For Lovers of Food


April 2016

Our Food – What’s the Story?

An important question being asked at this year’s

Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine


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The fourth Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine runs from 20-22 May 2016, and the dictum of this year’s festival is Local Hero, Global Hero. Running through the heart of this year’s festival, is a fascinating new programme focusing on the future of food, with top-class national and international speakers gathering to discuss and debate the important question, ‘Our Food – What’s the Story?’


This new symposium is designed to spark imagination and generate discussion, prompting attendees to recognise the part, however small, that they play in the future of the health of our planet and its food. This crucial conversation, led by some of the most thought-provoking and dynamic writers and thinkers about food of our generation (each of them a Local Hero, Global Hero in their own right), will be passionate, factual and inspiring and is a must visit for all food-lovers to this year’s festival.


Based in The Grainstore, the Our Food – What’s the Story symposium takes place throughout the weekend and is broken into four sessions – one each in the morning and afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. Each session will conclude with a Q&A with the speakers and, as in the respected TED Talk format, each speaker will have 15 minutes to make their presentation, delivering the most up-to-the-minute news on what’s happening in the world of food and drinks. The sessions will be punctuated by inspiring short films, interesting readings and live music, giving attendees a different kind of nourishment, while providing some time to reflect on the words of the speakers.


Opening this exciting programme on Saturday morning, Dr. Alessandro Demaio of the World Health Organisation presents Local Change for International Effect and he epitomises the idea behind the programme when he says “A smarter food system could be our missing silver bullet for both planetary and human health, and food is a common language in a fragmented world – bridging religions, cultures and boundaries.”



Other speakers not to be missed during the inaugural Our Food – What’s the Story symposium include Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank and expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues who is joined by Dr. William Burke, an agricultural economist, in examining climate change and our food. Kamal Mouzawak, the charismatic food writer and founder of the Souk El Tayeb farmers’ market in Beirut shares his experiences of Food in a Warzone, while Professor Ted Dinan of University College Cork discusses the relationship between our gut and our psychological well-being in A Gut Feeling.


The Bia Food Initiative based in Cork will be suggesting how to tackle food waste on Sunday morning, while Ella McSweeney will lead a panel discussion on Sunday afternoon on the importance of our soil. Ari Weinzweig, CEO and co-founder of Zingerman’s Deli in Michigan, tells us how to create a successful food business and a happy workforce. Eric Werner and Mya Henry will recount their story of how they turned a dream into reality with the opening of Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico and Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns from San Francisco will give attendees an Introduction to Culinary Wizardry. Katie Sanderson and Shantanu Starick discuss a restaurant on the edge of the world – the Dillisk Project in Galway – while Anya Von Bremzen talks about food behind the Iron Curtain with her focus on Soviet cooking.


Other topics and speakers include Argentinian grill maestro Francis Mallmann on Sunday afternoon with his presentation Mallmann on Fire, Prue Leith, author, cook and entrepreneur in conversation with Nick Lander, seed saving with Madeleine McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, Elisabeth Luard on Sacred Food, olive oil with Natalie Wheen, seaweeds with Prannie Rhatigan, cheese with Kevin and Seamus Sheridan, and herbs with Mark Diacono from Otter Farm in Devon.


Under the festival banner Local Hero, Global Hero, the Our Food – What’s the Story programme will top many lists of things to do and see at this year’s Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine and is designed to give fresh insights and questions to think about, as well as suggested actions to take, long after the festival is over.


Tickets for the half-day sessions are priced at €50 each or €90 for a full day. A two-day weekend ticket costs €170. For further information visit or call +353 21 4645777



For further press information and/or images please contact:

Breffni O’Dwyer

Host & Co.

T       +353 1 855 8500

M       +353 86 357 9729