A look back at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine

Ballymaloe Lit fest 2014 Food and Wine Festival

Spending last two days in Ballymaloe at the Kerrygold Lit Fest was like being in a fairy tale; beautiful scenery, magical smells, soft music, gorgeous weather and super-friendly people. I’ll definitely put Ballymaloe Literary Festival into my annual agenda.

I am truly amazed by the work and dedication that was put into organising such an exceptional festival- well done Ballymaloe team, volunteers and sponsors!

The Book Shop at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival
The Book Shop at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival

I booked five events so I was a busy bee :) Between panels you could see me restoring my levels of energy with absolutely delicious food from the Big Shed.
Also, it’s been fantastic to see so many familiar faces; Cliodhna of Breaking Eggs, Jess of La Domestique,  Sharon of Foodie Fancies, Caitriona of Wholesome Ireland, Jette of Jette Virdi, Nessa of Nessa’s Family Kitchen and Bill & Sharon of Slow Food Dublin. Great pleasure to hang out with you guys; eat and listen, simply become a part of this wonderful gathering.

The Big Shed at Ballymaloe Lit fest
The Big Shed at Ballymaloe Lit fest

I started Saturday by attending Rene Redzepi in conversation with John McKenna. It was funny and inspiring. I liked when  Rene said that food is the last old school thing, because the rest we can download now :) Also, I totally agree that chefs should be able to leave the kitchen more frequently to interact with the guests. He compared being a chef to cooking for friends and said “you wouldn’t stay in kitchen all the time if you were cooking for your friends”.

Rene Redzepi in conversation with John McKenna
Rene Redzepi in conversation with John McKenna

After having the copy of Rene’s journal signed, I moved to the Big Shed where I enjoyed some luscious food; korma by Green Saffron and chocolate brownie with lemon card matched with a craft beer by Brews We Plate.

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It was a joy to eat and listen to Caroline of Bibliocook chatting to her guests about best & worst cookbooks.

Second panel I went to, was about blogging; whether it is good enough without editors and publishers or not. I liked it although I didn’t agree with everything that was said, like for instance that bloggers ask brands for free stuff. I totally disagree. Speaking from my own experience, it’s food bloggers who are being approached by the companies to write reviews. I get this sort of emails at least 3 times a week and I have never written “on request”.

Nessa Robins, Donal Skehan, Lilly Higgins, Tom Doorley, Caroline Hennessey, Sharon Bowers, Tom Parker Bowles in conversation with David Prior.
Nessa Robins, Donal Skehan, Lilly Higgins, Tom Doorley, Caroline Hennessey, Sharon Bowers, Tom Parker Bowles in conversation with David Prior.

I finished my Saturday at Ballymaloe Lit Fest with a mind blowing panel about forgotten skills. I was seriously impressed with a legendary Diana Kennedy, a fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz and Ben Reade, the Scots chef at the cutting edge of food technology. I especially enjoyed what Sandor had to say about the sauerkraut :) I am a living proof that eating sauerkraut is completely healthy. I remember making it with my granny, my mum and now I stuff jars with it. It is great as a side dish, in soups or mixed with mushrooms, tomatoes and many more. Highly recommended! :)

Forgotten skills - Ballymaloe Lit fest Diana Kennedy Sandor Katz
Diana Kennedy, Sandor Katz and Ben Reade in conversation with Joanna Blythman

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First Sunday event I went to was dedicated to the Food in the Middle East. Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi and Ariana Bundy were the panelists. And what an inspiring and educational conversation it was! They discussed their love of the food and cooking of the Middle East region, which made this panel a wonderful international journey. I’m definitely putting Jerusalem and Tehran on my list of foodie-places-to-go. By the way, did you know that biryani and samosa are not Indian? They originally come from Iran. 

Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi and Ariana Bundy in conversation with Tom Parker Bowles
Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi and Ariana Bundy in conversation with Tom Parker Bowles
Yotam Ottolenghi
Yotam Ottolenghi
Yotam Ottolenghi
Yotam Ottolenghi

Finally, my wonderful weekend finished with Donal Skehan, Nessa Robins and Simon Hopkinson in conversation with Rachel Allen. It was truly an enthusiastic discussion on the subjects of food styling and photography in cookbooks.

Donal Skehan, Nessa Robins and Simon Hopkinson in conversation with Rachel Allen
Donal Skehan, Nessa Robins and Simon Hopkinson in conversation with Rachel Allen

I started this post by saying that spending weekend at the Kerrygold Lit Fest was like being in a fairy tale. Below are just a few pictures which I hope will give you a taste of the beauty of Ballymaloe

Ballymaloe Lit fest 2014 Food and Wine Festival
Ballymaloe Festival 2014

Ballymaloe Lit fest 2014 Food and Wine Festival
Ballymaloe Lit fest 2014 Food and Wine Festival
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See you at the Ballymaloe Food and Wine Festival 2015! :)

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6 thoughts on “A look back at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine

  1. Really like this post.I was down there for the foraging & for Maggie Beer’s Demo & I almost cried with happiness!What is noticeable in every picture I’ve seen is how everybody is smiling.Says it all…..

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Caroline! It was a great weekend indeed, and I’m also counting days till the next festival :)

      Like

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