Events & Festivals

The Litfest lineup is out, and it’s oh so tasty for 2017

This lineup for this year’s Litfest, now ‘A Food and Drinks Literacy Festival’ at Ballymaloe (formerly Literary Festival of Food and Wine), has been announced and it’s oh so tasty.

This year’s festival will run 19-21 May.

The only festival of its kind is heading into its fifth outing already and draws thousands of book lovers, food lovers, producers, makers and more into the grounds of Ballymaloe House & Cookery School in Cork for three days and nights in May.

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There’s over 40 names on the bill including the likes of Christian Puglisi, Caro Feely, Brian McGinn, Isabelle Legeron, Karen Lebowitz, Robin Gill, Samin Nosrat and loads more. See the full list here.

The Big Shed at Ballymaloe. Photo:

Programme Highlights

Proceedings kick off on Friday afternoon with the UCC School of English Food Writing Workshop lead by Dr Jools Gilson and Regina Sexton; Imen McDonnell and Cliodhna Predergast connect for Lens and Larder on Saturday morning; The SBP’s Tomás Clancy explores Europe’s hidden wine jewel in Wines of Germany also on Saturday morning.

An interesting strand for the weekend is that of ‘Responsibility’.

At Litfest17, The Grainstore will be transformed into an exciting auditorium staging a thought-provoking and inspiring series of short talks and presentations, giving us the most up to the minute news of what’s happening in the world of food and drinks. By gathering an interesting and dynamic pool of writers, experts, authorities and interested parties from at home and abroad, the festival will focus our minds and thoughts on “Responsibility” These presentations will be broken into four sessions over the weekend – Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon.

You’ll also find Karen Leibowitz, owner of The Perennial, San Francisco in conversation with Dan Saladino, BBC radio 4, The Food Programme; Kristin Jensen, co-author of the Irish Craft Beer & Cider book ‘Sláinte, with a panel including craft brewers Sarah Roarty of N17, and Cuilán Loughnane of White Gypsy; there’s more restaurant tales too with Farm of Ideas – Christian Puglisi chef-owner and co-owner Kim Rossen of Relae, Manfreds and Baest, Copenhagen tell their story.

There’s buckets of talks, tastings, gatherings, demos, places to eat, things to drink, parties to be had, guests chefs to learn from and loads more.

Check the full 2017 programme here.

Tickets are due to go on sale for events next week, with calls out for volunteers already and applications also being taken for stall holders in The Big Shed and around the festival.

Never been before? Here’s some highlights to give you an idea of what goes on.

Get full festival details on

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Ken McGuire

Broadcaster and sports writer at KCLR96FM; digital media head with a production eye on theatre, film and video; Read my Irish food blog, Ken On Food.

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