When I was fourteen my mother gave me a most generous gift. For me it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was a gift like none other. I was excited beyond words. My dreams were coming true. It was to attend a Cookery course at the renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School. I was so excited.
I have always liked cooking, particularly sweet things, so to be going to Darina Allen’s cookery school was simply the best thing I could ever have hoped for. It was life changing in the best possible way. I felt like a sponge, yes, a sponge, but not the sweet edible kind! I wanted to take in every word and taste every dish, a trait that I have managed to hold onto ever since. Attending the demonstrations was not only inspiring but so much fun. As I watched the ingredients being handled so respectfully and cooked so beautifully I could see first hand how perfect flavour is encouraged and achieved. I had never experienced learning in this way before. Since that first demonstration I have been fortunate enough to attend many others and have watched some of the worlds greatest cooks demonstrating their techniques and have tasted their food, each time leaving me with lasting memories and feeling totally enriched.
This year LitFest offers the opportunity to see some of the greatest international voices in food from the 20th and 21st century sharing their passion for food in a mind blowing lineup of demonstrations! Here I highlight the once in a lifetime demonstrations at LitFest 2014:
Traveling from her home in Michoacán in Mexico, Diana Kennedy is the worlds leading researcher on Mexican food and a fantastic cook. Now in her 90th year, Diana will be coming to LitFest to share some of her favourite Mexican dishes.
Maggie Beer, from Australia's Barossa Valley, will demonstrate and introduce us to the virtues of Verjuice and Vino Cotto, her favourite ingredients.
Don't miss Ariana Bundy, she will demonstrate how to cook the exquisite food of her native Iran, alongside Rory O’Connell who will complement her food with other inspiring dishes.
Three past students of the Ballymaloe Cookery school, Lilly Higgins, Clodagh McKenna and Jordan Bourke will team up to share their wisdom in a collaborative demonstration.
Rachel Allen will host Ross Lewis, one of Ireland’s most acclaimed chefs, as he demonstrates the stunning modern Irish food for which he is renowned.
RTE’s most talented chefs, Catherine Fulvio, Martin Shanahan and Paul Flynn will unite to demonstrate their signature dishes.
Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi will demonstrate the Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean inspired food that has earned them a global cult following.
This mouthwatering line up of stellar talent will inspire and illuminate. What a treat it is for us to have such an opportunity to see, hear, smell and taste the food from this line up of world greats!
And here I am again feeling like sponge…. And this time I mean cake!