When Dublin-raised Rachel Allen left home at 18 to pursue a culinary arts education at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, Ireland, she never expected to become one of the hottest TV chefs in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and one of its most beloved food personalities.
Allen burst onto the broadcast scene with her first series in September 2004 on RTE (Ireland’s national TV station). Called Rachel’s Favourite Food, it was also screened on BBC 2 and has been seen in Australia, Italy, Africa and various other countries. The successful series was followed by Rachel’s Favourite Food for Friends, Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home, Rachel’s Favourite Food for Living, and most recently, Bake! Each series has been accompanied by a best-selling companion cookbook. Since then, her fame has jumped the pond and she can now be seen in the US hosting Rachel Allen: Bake! on The Cooking Channel and Rachel’s Favorite Food at Home on PBS.
Allen’s popular TV shows reflect her philosophy about food and cooking. “I believe good ingredients simply prepared will give great results,” she said. Allen cooks with home-grown ingredients – fish from local waters, farm-fresh vegetables and Irish butter, made with milk from cooperatives of small family farmers. The butter is widely available in the United States, sold under the Kerrygold brand.
This busy mother of three also continues to teach at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, the internationally acclaimed school where she learned to cook. She is married to Isaac Allen, son of school founder Darina Allen.
You can try out the simple beauty of her meals by following one of her recipes like this.