Where to begin...? ...it was an amazing and inspirational weekend. Speakers came from all around the globe and people travelled from the four corners of Ireland to watch, listen, taste and learn from the cream of the crop. There were a myriad of cooking demos, talks on soil, forgaing workshops, natural wine tastings, kids time, food stalls and so much more. It is a cliché phrase but there really is something for everyone at Lit Fest!
This was my first time attending and what really struck me was that there were no divisions between the high profile speakers and those that came with friends and families to savour the event. It was extremely inclusive and not at all exclusive -which is part of the Ballymaloe ethos.
The Slow Food movement -if you like food it's a great way to meet producers and other foodies.
Some things I enjoyed were-
Alice Waters and her beautiful story about how Chez Panisse was born. Her restaurant in California has had a set menu for 44 years and focuses on using the finest, local and seasonal produce available to them. The story of how they partnered up with Bob Cannard, a local farmer, where the Chez Panisse staff are part of the 'production line' (dirty word!) planting seeds for vegetables which they will later cook with love in the restaurant kitchen. Alice also started a very noteworthy project called Edible School Yard which allows children to learn and eat well through growing and cooking their own produce at school - a truly transformational way of educating the next generation.
Also had the pleasure of going to a beer tasting presented by Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing Company - where we tasted 6 very different types of beer and subsequently ended up quite tipsy at 2 in the afternoon.
Note to self -eat a substantial breakfast before going to a craft beer talk. I like beer but I never knew beer could taste so damn good or that 'horse blanket' is a valid term for describing a flavour note! If you happen to find yourself in NYC go pay them a visit.
Hanging out with April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig -another salt of the earth, super inspirational lady, who despite the Michelin Star accolade and James Beard Award is incredibly down to earth.
Eating amazing food-
Everyone who was part of creating Lit Fest 2015 should be really proud. Personally I can't wait for next year, but I'll have to -roll on May 20-22nd. 2016.