One of the hippest eateries in Dublin hosted the launch one of the hottest foodie events in Ireland. The Fumbally in Dublin 8 welcomed food and drink lovers as Darina Allan and Rory O Connell took to the stage to officially launch the third annual Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine.
The light, bright airy space was filled with excited guests who tucked in to some innovative food and drinks prepared by Katie Sanderson of Living Dinners and Dillisk Food Project.
On the menu, which was cooked and made fresh in front of us, was blood sausage with fermented Phoenix Park wild garlic, homemade crème fraiche, nettles, and crispy chicken skin and an apple sauce made with the left over pulp from the homemade apple cider vinegar. How creative, local and fresh does that all sound? The blood sausage taste like rich chocolate melting on the tongue and the tangy crème fraiche mellowed the pungent garlic taste. My favourite dish of the night.
We also devoured delicate but flavourful onigiri, Japanese rice balls with nori sauce and pickled damson as well as fresh and fragrant coriander-cured seatrout with aubergine seaweed pickle and pineapple sage flowers.
There were tempting tables of the best Irish cheeses, Gubbeen, Mossfield, Milleens, Killeen, Blarney and Kerrygold Vintage Cheddar served with Sheridan’s crackers and Jess Murphy’s moreish damson jelly. I apologise if nobody else got to try this but I just could not stop eating it! It was addictive.
There was also a bounty of fresh baked popped amaranth sourdough bread to dip in to pink plates of whipped lard with sweet paprika, white onions and Aughrusbeg salt. Yes, whipped lard. Who’d have thought that folk would be elbowing people out of the way to try pig back fat! But, we were and it was a creamy, salty, delicious surprise! Very tasty indeed and the perfect accompaniment to the tangy sourdough.
Dessert was Carrageen honey mousse pudding with chocolate soil and Ballymaloe wild sorrel. This was like sipping melted applejack sweets, topped with honeyed cream and chocolate. A very interesting end to an extremely eclectic and exciting menu.
This echoed perfectly the exciting and eclectic line-up of this year’s festival, which Darina read out with such glee and giddiness that it made everybody look forward to the Litfest weekend even more. Darina and Rory are such wonderful ambassadors for Irish Food. They are so passionate about what they do and what others are doing in the food and drink industry. They are the perfect people to create a festival celebrating the best in food and wine writing and this year’s Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine looks set to be the biggest and best yet.
The festival kicks off on Friday May 15th with a fab food trail in Cork city and continues until the evening of Sunday 17th. Held in Ballymaloe House and Cooking School in East Cork, it has over 60 events and a fringe festival on everything from food writing, to cookery demonstrations, foraging expeditions and talks by leading figures from the food and drinks industry.
For full details and booking information check out LitFest.ie
Written by Melanie May