Food for Thought

April 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

From bright and bold to simple and sweet, food and wine has provided great inspiration for literature over the past centuries.

Pastry at Ballymaloe House   IMG_0476

As a child I spent hours thumbing the pages of my great aunts aged cookbook collection. I guess you could say I was a cookbook “geek”!… I say geek because not many 7 year old children read cookbook’s in the 1990’s, let alone ones without pictures! Her disheveled copy’s of “Mrs Beeton’s Book of household Management” and Maura Laverty’s “Full and Plenty” were most certainly my favourite. We used the books as a way of deciding what to cook together, and more importantly what to eat. First we would see what ingredients were in the kitchen and pantry and then find a recipe to match, often resulting in anything from curried eggs to her infamous mulberry wine.

Full-and-Plenty   Mrs Beaton

But my food and wine library today consists of hundreds of mouth watering books, of which only a fraction belonged my great aunt. Now my most beloved books contain the refreshingly zesty words of some of the hottest new voices in the industry. Claire Ptak, Thomasina Mires, Donal Skehan, Rachel Allen, Stevie Parle and Skye Gyngell, to name but a few, not only spice up my book collection but will also excite at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine. Hear first hand what these cutting edge writers have to say about whats hot and whats not!


And if your mouth is watering at the thought of hearing from the newest voices in food, you’ll love to join in the conversation with Regian Sexton about “The Early Writing of Myrtle Allen” when the now great dame of Irish food was herself the hottest voice in the press with her bite sized articles. But as with everything, food writing also evolves and no one knows this better then Dennis Cotter, of the famed “Cafe Paradiso”, who will look at his own collection of writing as a package. While Matthew Fort and John McKenna tuck into the discussion of food writing evolution, from cave drawings to recipes in “the cloud”.

 Blood Oranges in Caramel    Lemon Meringue Pie

And if that’s not enough for you, make sure to bump into me at one of the festivals delectable events and I might even offer you a glass of that well aged mulberry wine!


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