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Hubby Isaac serves up a menu of surprises for TV chef Rachel's 40th

A FIREWORKS display, aeroplane acrobatics and the Rubberbandits -- celebrity chef Rachel Allen had no idea what hit her.

Her husband Isaac left nothing to chance when it came to surprising his wife -- and the mum-of-three was delighted with all the effort.

Rachel and Isaac celebrated their 40th birthdays with a party to end all parties at their family pile in East Cork.

And while Rachel knew that herself and her husband were going to have some type of party to celebrate their milestone birthdays, she had no idea what her husband was planning.

"Rachel is very busy filming at the moment so she had little time off.

"She knew there was going to be a party -- but Isaac organised a few surprises for her," an insider told the Herald.

"She had no idea there was going to be an aeroplane acrobatic display on the front lawn or the fireworks display later. Isaac organised everything."


The bash took place in the grainstore at the back of the Ballymaloe House Hotel.

Rachel had even more reason to be happy as the Rubberbandits took to the stage -- another surprise organised by Isaac, the son of world-famous Ballymaloe chefs Tim and Darina Allen.

Guests included Isaac's mum Darina, as well as his grandmother Myrtle, who started the world-famous Ballymaloe school. Darina's brother, award-winning Ballymaloe chef Rory O'Connell was also present.

Some 200 partygoers attended the event, making their way to the East Cork venue at 3pm for a special lunch consisting of local beef, turkey, bacon and salads.

After the air display on the front lawn, the party got into full swing culminating in a fireworks display and a performance by the Rubberbandits that had guests dancing until 4am.

The couple, who are parents to three children, have no qualms about turning 40 and stayed by each other's side for most of the night.

Their actual birthdays are not until next month, but they decided to celebrate a little earlier thanks to Ireland's Indian summer and a break in Rachel's filming schedule.

Rachel's series can be seen on RTE, BBC and the Food Channel.