“Her naturally vivacious personality and pure infectious enthusiasm for food has led her to where she is today.”
Growing up on a working Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast while holding on to the apron strings of her mother, Catherine Fulvio (nee Byrne) was destined to dedicate her career to the hospitality industry. After leaving Tinakilly House as marketing manager Catherine returned to Ballyknocken to develop both the existing business and embark on a new career.
Having been raised on a traditional Irish Farm Guesthouse with parents who valued the importance of producing and growing their own ingredients this comes as no great surprise. Her mother was a committed foodie and developed a business based on her passion which Catherine continues today in four star Ballyknocken House and more recently internationally acclaimed Ballyknocken Cookery School.
Today Catherine continues to enjoy what has become a labour of love at Ballyknocken, which is still also a genuine 350-acre working sheep farm, run by Catherine’s father and siblings, as well as being home to a charming Victorian Guesthouse and award winning cookery school. Catherine has firmly established herself as a familiar face on TV screens both at home and abroad and is an established food writer and author, she is currently researching her second book.
With her background it is not surprising that Catherine puts much emphasis on provenance of food and her food philosophy is deeply rooted in local and seasonal produce which is strongly reflected both in her TV appearances, her writing as a food author as well as the food served both at Ballyknocken House and the ingredients used in the Cookery School.
On a more personal level, when not working, Catherine is a dotting mother of two, her family has been at Ballyknocken for almost 100 years while husband, Claudio, hails from Palermo, Sicily.
“I got my foundation in cooking hanging onto my mothers apron strings, cooking three meals a day for our guesthouse residents, making butter, helping milk the cows, harvesting the fruit and vegetables and baking for the local country market from a young age.”