Food, wine, travel, music
It seemed like an overly-ambitious project to programme so many great speakers into such a short time frame, but the extensive Ballymaloe family and their vast band of helpers pulled it off this weekend. The sun shone to bless the event where foodies came together and celebrated the diversity and common threads that come together to produce great food. The shed conversion in the grounds of Ballymaloe House (with its inspired light fitting made from whiskey barrel staves) allowed producers to show their wares from biscuits iced to order by Gail Porter of Lizzie May’s in Galway (pictured below), to large beautifully crafted bowls by Hilary Hale. And you weren’t going to starve either with plenty of stands supplying food for all the family to enjoy.
From cookery demonstrations to wine tastings to talking about food journalism, there was an embarrassment of riches. I attended a chat about the increasingly popular Albarino grape variety between wine writer John Wilson and winemaker Juan Gil de Araujo of Palacio de Fefinanes, my personal favorite of the Rias Baixas region. This was followed by a delicious lunch which included beautifully cooked hake and superb pear tart.