Blogs | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe

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.


Not surprisingly the decline in home cooking closely mirrors the rise in obesity – and it’s also undermined our social skills.


If you want to see Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi cooking up a Middle Eastern feast, or go foraging with René Redzepi and Alys Fowler, unfortunately you’re too late. But there are plenty of events still with ticket availability for next week’s Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine (May 16th-18th), from three-hour demonstrations in the cookery school to panel discussions, book readings and wine tastings.

With only days to go until the opening party for this year's Kerrygold Ballymaloe Litfest, it's hard to anticipate anything more exciting than the weekend ahead. As part of this electric lead in I'm thrilled to introduce John McKenna as my next guest blogger.


WE'RE all looking forward to Kerrygold Ballymaloe Lit-Fest next weekend, May 16-18, at Ballymaloe House in Shanagarry, east Cork.

This is the second Ballymaloe Lit-Fest and it has a fantastic line-up of events on offer, with demonstrations, dinners, cosy talks, panel discussions and other assorted attractions.

As most great chefs, Thomasina Miers is well traveled and draws inspiration from each region she's connected with – Ireland, England and (especially) Oaxaca, Mexico. As fresh Ballymaloe graduates, her and Clodagh McKenna traveled the Irish country-side selling their home-made pastas, sauces and sourdough. It's beautiful to imagine how such humble beginnings and hard work have gotten these two celebrated chefs where they are today.


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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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