Long before country houses were running restaurants, in a time before Michelin stars and cookery schools, there was Myrtle Allen, a lady who along with her husband Ivan moved to a farm in Shanagarry, Co Cork and set up a country house to serve quality food.

Since then her impact on the Irish food, hospitality and tourism industry has been phenomenal. Founder of Ireland’s Blue Book travel guide, a founding member of Euro-Toques International and of course, the matriarch of the Ballymaloe brand, Myrtle Allen brought Irish food forward through commitment to quality produce.