Tuesday 24 March 2015

New York Launch

Just back from New York having successfully launched the Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine - on our second attempt!

Believe it or not the sun shone on us this time. There was a change of venue - at Studio 1 on Broadway - and we had even more people than were expected at the original launch. This time some of the guests who were invited first time round sadly couldn't make it, including Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe. But many many friends from Kerrygold, Tourism Ireland Board Bia and the Irish Dairy Board were there to cheer us on and celebrate the launch of our third LitFest which promises to be even bigger and better than previous years.

David Lebovitz (who will be speaking at this year's Litfest) was there, as were journalists from Monocle, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, Good Housekeeping, The Village Voice, and representatives from Dean & Deluca and the James Beard Foundation.

Before we left we packed up our cases with Ballymaloe brown yeast bread, homemade cheese biscuits and lots of lovely smoked salmon. Sean Hyde of Ballymaloe Country Relish USA was there to meet us with copious amounts of  Ballymaloe Relish and of course we had Kerrygold butter and cheese in abundance.

Here's what we ate...

  • Shanagarry Organic Smoked Salmon on Ballymaloe Brown Bread with Kerrygold butter and Pickled Cucumbers
  • Kerrygold Cashel Blue Cheese on a Brown Soda Cracker with Spiced Cranberries
  • Roast Fillet of Irish Beef on Brown Bread and Kerrygold butter with Horseradish Mayonnaise
  • Crudités with Aïoli
  • A selection of Kerrygold Cheese (Kerrygold Dubliner, Skellig and Vintage Cheddar) with Pickles and Brown Soda Crackers
  • Belvelly Smokehouse Smoked Mackerel and Chive Rillettes on Grilled Sourdough Bread
  • Ballymaloe Vanilla Fudge as a goodbye treat.

David Tanis of the NY times (another speaker at this year's Litfest) rolled up his sleeves along with Betsy Klein and helped Rory in the open kitchen - piling cucumber pickle on top of the smoked salmon.

It was just a few days before St Patrick's Day so lots of Irish were over in New York spreading the word about Irish food - including Clodagh McKenna launching her new book Clodagh's Irish Kitchen.

The Irish craft cider producers were in town too: Dan Kelly's, Craigies Cider and Longueville House Cider were introducing their ciders to America, sharing them with our guests and getting a terrific response. Some of the Litfest speakers including Alice Feiring (natural wine) and past Ballymaloe Cookery School students including Malcom Jackson (part-time chef at Fitzcarraldo in Brooklyn) and our very first American and international student Tambra Dillon were all there - which was a lovely surprise. 

We had a very jolly time - we are very grateful for the support of our title sponsor Kerrygold and also to Tourism Ireland for supporting the US press launch.