Blogs | Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food & Wine
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The Ballymaloe Litfest of Food and Wine

19-21 May, 2017
 
East Cork, Ireland
 
This is a recent addition to the festival calendar, starting in 2013. It takes place at Ballymaloe House and Cookery School, and now attracts a range of international writers, chefs, foragers and TV presenters.
 
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In some ways, the festival is the ultimate holiday. A life-changing experience, crammed into a few days, which transforms you from jaded commuter into free spirit, or opens your mind through art, music, poetry, performance.
 
Glastonbury may have sold out in seconds flat - but there are enough festivals around the world to keep us happy all year long, from literary highs to euphoric trance. So pack your wings and stilts. Take your clothes off and paint your bum blue, try unidentifiable street food and circus skills, crowd-surf to the front and 
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Filmmaker Brian McGinn talks about his hit Netflix show and his hopes to show the world it has been wrong about Irish food.
 
Brian McGinn likes nothing better than finding out he’s completely wrong about a country’s food. “As an American, I thought Russian food was just caviar and vodka,” he explains. But directing a new episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table from The White Rabbit in Moscow has been eye-opening. “They’ve been fermenting food in the same way the Scandinavians have hundreds of years before Noma became popular.”
 
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The Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food & Wine, widely regarded as one of the best food festivals in the world and which attracted an audience of more than 8,000 people to the cookery school and hotel in Shanagarry, Co Cork last May, is to undergo a radical overhaul in 2017.
 
From next year, the event will be known as the Ballymaloe Food & Drinks Literacy Festival, or LitFest – as in previous years – but with an emphasis on food literacy, responsibility and sustainability, rather than food and drink literature.
 
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With less than two weeks to go until LitFest 2016 I'm thrilled to introduce Cortney Burns, of Bar Tartine, as the next guest blogger. I was fortunate enough to eat at Bar Tartine several times, while I was staging at the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco in 2014. The restaurant's "made from scratch" philosophy has made it famous for inedible flavours and imaginative combinations. In this blog entry Cortney shares with us her passion cooking and tells us why she is excited to be visiting East Cork for the first time next week.

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I'm thrilled to introduce Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman's Deli in Michigan as the next guest to contribute to the blog. In this entry Ari tells us why he started food writing and he shares his excitement for coming to LitFest 2016.
 

Books and Ballymaloe 

 
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Litfest is 4.5 weeks away now and everything is gathering serious momentum.  This year, when you arrive at Litfest16 you'll be welcomed by Darcie Mayland and her team at the Welcome Tent. We asked Darcie to introduce herself here prior to the festival....
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Kevin Sheridan of Sheridans Cheesemongers, one of my favourite shops in Ireland, is the next star speaker of LitFest 2016 to contributeto the blog. In his blog entry Kevin shares with us how he and his brother Seamus set up their brilliant business:It is twenty one years since myself and Seamus set up a stall on the St Nicholas Saturday market in Galway city. We had built a rudimentary table and covering, we had a small kitchen scales and a few chefs knives.
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I'm thrilled to introduce Prue Leith, one of the guest speakers coming to LitFest16, as the first guest to contribute to my blog. Last year Prue came as an ordinary punter and had this to say about Ireland in her Spectator Diary: 
 
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At Litfest HQ preparations to make the ‘Our Food – What’s The Story’ talks at Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival unforgettable are well underway, and we are mindful that that talks and presentations are impactful, relevant and resonant.

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About Litfest

Litfest - A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe is a weekend filled with fascinating facts, inspirational stories, intriguing discussions, incredible knowledge, fantastic music, fabulous dancing and of course, delicious food and drinks.
 
It is the only festival of its kind in Ireland and has created an important hub for food and drinks enthusiasts worldwide to meet and share ideas with each other.

Check out the video of Litfest 2015

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