The Kerrygold Ballymaloe LitFestis is getting tantalisingly close. Bringing some of the finest chefs and food writers to East Cork for the second year of this world-class, innovative and exciting festival dedicated to food and wine writing.
The buzz surrounding this year’s Kerrygold Ballymaloe LitFest has been electric, with some events selling out in a matter of minutes.
In addition to wonderful speakers like René Redzepi of Noma, London-based deli, restaurant and cookbook supremos Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi and Australian cook and artisan food champion Maggie Beer, the LitFest list continues to grow with an entertaining and eclectic mix of knowledgeable kitchen masters, wine lovers, local producers, bloggers, broadcasters and restaurateurs.
Recently added names include Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, the two women behind the award-winning Canal House Cooking collections, who describe themselves as “home cooks writing about home cooking for other home cooks”, as does ex-Ballymaloe student, MasterChef winner and founder of Wahaca restaurant group, Thomasina Miers, who will present a workshop on a fiery subject dear to her heart – the chilli.
Drinks of all kinds feature significantly too on this year’s programme, with bar legend Nick Strangeway, hailed by Time Out as London’s leading cocktail expert, the world’s most experienced Master Gin Distiller Desmond Payne of Beefeater London Gin, one of Spain’s pioneer winemakers, Telmo Rodriguez, Chris Forbes of Taylor’s Port, family run since 1692 and an historic founding port house, and Master Whiskey Distiller from neighbouring Midleton Distillery, Brian Nation, just a small selection of the fascinating speakers.
On the ever growing list of not-to-be-missed events is a visual feast from The Perennial Plate. Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine will present a collection of their incredible documentaries which have been filmed around the world and are dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.
Author of The Thrifty Forager Alys Fowler will join René Redzepi for a sell out foraging event, and writer of Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes Ariana Bundy and Ballymaloe Cookery School co-founder, Rory O’Connell, will co-host what promises to be a lively cookery demonstration.
Ben Reade of the Nordic Food Lab and teacher and writer Sandor Katz, both of whom share a passion for fermentation, will discuss Forgotten Skills with Diana Kennedy and food writer and broadcaster Joanna Blythman, and the Financial Times’ Tim Hayward, who publishes Gin & It quarterly and edits Fire & Knives magazine, will introduce his new book Food DIY, a handbook of smoking, curing, preserving, baking and other manly pursuits.
Veteran broadcaster and historian John Bowman will chair a special food and wine edition of Questions and Answers, with the expert panel of Sandor Katz, Tomás Clancy, Joanna Blythman and Ella McSweeney.
Our fabulous home-grown foodies are also flying the flag as Ballymaloe’s own bestselling authors, Darina Allen, Rachel Allen and Rory O’Connell host Ireland’s finest; Ross Lewis, Paul Flynn, Donal Skehan, Martin Shanahan, Catherine Fulvio, Clodagh McKenna, wine columnists John Wilson, Tomás Clancy, Raymond Blake, Leslie Williams and Mary Dowey, writers Imen McDonnell, Tom Doorley, Nessa Robbins and Lily Higgins and journalist and broadcaster Caroline Hennessy, not forgetting legends in Irish food writing John & Sally McKenna.
The Kerrygold Ballymaloe LitFest runs from May 16 to May 18 2014.
Tickets are available from the box office, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily on 00353 21 4645777 or online at www.litfest.ie
This article originally appeared on Evoke.ie