Fusing Culinary Cultures

Time: 11.45-13.15
Date: Monday 6th May
 The Grainstore, Ballymaloe

Panel Discussion

Is the fusion of culinary cultures leading to confusion?

Pick up a contemporary cook book and in the first five or six recipes you are likely to be hit by flavours from several different food cultures or indeed a fusion of those cultures – say duck confit with five spice powder mash, crème brulee with cardamom cookies, Galway oysters with wasabi and ginger salsa and so on.

Is this melting pot a good thing or are we just diluting the traditions that made some food cultures great, or perhaps this globalisation of food and food writing is the future.

If so, does this mean that Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is too specific and no longer relevant? Where does it leave Marcella Hazans master work, Classic Italian Cooking? Is today’s food writing producing a watered down or mealy mouthed script that entertains briefly but in the longer term fails to educate?

Matthew Fort will address the questions to our panel who are certain to have strong opinions on this subject.

The Panel:

Moderator Matthew Fort

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Matthew Fort, Food and Drink editor at The Guardian newspaper, has been named Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year and Restaurateurs’ Writer of the Year. He has written for many prestigious publications including Vanity Fair, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, Decanter, Cuisine et Vins de France.

He is the author of three books: Rhubarb and Black Pudding; Eating Up Italy; and Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons which won the Premio Sicilia Madre Mediterranea. Matthew’s television portfolio includes Greatest Dishes in the World and The Forager’s Field Guide.

He was one of the co-presenters of Market Kitchen and is currently one of the judges on The Great British Menu for BBC2.

Matthew was awarded the Premio Antic Corte Pallavicina in 2008.

Alice Waters was originally intended to be on this panel, will be unable to attend the Literary Festival.   A Message from Alice Waters.

Dear Ballymaloe Literary Festival attendees,

It is with great sadness that I must announce I will not be able to attend the festival. Due to the significant fire that recently occurred at Chez Panisse and the subsequent damage assessments, there are crucial repair decisions that need to be made in the coming weeks, and I am unable to leave the country at this time. My deepest apologies to all of you, and thank you for your support and understanding. I will be at the festival in spirit, and know it will be a beautiful and extraordinary literary and gastronomic event.


Alice Waters

Alice Waters has nominated David Prior to represent her at the events she was scheduled to attend.