THE head pastry chef at Ballymaloe House has been crowned Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2022 Food & Wine Restaurant of the Year Awards.
JR Ryall, author of the recently published Ballymaloe Desserts, picked up the award at a gala event in Dublin’s Mansion House on Sunday.
Recently back from launching the new book in London and New York, he saw off stiff competition in a national category of 13 nominees at the awards.
Mr Ryall joined Myrtle Allen in the kitchen at Ballymaloe House when he was still at school and has been there since he was 15.
In 2010, he took the reins to oversee the dessert menu and each year he travels for two months in search of new culinary ideas around the world.
He has also worked at The River Cafe, Ottolenghi, Chez Panisse, and Tartine Bakery, among other esteemed restaurants.
Now an internationally acclaimed pastry chef, he began working on Ballymaloe Desserts at the start of the lockdown.
Speaking about the news of JR winning Best Pastry Chef at the Food & Wine awards, the general manager of Ballymaloe House Laura Behan said the whole team is over the moon for him.
“This is fantastic news for JR. The Food & Wine award tops off what’s been a whirlwind year for him, with the publication of his brilliant book and the much-deserved international recognition that has brought.
“JR is so passionate about what he does, and awards like this just prove that he’s hugely respected and appreciated among his industry peers,” she said.
Ballymaloe House is heralded as the birthplace of modern Irish cuisine where visitors are treated to Mr Ryall’s daily array of seasonally inspired treats, wheeled through the dining room on a vintage dessert trolley.
Recipes are built to be adaptable, highlighting Ballymaloe’s commitment to seasonality and fresh local ingredients.