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.
— Irish Times Food (@IrishTimesFood) May 17, 2014