If you are not aware of the Ballymaloe LitFest where have you been living?!?
What a weekend. The sun shone, the atmosphere buzzed and I met my food hero. Yes, I met the incredible Madhur Jaffrey. She is a legend that brought Indian food to the Western World some would say.
She is a petite, beautiful 80year old woman who learnt to cook through her Mother and the other women in her family and continues that tradition of teaching others to cook.
The weekend was a conglomerate of chefs, authors, foodies, non foodies, stall holders, local producers. The list goes on and on. Over three days there were cooking demos, panel discussions, dancing, lots of eating and drinking, pop up wine shops, pop up bands and much much more.
I met some brilliant and world renowned chefs, David Thompson, Stevie Parle, Thomassina Miers, Stehpanie Alexander, Claudia Rhoden and many more.
It was literally a who's who of the cooking world and what was fantastic to me as a young woman chef was how many more female cooks where speaking than men. A push in the right direction where, in todays world head chef posts are male dominated.
Sandor Katz the fermentation guru speaking over the weekend and showing us the art of fermentation.
There was the big shed, where drinking and eating activities where part of the weekends events. The pop up bar was a creative explosion with books hanging from the ceiling, old beer kegs as lights and a chandler made from an old whiskey barrel. All adding to the atmospherical aromas of food.
There were gardeners and foragers, dogs running around with children, laughter and ideas. Lots of them. New friends were made, old friends were introduced and it was just a melting pot of cultures. A beautiful melting pot that had all of us who attended in awe once again at the power of Ballymaloe.