Fringe | Litfest A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival at Ballymaloe
‘Here’s one I made earlier’ is a well worn phrase from cooks and chefs now comes to you as a series of curated talks from the team behind Eatyard. We’ve asked people in the food and drink world who’ve kicked ass to get where they are, to share with us a recipe, story, lesson or idea from their journey and give you the chance to learn, listen and maybe even gain inspiration for your own food story.
For LitFest we’re going to be chatting with Matt Tebbutt, who’s bound have uttered the words ‘Here’s one I made earlier’ more than most have climbed the TV chef career ladder to become the host of BBC’s Saturday Kitchen this year. His TV career has gone from strength to strength but by no means did it happen over night after he came to cooking late, following a degree in geography and anthropology and a stint in the Air Force and owning and running his own restaurant The Foxhunter in Nantyderry for over 10 years. What made him make the change to cooking? Was a TV career always on the cards? And is any of it as glamorous as it seems?

'Here's one I made earlier' with Matt Tebbutt presented by Ali Dunworth

17.30 Saturday 20th May in The Garden Tent

The Lalala Choir was formed in October 2015 by conductor, Sam Kavanagh, with the goal of being open to everybody, regardless of previous experience. Since then they have grown to 60+ members, performed at Electric Picnic; Body and Soul; Ballymaloe Litfest; Night of Choirs, Budapest; and produced a number of their own sold-out shows in Dublin.

In 2016, Sam started running Lalala Pop-up Choirs to cater for the growing number of people who want the experience of singing in a group. These are taking place all around the country this summer, so keep an ear out and come sing with us!

The Lalala Choir Workshop

13.00 on Saturday 21st May in The Garden Tent
Aileen Cox Blundell is a mother of three and is the creative force behind Baby Led Feeding, the multi-award winning food blog which shares natural and wholesome recipes for babies that the entire family will also love. One meal, one family.
Winner of both Best Irish Parenting Blog and Best Irish Food & Drink blog, Baby Led Feeding has become a destination for little foodies all around the world. Baby Led Feeding is not about depriving children of treats, foods or sauces they love, it is about making healthier choices that taste amazing, getting little ones eating more vegetables in a delicious way and bringing your children on an incredible food adventure.
Aileen’s book The Baby Led Feeding Cookbook was released by Gill Books in March 2017 and instantly became a number one bestseller staying in the top 10 most sold hardback books for over 6 weeks.
You can follow her recipes on or
Getting your children to eat healthier with Baby Led Feeding

11am on Saturday 20th May in The Garden Tent


Ciara is a postgrad researcher in University College Dublin.
Last summer she completed a research project with the organisation Zero Waste Scotland, where she interviewed Scottish farmers to find out how much food is wasted on fruit and vegetable farms.
Come along to the family-friendly Food Waste Brainstorm Workshop to hear about Ciara’s experience and explore ways we can reduce food waste!

Food Waste Brainstorm Workshop

2pm on Sunday 21st May in The Garden Tent
Jim Carroll is the founder, producer and host of the Banter series of talks, discussions and conversations. Since 2009, Banter has put on over 160 events at festivals, venues and happenings in Ireland, the UK and Europe and hosted talks on everything from birds to bees, food to farming and politics to poetry. See for more information and podcasts of our previous adventures worldwide

Banter at Litfest 2017 in The Garden Tent

It’s the three in a row for the Banter series of talks, discussions, conversations and heated debates as we return to the
garden tent at Ballymaloe with some colourful characters and interesting folks for you to meet. All talks hosted by Banter
producer and founder Jim Carroll.
Saturday 20th may

What’s on the Chef’s Table?

The director and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated and award-winning Netflix show about how to produce a food show for the ages.

The food investigator

A conversation with Sheila Dillon, award-winning presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, about what it takes to find out what makes it into our food.
Sunday 21st May

Food for good

Michelle Darmody and Ellie Kisyombe from Our Table’s guide to how a food business can make real social and economic change

Our friend from Lithuania

A conversation with Lithuania's European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis about Europe, Lithuania, heart surgery, the post-Soviet age, food, the future and why
Nigel Farage is a numptie
Ross Golden-Bannon is the chair-elect of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild; editor & publisher of numerous award-winning magazines; former editor of FOOD&WINE and FEAST magazines. He was restaurant critic for The Sunday Business Post for 14 years and is now the restaurant critic for Irish Country Magazine, the Irish Farmers’ Journal publication. He is the co-founder of the Guerrilla Gourmet Club; as well as a long-time social justice campaigner on issues from agriculture and food policy to the successful Marriage Equality Referendum.

Blogging or flogging – the fake food news story.

The Garden Tent , Sunday 21st May, 16.00
Hosted by The Irish Food Writers’ Guild, chaired by Ross Golden-Bannon, with Caroline Hennessy of the famed Bibliocook Blog and Michael Lee, assistant CEO of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).
In an age of citizen-journalism and untrammelled social media commentary unscrupulous big-food sellers are turning away from traditional media to reach their market. While instant news has huge appeal the risks of faked news are high. When this is combined with a lack of knowledge of journalistic craft & rules on critiquing and primary sources, the only winner is fake food news.
If you want to hear the latest on what’s legal to blog and what’s not, what other bloggers are doing and what they never do, as well as an outline of the basic rules of journalism, this one is for you.
Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis was appointed the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety in November 2014.
Vytenis Andriukaitis was born on 9 August 1951 in Kyusyur in Siberia, where his family was deported in 1941 from Lithuania. He returned to Lithuania in 1957 together with his mother and two brothers. His father was permitted to return one year later.
Andriukaitis went on to graduate from medical school in 1975 and had been a practicing surgeon, gaining specialisation in cardiovascular surgery in 1989, for more than 20 years. He also holds a degree in History from Vilnius University acquired in 1984.
From 1969 onwards the Commissioner was active in the anti-Soviet movement, while his political career began already in 1976. In 1990 Andriukaitis was elected to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania which preceded Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament), and was a co-author and a signatory of the Independence Act of Lithuania on 11 March 1990. Vytenis Andriukaitis was also one of the co-authors of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania adopted in 1992, and one of the founders of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party.
Andriukaitis was a Member of the Lithuanian Parliament for six terms. During that time he served as a Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs, including during the accession to the EU in 2004; as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; as a Vice- and later President of Social Democratic Party; and as a Deputy Speaker of the Parliament. The Commissioner was also the Head of the Lithuanian delegation to the Convention on the Future of Europe. From 2012 to 2014 Vytenis Andriukaitis was a Minister for Health in the Lithuanian Government.
For more information see:

Food for Good with - Ellie Kisyombe and Michelle Darmody will be talking with Jim Carroll as part of the Banter Series at Litfest17


Banter with Jim Carroll: Food for Good - Ellie Kisyombe and Michelle Darmody Sunday 22nd May 12.00-12.45

Derval O’Rourke is a former professional athlete who has held the title of World Champion in sprint hurdles and competed for Ireland in three Olympic Games. She has also picked up four European Championship medals and holds the Irish record for sprint hurdles.
After her third Olympics in London 2012 it was time for a break. Derval then decided to sign up to cookery school and says it was one of the best decisions she has ever made. She learned loads and even ran her fastest time in seven years a couple of months after cookery school! Derval blended both her passion for cooking and her experience on the track to write her No1 bestselling cookbook “Food for the Fast Lane”
In 2014 she decided to hang up her spikes for good after 12 amazing years competing at the highest level in world athletics. Derval also spent 2 years working in professional rugby for Irupa with Munster rugby and her food and fitness business with the launch of her 2nd cookbook “The Fit Foodie”. Derval is now full time building her Fit Foodie business and works along side great partners who share the same values.
Fit Foodies with Derval O'Rourke in The Garden Tent- 13.00-13.45
Following on from her career working as a nutritional consultant and healthy cookery teacher, Dorcas Barry became fascinated by the significant role that patterns of thinking and emotional health can play alongside food and diet in health and happiness.
She duly added training as a Meditation Coach to her qualifications in food and nutrition, and now carries out corporate workshops on meditation, relaxation, and positive mental health habits, alongside alongside healthy eating events and tastings.
Her work with services provider Sodexo Ireland has involved collaboration with its culinary team in the development of vegetarian, vegan and raw recipes with the important emphasis on taste, alongside a programme of healthy eating demonstrations on client sites. She believes that developing healthy habits for the mind as well as the body is the key to creating truly sustainable health, along with a happier and more fulfilling experience in day to day work and play.
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st  May at 10am- 10.45
Fueling your mind and body with Dorcas Barry in The Garden Tent

Why and how can meditation and diet have such a positive affect to our everyday lives and our wellbeing?

This session addresses this question and gives an opportunity to start your festival day with purpose and focus.

Exploring the relationship between mind and body, we will look at practical ways at how food affects mood, positivity, and relaxation.  We will also practice open and closed eye meditation techniques to enhance your experience of the events at Litfest and beyond, and to experience meditation in a very relaxed setting and casual setting. 



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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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