Rory O’Connell

Rory trained at Ballymaloe House with Myrtle Allen, the grand-dame of Irish country house cooking. He then left East Cork for Paris, where he worked as part of the team charged with establishing the French outpost of Ballymaloe, La Ferme Irlandaise. On his return to Ireland, he began working with the Ryan brothers at the acclaimed Arbutus Lodge in Cork City, where he continued to expand his epicurean repertoire.

In 1985 Rory founded Ballymaloe Cookery School with his sister Darina Allen. The success of the school was widely publicised leading to Rory being called upon to style cookery books, TV shows and contribute to various international food publications. During this period, Rory worked with Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico, London and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons in Oxford.
An opportunity to work with yet another great saw Rory leaving East Cork for Berkeley, California to join Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, a restaurant with a philosophy based on the strength of ingredients and cooking techniques that Rory both admired and already practiced through his continued involvement with Slow Food Ireland.

Today however he can be found teaching at the Ballymaloe Cookery School.

The Joy of Food is Rory’s latest book, published in October 2020 and short-listed for an An Post Irish Book Award.

In 2023, Rory was awarded the Irish Food and Wine Magazine Hall of Fame award.

Instagram: @rorysfood