BallyMaloe Festival of Food
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This Year’s Ballymaloe Festival of Food Celebrates 60 Years of Ballymaloe

The inaugural Ballymaloe Festival of Food celebrates every aspect of the journey of good food from the soil and sea to the plate, along with 60 years of Ballymaloe,  running Friday 17th May — Sunday 19th May

Ballymaloe Festival of Food is a new three-day food festival that this year celebrates 60 years of Ballymaloe — six decades of good food and fine hospitality, renowned in Ireland and beyond — while also showcasing all that the Irish food and drinks community has to offer today. 

At Ballymaloe from Friday May 17th to Sunday May 19th this year, the inaugural Ballymaloe Festival of Food will be three days jam-packed with cooking demos, pop-up dinners, talks, walks, producers’, craft exhibitors and activities celebrating the journey of good food from the soil and sea to your plate. With wine tastings and cocktail making, all day dining opportunities featuring the best local and international talent, this weekend focuses too on everything that is great and innovative about modern Irish food, from apiarists, oyster farmers and cheesemakers to local whiskey distillers, artisan bakers and award-winning jam makers, with chefs from around Ireland and the UK joining for a fantastic weekend of exploration and pleasure.

Among the instigators of the Irish farm to fork movement, Myrtle Allen and her husband Ivan opened The Yeats Room at Ballymaloe back in 1964, initially advertising in the Cork Examiner saying “Come dine in a country house”, becoming one of the first country homes of its kind in Ireland to open their doors to guests. 

Based in and around that original family country house, and the unique complex of outbuildings including The Grainstore, Big Shed and magical grounds and gardens, Ballymaloe Festival of Food is another invitation to guests, this time to an event with a clear message — one of sustainability, and a return to the roots of that original farm to table movement so important to Mr. and Mrs. Allen — with interesting and engaging talks from some key experts, producers and advocates telling the crucially important story of sustainable local food.

With an exciting lineup of Irish and international chefs confirmed, the full programme will be available to download on the website on Friday March 22nd, with the Woodshed Restaurant pop-ups including Lee Tiernan of London’s Black Axe Mangal and Nico Reynolds of Lil’ Portie, and guests on both the cooking demonstration stages including Matt Tebbutt, host of Saturday Kitchen, Aishling Moore of Goldie, Marco Pierre White, Lily Ramirez-Foran of Picado Mexican, Clodagh McKenna, Georgina Hayden  and many more. Speakers on the Big Shed Ballymaloe Festival of Food Stage, with a theme of Change We Must!, will be hosted by Karen O’Donoghue from Grow, Cook, Eat, and include Barrie Quinn of Portnoo Market Garden, Karen O’Donoghue of Happy Tummy Co., Sarah de Brun of Oysome and Chris Fahey of Wildflour, among others.

The Ballymaloe Festival of Food with the help of Local Enterprise Office supports small producers by putting them in front of both food lovers and industry professionals, and invited chefs are encouraged to use local, seasonal produce in their cooking demos from some of those producers and exhibitors showing their produce over the weekend. An enjoyable, engaging and, most of all, delicious few days in the heartland of Ireland’s farm to table movement, there will be live music too, and there will definitely be dancing…

Weekend tickets for all three days are €65 per person, individual day tickets on Friday are €20, with Saturday and Sunday tickets for €25 per person, including both Demo stages, Drinks Theatre, Walks and Talks, Food Producers area, and more. Evening-only tickets on Friday or Saturday evening are €12, and the Woodshed lunches and dinners by guest chefs are €75 and €85 per person respectively. Children under 12 go free.

Ballymaloe Festival of Food is proudly sponsored by Local Enterprise Office, Cork County Council, Failte Ireland, Bord Bia and Cully and Sully. 

See www.ballymaloegrainstore.com for more.

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