career at Ballymaloe House appears to be unanimous, supported by the family and even Tim himself.