Festival Concept | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe

The Litfest grew from a suggestion that was made by Geoffrey Dobbs, Founder of Galle Literary Festival… ‘Isn’t it about time Ballymaloe celebrated their literary tradition?’

Myrtle Allen, who turned 90 in 2014, started writing recipes for the Farmers Journal in 1959, producing her first cookbook in 1977. 30 years later, her daughter-in-law, Darina took pen to paper and has since produced 18 cookery books. Following suit, Darina’s daughter-in-law, Rachel began writing cook books in 2002 and has published 11 to date. The latest cookery writer to emerge from Ballymaloe is former Ballymaloe House Head Chef and co-founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School, Rory O’Connell. So after three generations of cookery books being published, Geoffrey had a point. It was about time Ballymaloe created a festival that celebrated food and wine writing.

Now in it's fifth year the Litfest has evolved and become A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival.


There are many different definitions for food literacy however, we at LitfestHQ define it as the following:

  • Food Literacy is about understanding where the food you eat comes from, who produces it and if it is good for you. Essentially it is about understanding the impact of your food choices on your health, the environment, and our economy.

  • At Litfest we aim to help everyone to have a greater understanding of our food and hope that we can empower people to make more well-informed food choices.





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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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