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Denis Cotter at the Ballymaloe Literary Festival

There are a lot of food festivals popping up these days, but this one might be a bit special – the inaugural Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine. As their tagline says, “this new festival will bring some of the world’s best known chefs, critics, commentators, kitchen gardeners, foragers and wine experts to East Cork”. Now, those words might get you excited or they might make you want to go see the extended version of Dr. Zhivago in russian…but, hang on…check out the list of speakers and the programme: – litfest.ie/programme-friday/ – this is a truly impressive line-up of international writers.

I’ll be there on Saturday afternoon from 4.30pm til cocktail hour, in the Blue Dining Room, leading what is billed as a literary conversation with the title of ‘for the love of food’. I’m not entirely certain yet, but I think I’m going to seize the opportunity to talk about my four books, each one’s different style and approach to food, the inspirations behind the words and recipes of each, and some never before revealed behind the scenes gossip (sort of).

To make sure the conversation is truly literary, and even that it is a conversation rather than a monologue, I’d appreciate it if some of you would come along with questions, opinions and prompts.

As an illustration of how spectacular is the line-up for the weekend, instead of chatting with me in that time slot on Saturday afternoon, you could be at a demo by Claudia Roden, having tea with Mrs. Allen or Skye Gyngell, or hearing Joanna Blythman tell about ‘digesting unsavoury truths’. BUT…listen up and don’t spread this around too much…only in the Blue Room will there be card tricks (possibly), musical interludes (unlikely) and raffles for dinner in Cafe Paradiso (definitely).

Posted on: 28 March 2013

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