Ireland is well-known for its farm-to-table cuisine. Rachel Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School reveals the destination's best markets, distilleries, and food trails.Ireland is well-known for its farm-to-table cuisine. Rachel Allen of the Ballymaloe Cookery School reveals the destination's best markets, distilleries, and food trails.
We have such great produce in Ireland, our beets, our dairy, and of course our seafood is amazing because of the cold lovely sea that we have surrounding the island. So, whatever region you find yourself in Ireland, be it north, south, east, or west, you're going to find yourself some really good food. I live on the farm at the Balllymaloe Cookery School. I moved down from Dublin when I was 18 I came to take a three month cooking course and basically never left. When people ask me what is modern Irish food, what I'm loving now is that we're becoming so well known for our great produce. Being an island we've got amazing seafood. And then of course with our whether we have a little bit of rain which keeps the grass and everything green. So anything that's grace based. So pork, beef, lamb and dairy is absolutely wonderful. We've always had some wonderful markets in Ireland. First of all there's the Victorian Saint Georgius Market in Belfast, which is a coverage market. As is the English market in Quark, so you have the old and the new and I think that's what makes us interesting. A great way to discover food is to go on a food trail. Whether it's a [UNKNOWN] food trail, or the Bourne food trail, Kilkenny, Dingle food trail, there are lots of them. And I think that's a really good way to actually get to know, properly, the food and get to know some great characters. Festivals, as well. We love a bit of a festival in Ireland. Whether it's the Galway Oyster Festival at the beginning of September. That's brilliant of course, because that's the start of the oyster season. While we love our food, we love everything I think that's associated with food. Whether it's beers and ciders, but also of course the distilleries. We've got the very famous Bushmill Distillery in the northern coast, and we of course have got the Midleton Distillery. Which is just ten miles from here. The Cookery School was opened 30 years ago. What's really important I think about the Cookery School is that, we bring the farming elements into the cooking as well. So it's not just that you come and you learn how to cook, so it really goes back to basics. It is very much that farm to fork. There's such a great range of food options actually for a visitor coming to Ireland, because while we have wonderful fine dining restaurants, it could be something as simple as just great pub food, of which there is now quite a bit. We have some of the best produce in the world. That is why Ireland is such a special culinary destination.