Great excitement here - we're packing our bags and heading off to the US this weekend to launch the third Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine in New York. We want to tell the whole world - we're aiming to make it the 'Sundance' of Literary festivals!
The festival team of Rebecca Cronin, Rory O'Connell and I are honoured to be joined for the launch by Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland and Jeanne Kelly of Kerrygold, our festival sponsors. I'm personally looking forward to tasting the new big thing, which is taking the US by storm - American coffee with a blob of Kerrygold butter.
This year's Kerrygold Ballymaloe 15th-17th May.
Alice Waters from Chez Panisse; Christian Puglisi from Relae in Copenhagen; Sam and Sam Clark; April Bloomfield; David Tanis; Fuchsia Dunlop; Allegra McEvedy; Itamar and Sarit from Honey & Co and many, many more...
There's also some seriously impressive homegrown talent including: Stephen Toman and Alain Kerloc'h from Ox in Belfast (whose pop up dinner has already sold out), Arun Kapil, Kevin Thornton, JP McMahon, and of course our very own Rachel Allen and Rory O'Connell...
Our speakers on food issues this year include: Patrick Holden of the Sustainable Food Trust and John McKenna.
And this year's top food bloggers include David Lebovitz, Jack Monroe - A Girl Called Jack and Caroline Hennessy founder of Irish Food Bloggers.
Colm McCann has also put together an incredible line up for the drinks theatre including: Desmond Payne - the world renowned gin distiller; Jancis Robinson; master of wine, Mary Dowey; Garrett Oliver of The Brooklyn Brewery; and wine writers Leslie Williams, Tom Doorley, John Wilson...
Head over to the website to check out this year's full line up.
Tickets went on sale in a flurry of excitement on 7th of January, some things booked out in a matter of minutes, but there is still availability for many events, so you might want to browse the website ASAP.