Ballymaloe Litfest of Food & Wine 2014

ReneRedzepiChef_large

For the weekend that’s in it, here’s four of my most recent articles, all previewing the 2nd Ballymaloe Litfest. Last year’s inaugural event defied all expectations, even those of the organisers, and I’m gearing up for yet another splendid weekend even if my own schedule (including a 9.30am interview on Sunday morning with one of Ireland’s Queens of Cheese, the magnificent Giana Ferguson of Gubbeen, which The Swashbuachaill shall conduct in an entirely somnolent state) appears to have been planned with the sole intention of  putting manners on The Swashbuachaill’s innate ability to party for Ireland. If you get the chance, do visit what will be the premier culinary gathering anywhere on the globe this weekend.  Continue reading

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10 Cookbooks You Should Own?

It’s the closest I’ve come to generating a twitter firestorm – well, maybe more of a twitter firelog but it’s certainly the most tweets I’ve ever received in response to a query for an article I was writing, published in the Irish Examiner Weekend Magazine. The query? Name ten cookbooks you should own. And then the tweets began a-tumblin’ in. I even received an email furnishing his top ten from a man so profoundly allergic to the whole social media phenomenon, he was unable, physically, mentally or morally to respond with a tweet. But he is also a man who knows his onions, the 101 things you can do with them and a whole load of other foodstuffs besides, with a veritable library of fabulous cookbooks to bolster that knowledge. Continue reading

Rachid Zaouia versus The Swashbuachaill’s Sweet Tooth

There’s an awful lot of stuff to be found in The Swashbuachaill’s head. What some may call weird, others call wonderful (that would be Dear Old Sainted Mother Swashbuachaill leading the charge on the latter) but all agree the biggest thing in The Swashbuachaill noggin is the Sweet Tooth.

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Eat the Library

Gillian Nelis, Assistant Editor of The Sunday Business Post, put out a tweet today looking for cookbook suggestions for a Christmas round-up – that was all the excuse I needed to drop all efforts at earning a buck to feed the childer and indulge myself a while with a little trawl through my collection. I grabbed a pile at random – on another day, I might well have picked an entirely different set of titles, save the couple of ‘essentials’ that have been with me for years.

Hector cooks the books

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