Theirs is a story of old-fashioned Irish gumption. In the 1960s Myrtle Allen, now considered Ireland's Julia Child, created a restaurant out of the dining room at Ballymaloe House, the Allen family home outside the town of Shanagarry. As word of her cooking spread, the place was enlarged to accommodate more guests and ultimately became a hotel. When Darina O'Connell, then a hotel- and catering-management student, came to Ballymaloe to apprentice, she married Myrtle's son Tim. But the couple, struggling to run the farm during an economic downturn in the 1970s and '80s, needed to make the place earn money, so Ballymaloe Cookery School was born, located two miles from the House. This food dynasty is carried on today by granddaughter-in-law Rachel, a TV personality and food columnist.