Thursday 2 May 2013

The excitement builds for LitFest (and a giveaway).

Only a day and a half to go until the LitFest kicks off. There's a frenzy of activity everywhere. Make sure you read to the end because I have a really exciting giveaway for you!

I've just been over to the Big Shed where the FRINGE events will take place, it's crazy over there. A couple of the lads are making twenty "banqueting" tables out of recycled pallets with drills and nail guns. There's a huge chandelier made out of the oak staves from the whiskey barrels. Camilla's kids corner looks so exciting with balloons, bunting and coloured baubles of all shapes and sizes - she's got so many fun things planned throughout the weekend. A barista area and several restaurants are popping up as we speak. Lolo's papier mache cow is watching in general amusement over the proceedings. The graffiti artists are in their element with acres of bare wall to adorn. I was just overwhelmed by the excitement, everyone is just having the best fun, working together with the music blasting out.

And then to the main event. Stephanie Alexander has just arrived in from Australia. I met her this morning and understandably her body-clock is topsy-turvy and she was wide awake at 4 o'clock this morning, and had had breakfast and been out for a walk by the time I phoned her at Ballymaloe at 8.30. Madhur Jaffrey and her husband, Sanford, are on their way down from Dublin Airport as we speak. Several others will arrive later on in the day.

Of course some events are already sold out  but there are still lots of opportunities to attend events in the Grain Store and Carrigaun Room. My co-director at the festival, Rory O'Connell, thinks that David Thompson's  demo here at the School and talk in The Grain Store on Thai Food are not to be missed. His name is not so well known over here as Madhur Jaffrey and Claudia Roden, though many of you will have seen him as a mentor on Masterchef 2012. I have been a huge fan since I ate at Darley Street Thai in Sydney over ten years ago, and more recently at his Michelin starred Nahm in Bangkok, and we are so excited to have him over here for the weekend.

Apart from all the mega-stars coming from all over the world for this festival, which has already caught the eye of the New York Times, Herald Tribune and Malaysian Times... I am so proud to have so many rising stars: Take Three Past Students and New Voices in Food, many of whom are past students at Ballymaloe Cookery School. I'm so excited about this that I'd love to offer a pair of tickets for each event. To be in with a chance to win you need to:

  • Be able to travel to Co. Cork this weekend for the event.
  • Leave a comment below: tell us what you're most excited about LitFest, and which event you'd like to win tickets for. 
  • Entries close at 7pm tonight, Thursday May 2nd, British Summer Time. Winners will contacted by email, so be sure to choose a commenting option which provides us with your email address - these will NOT be used for future marketing). 
  • The prize is a ticket for you and a friend, for the stated event, either (Take Three Past Students (demo) or New Voices in Food (talk). Not including travel or accommodation.
I look forward to seeing you there!