René Redzepi for Ballymaloe LitFest 2014

6th November 2013
Pól Ó Conghaile

René Redzepi has been booked for the Ballymaloe LitFest 2014.

Foodie news doesn’t come in portions bigger than this – Redzepi is the head chef of Noma in Copenhagen, three times voted Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine, and as close as it gets to a culinary rock star.

Booking him is an enormous coup for Darina Allen and Ballymaloe.

But that’s not all. The food festival has also confirmed Yotam Ottolenghi, the iconic Israeli chef whose London delis, restaurants and books have taken the food world by storm.

The Ballymaloe Litfest (or Literary Festival of Food & Wine, to give it the full rendering) is still six months away (May 16-18), but news like this is too good to keep.

Also included on an emerging programme are well-known Australian cook and artisan food champion Maggie Beer, food writer Diana Kennedy (described as ‘the Elizabeth David of Mexican cuisine’) and prominent English chef-writer Simon Hopkinson. There are some 50 events in total.

The brainchild of Darina Allen, it’s hard to believe the Ballymaloe LitFest is still just a year old.

The first three-day celebration of food trends and writing took place just a few short months ago, but already the ‘LitFest’ brand is taking its placed among Europe’s top foodie festivals.

Cookery demos, tastings, talks, readings, debates, literary lunches, dinners and afternoon teas will all feature in a diverse programme whose star-studded international line-up is complemented by Irish chefs like Ross Lewis of Chapter One and Paul Flynn of The Tannery, as well as Ballymaloe’s own Darina Allen, Rachel Allen and Rory O’Connell.

In addition to the main events (priced from €15 to €95), a fringe programme of free events will include a food market, children’s activities, art installations, live music and more.  The full programme will be finalised by December.

In the meantime, the festival is offering vouchers (€50 or multiples of €50) as stocking fillers. With a line-up like this, you can expect the top events to sell like hotcakes.

For more information, contact 021 464-5777 or www.litfest.ie.