Imagine walking into a room and seeing your cookbook collection walking around. Look! Over there, that delicately beautiful Indian woman just has to be Madhur Jaffrey. Is that Stephanie Alexander standing at the back of the room? That’s Thomasina Miers talking to Stevie Parle, and they’ve just been joined by Rachel Allen. And this elegant lady just to my right? None other than the legendary Claudia Roden. My former teacher Rory O’Connell is launching his first cookbook, Darina Allen is on stage kicking the whole thing off and we’re set for a weekend of books, food and great conversation.
The inaugural Ballymaloe Litfest of Food and Wine was all that. And more.
I could write on and on about the presentations, workshops and demonstrations that I went to – the free events and tastings at the Big Shed fringe event could alone take up an entire blog post – but one of the major highlights for me was having the chance to sit down and interview my long-time hero Claudia Roden for RTE Lyric fm’s Culturefile.
I was, in a word, entranced. The piece I wrote about her, alongside pictures of her demonstration by Sally McKenna, is on the McKennas’ Guides site: Claudia Roden by Caroline Hennessy
(While you’re on that site, don’t forget to check out the incredible line up of food writers, chefs and producers that talk about the importance of bees: Celebrating the Bee at Ballymaloe LitFest.)
For anyone who has questions about food blogging in particular, it’s well worth checking out the Irish Food Bloggers Association pages of resources and tips. My IFBA partner-in-crime, Kristin, has been collating these lists of links and you must might find an answer – or a good afternoon’s worth of reading – there.
Tips: recipe writing/submitting to Foodgawker/Tastespotting (Kristin Jensen), going to international food conferences (The Daily Spud), food styling (Sharon Hearne-Smith), photography
Resources: information on food blogging sites, tips on getting started, SEO, social media. photography, food and recipe writing
More Claudia Roden on Bibliocook:
Harira for bookclub
Dukkah by post
Ingredient experiments: Spicy Carrot Dip
Ingredient experiments – Pomegranate molasses: Bulgur and Cauliflower Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
Three perfect books to carry around Morocco