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Allied to the theme of the symposium, this paper sets out to establish how, with Darina Allen at its helm, Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork, Ireland has revolutionised Irish food culture over the past three decades. Ballymaloe Cookery School has been under scrutiny from many quarters, but the business and its impact have not been the subject of academic study to date. Invoking a qualitative approach, using findings and analysis from twenty semi-structured interviews, this paper investigates Ballymaloe Cookery School since its inception to the present. Employing a phenomenological approach and using grounded theory to analyse the primary data, the results of this study represent new and significant contributions to knowledge. The objective of this paper is to consider the school’s achievements and understand how the business emerged, what values underpin its operations, and how it has evolved. This study further seeks to situate Ballymaloe Cookery School within a wider context of Irish food culture, and highlight the impact the cookery school has had on revolutionising Irish food.

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Parallel Session 3, Day 1, May 31, 2016.

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May 31st, 4:00 PM May 31st, 5:30 PM

East Cork’s Quiet Revolution: The Role of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland’s Changing Foodscape

Allied to the theme of the symposium, this paper sets out to establish how, with Darina Allen at its helm, Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork, Ireland has revolutionised Irish food culture over the past three decades. Ballymaloe Cookery School has been under scrutiny from many quarters, but the business and its impact have not been the subject of academic study to date. Invoking a qualitative approach, using findings and analysis from twenty semi-structured interviews, this paper investigates Ballymaloe Cookery School since its inception to the present. Employing a phenomenological approach and using grounded theory to analyse the primary data, the results of this study represent new and significant contributions to knowledge. The objective of this paper is to consider the school’s achievements and understand how the business emerged, what values underpin its operations, and how it has evolved. This study further seeks to situate Ballymaloe Cookery School within a wider context of Irish food culture, and highlight the impact the cookery school has had on revolutionising Irish food.