Ballymaloe Adds Food Fest Stars

New names have been added to the eclectic list of speakers and chefs participating in the inaugural Ballymaloe Festival of Food, running at Ballymaloe from Friday, May 17th to Sunday, May 19th.

Myrtle Allen and her husband Ivan opened The Yeats Room at Ballymaloe back in 1964 with a clear message - one of sustainability, and a return to the roots of that original farm to table movement. The new festival will feature talks telling the crucially important story of sustainable local food.

Additions to the lineup include the award-winning food writer, cook and presenter from North London via Greek Cyprus, Georgina Hayden; chef from the Galápagos and co-founder of Firemade, bespoke fire kitchen-makers, Ana Ortiz; and Shivi Ramoutar, Caribbean-London cook and author, described by The Guardian as a "Caribbean food supremo".      

Also new to the lineup is Mark Anderson, culinary director of Gather & Gather, as well as Bristol-based chef Freddy Bird, an alumnus of Ballymaloe Cookery School, who brings his unpretentious and relaxed style of cooking from Bristol’s littlefrench and 1 York Place to a pop-up dinner in Ballymaloe House Hotel.

Events are also happening across the Grainstore Kerrygold main stage, the Woodshed Restaurant, "Cook the Books" stage, the Drinks Theatre, "Change We Must" stage in the Big Shed, the Food Emporium and special guest chef dinners in Ballymaloe House Hotel.

The festival will have three days of cooking demos, talks, pop-up dinners, walks, producers’ stalls and activities celebrating the journey of good food from the soil and sea to plate.