Blogs | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe
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“The world is edible” ~ René Redzepi, Ballymaloe , 2014

Stepping into the grounds of Ballymaloe House, you instantly get a feeling of genuine, refreshing, Irish countryside.

The fields surrounding the house were dashed with flushes of greens and yellows, with trees and birds all finding their place amongst the people. The house, an impressive building, was covered with the most beautiful purple flowers draping the windows and walls and gave off an image of pleasant grandeur.


René Redzepi’s presence in Cork is a coup for the Litfest food festival.

René Redzepi was impressed. “This is the most organised farm I’ve ever seen,” he told Darina Allen yesterday afternoon, arriving wide-eyed out to the sunny kitchen garden at Ballymaloe.

The Dane, who was renamed world’s best chef last month, was giving his eldest daughter Arwen a piggy-back, her foot in a cast after a bicycle accident.


‘I love the build-up to it,’ says Darina Allen Chefs as writers and food experts arrive

No one told the weeds in the kitchen garden at Ballymaloe to stop growing so staff could set up for the thousands of people expected to arrive at the Cork farm this morning for the annual Litfest. So there was an element of business as usual yesterday as the gardeners were quietly weeding the herb beds.

“I think they’re growing even more vigorously,” one of them muttered as she passed with a full barrow.


Looking for a food focus for your weekend? Make the pilgrimage to Ballymaloe for The Ballymaloe Lit Fest.

This weekend sees the return of the Ballymaloe Lit Fest to The Allens’ food haven in Shanagarry, Co Cork on the 16th, 17th and 18th of May.

Darina and Rachel Allen will be welcoming food enthusiasts from around the country and around the world to their cookery school to celebrate the best in food and wine writing.


We want you to have a safe visit to the Kerrygold Ballymaloe LitFest, that you get to see the events you have booked, and that your trip goes according to plan.

We do expect to the roads to be very busy over the weekend though, with traffic delays unfortunately likely at various times, so we strongly advise that you leave in plenty of time to get to Ballymaloe or Ballymaloe Cookery School, so that you can find the location & venue of your chosen event(s).  


I'm bringing a jar of home-made sauerkrautand a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty to Ballymaloe today. Cheeseburger pizzas aren't on the menu. Instead there are more big names, food workshops, interviews, debates, tastings, and demonstrations than you could shake a cinnamon stick at


With a stellar cast of international chefs and food writers, Ciara O’Kelly talks to Rory O’Connell ahead of the Kerrygold Forget Ballymaloe Literary Festival.

Forget iPads and Kindles. When it comes to cookery books nothing beats the real thing. The recipes that have been borrowed and photocopied from generation to generation, the books that are covered in splatters of tomato sauce, with grains of salt edged in its bind. These are the books that are truly loved in kitchens across the country, these are the books of real families.


THIS weekend, May 16-18, why not make plans to attend the Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine. Take part in fascinating discussions on food history and politics, watch as masters of their craft show you how its done and marvel as fantastic cocktails are made before your eyes.

In between all this you have all the wonders of The Big Shed with food stalls, kids area and music stage.

The centrepiece of the festival are the famous foodies talking and demonstrating their crafts.


When I received an email from the lovely Darina Allen inviting me to the Kerrygold Ballymaloe festival, I knew I couldn’t refuse. She was given Pomegranates & Roses as a gift from our family friends Don and Martha Rosenthal who had visited her from Vermont a few months before.

Alt, Alt, Alt, Alt

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.


Buy a Litfest Gift Voucher

Fringe Festival

Fringe Festival & The Big Shed


Stalls at Litfest17

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 2016

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