Barbara Collins is a native of Co Armagh who has worked in BBC News and Current Affairs Radio and Television since 1999 when she joined as a graduate trainee. Her passion for people and their stories is matched by her appetite for good food.
After doing a Guardian Masterclass in Food Writing with Matthew Fort and Tom Parker Bowles in May 2011, she decided to pursue her dream of writing about food in earnest. She quickly started writing agri-food and farming features for the Farmers Guardian and became Chief Food Writer at Flavour magazine.
This publication covers the top half of the island of Ireland and Barbara does their restaurant reviews, features such as Food Trends and the state of the fish industry as well as a regular artisan slot.
She also writes for the BBC’s Countryfile magazine, the Irish News, ISLE magazine and occasionally contributes to the Country Living section of the Irish Farmers Journal. She is the Food Writer for Taste of Ulster/Food NI and has revamped their Restaurant Guide as well as writing a new Producers Guide. They were launched at Balmoral Show 2013.
Her experience in broadcast makes her natural MC at cookery events. She has covered the Food Standards Agency Kitchen at Balmoral 2012 and did Taste of Carlingford and Taste of Carrick on Shannon festivals 2013. Her latest column Home Cooking is published in the 7 River Media titles in Derry, Donegal and Kildare.
Radio-wise, she has been a presenter’s friend on the Food Programme, Radio Four as well as compiling packages for Radio Ulster and RTE Countrywide. She has also made several food-related documentaries including Food in Care Home for BBC Radio Five Live which also made the second lead on the BBC News Channel.
She is married to a Galway farmer and they have two children. She loves nothing more than cooking with her home-grown produce. She must have a decent Americano coffee every day and a perusal of the papers. Her last meal would be a tapas extravaganza (she is fluent in Spanish) followed by apple sponge and custard. She’s a bundle of contradictions!