In Paris, on Monday 18th February 2019, Ballymaloe House won global recognition as winners of the inaugural food Oscars ‘Trolley of the Year 2019’ award. Ballymaloe House and Café Paradiso (in collaboration with Lucy from Gort-na-Nain vegetable farm in Kinsale), brought the only two trophies from these prestigious international food awards home to Ireland. Darina Allen from Ballymaloe Cookery School and Ballymaloe House’s head pastry chef JR Ryall were in Paris to collect the award on behalf of everyone at Ballymaloe House.
The ‘Trolley of the Year’ award celebrates those that believe tableservice should always be in fashion and the late Myrtle Allen began this long-standing personal service when her and her husband Ivan first opened the doors of their family dining room to the public in 1964. The original wooden cart was made in the early 1960’s by carpenter Danny Power to Myrtle Allen’s specifications: a top shelf with ledge and another underneath for plates and serving utensils.
Jr Ryall, Anne Healy, Breda Cahill and Hannah Callen currently are the team who prepare the dessert trolley daily for lunch and dinner at Ballymaloe House. Fresh flowers arrive from the garden to decorate their seasonal desserts. The pastry chefs brief the front of house team pre-service on the sweet choices available and where the ingredients have come from. Serving the Ballymaloe dessert trolley is often where Ballymaloe waiting staff begin their training and it is where many of today’s famous chefs began their journey with food, namely Rachel Allen.
The Dessert Trolley and how it is presented visually and verbally, was always important to Mrs Allen. What came naturally to her, in today’s world remains an important way to bring diners closer to Ballymaloe’s farm to fork ethos. Ballymaloe House stated via their social media on receipt of the news of the win, ‘This award is for you Myrtle and all at Ballymaloe House who keep your trolley rolling so sweetly and majestically!’
Myrtle and Ivan’s youngest daughter Fern Allen, Ballymaloe restaurant manager, on receiving news that Ballymaloe House had won the award said, “We are thrilled with this global award for my mother’s dessert trolley and delighted for JR, the pastry team and the front of house team who continue to keep the dessert trolley at Ballymaloe House up to date, fresh and up to my mother’s high standards”.
The Allen family and everyone at Ballymaloe House is extremely excited about this international recognition. 55 years after the late, great Myrtle Allen began Ballymaloe’s journey as possibly Ireland’s greatest food influencers, the awards are still rolling in.