Car Chat with Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen with her Land Rover Discovery Sport

Rachel Allen with her Land Rover Discovery Sport

We talk gadgets, dream locations and cars with celebrity chef Rachel Allen 

Your current car – Love at first sight or just a means to get from A to B? “Oh definitely love at first sight. I’ve always been into cars and driving. I live in the countryside in East Cork with a young family and a very busy lifestyle. One day my car, a Land Rover Discovery Sport, could be jam-packed with food and equipment for a cookery demonstration and the next day I could be ferrying boys to a match. My car needs to tick more than just one or two boxes, but I love having one that’s sporty and fun to drive.”

What does it say about you? “Practical, fun and not boring!”

What’s under the bonnet? “2.2 litre turbo diesel 6 speed automatic.”

Petrol head or Sunday driver? “Petrol head. It runs in the family. Every few weeks or so we go to watch our son Lucca compete in karting championships around the country.”

What was your first car?“It was a Peugeot 205 Gti”

Dream drive in dream location? “Last year for my television series, Rachel’s Coastal Cooking, I drove the length of the Wild Atlantic Way. The Discovery Sport was perfect for it- I managed to fit in my mobile cooking kit as well as clothes for every type of weather, and, of course, the scenery was just amazing.”

Do you have a favourite car gadget? It has to be the fold down seats in the boot of my car.

Who taught you to drive? “My husband Isaac, thankfully our relationship survived that!”

Whom do you most admire in your profession? “It may sound a bit obvious but my husband’s grandmother Myrtle Allen has been of huge inspiration to me. She was quite a pioneer in her time, opening a country house restaurant in her home in the 1960s. She’s a very modest woman though she in her own way quietly revolutionised Irish food as we know it today.”

What was your best career decision to date? “Deciding to up sticks from Dublin and go to do a cookery course at Ballymaloe. It set me on the very exciting path of a fun and very busy career in food.”
What is on your car stereo right now? “When I don’t have the radio on I’ll listen to everything from David Bowie to the Kings of Leon and Bob Marley, though if either of our teenage sons are in the car, on goes their music which tends to include a bit of Eminem, 50 Cent, and Justin Bieber to name but a few. It’s scary when you realise you know the words to every Macklemore song there is!”

One item you couldn’t live without? “At this time of year we stoke up and light our brilliant Baby Valoriani wood fired oven and eat roasted fish, meat or pizzas outside overlooking Ballycotton Bay.”

How do you relax? “At the end of the day, I love to relax for a chat with my family or friends, whether it’s over food or a pot of tea, or a glass of wine, catching up with everyone on their news is a relaxing tonic itself!”

Passenger you’d most like on a long journey? “My grandfather who just recently passed away. He lived the most extraordinary life from being raised as a Jew in wartime Vienna, then spent time in a concentration camp before joining the RAF and qualifying in medicine. Given one more chance there are so many questions I’d love to ask him and so many more stories I’d love to hear.”


Rachel Allen

29th August, 2016



Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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