Senator Feargal Quinn once said, ”Sex didn’t exist in Ireland until Gay Byrne hosted the Late Late show, and taste buds didn’t exist in Ireland until Myrtle Allen opened her restaurant at Ballymaloe!”.
It is therefore no surprise to any of us that Ballymaloe will be hosting the first ever literary festival of food and wine… Even typing the name gets me excited!… But since Myrtle’s early days as a chef and food writer the Irish food scene had quite simply exploded!
Myrtle’s early experiments with the fabulous fresh produce from her farm led her into an accidental cookery career that she had never imagined. In 1977, thirteen years after turning her dining room into a most special restaurant, Myrtle published her first cook book “The Ballymaloe Cookbook”.
Now, nearly 40 years on, a new generation of young talented food writers make the most of modern technology and excite a worldwide audience with their scrumptious words. So get involved and check out the jam packed program of events at the first ever Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine. I just cant wait to get stuck into the exciting workshops. Whether you want to learn about digital food writing, self publishing or simply want to listen the hottest new voices in food, this festival has it all.
Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard… For those of you who want to meet the amazing Myrtle, and trust me, she is amazing, she will be hosting afternoon tea in Ballymaloe House during the festival, but tickets are selling like… ahem, “hot cakes”… so get them quick to avoid disappointment.