JR Ryall first visited Ballymaloe House in County Cork, Ireland at the age of thirteen on a culinary course that was gifted to him on his birthday. Now Ryall is the Head Pastry Chef at Ballymaloe, responsible for creating desserts and pastries at the world-famous restaurant, which is known for its show-stopping dessert trolley created daily by Ryall. Ballymaloe is a magical place, a culinary destination loved by local and global visitors alike for its restaurant, café, hotel, gardens, cooking school, farm and shop.
Ballymaloe Desserts: Iconic Recipes and Stories from Ireland (Phaidon, 2022), Ryall’s debut cookbook, is a celebration of sophisticated yet achievable desserts and the legacy and traditions behind them. In the book, Ryall shares 140 recipes currently used in the pastry kitchen at Ballymaloe House throughout the year. There are classics such as Lemon Meringue Pie; Baked Alaska; Strawberry Shortcake; Sherry Trifle; and a foolproof Christmas Pudding. However, the ethos at Ballymaloe is to continually evolve and adapt dishes, keeping them contemporary. This approach is part of the day-to-day cooking at Ballymaloe and in Ryall’s pastry kitchen. Ryall’s touching introduction to the book shares the legacy of Ballymaloe itself and its culinary icon and founder, Myrtle Allen, and Ballymaloe Desserts brings home the enduring delight and uniqueness of this enchanting place.