Food On The Edge Kicks Off in Galway

Day One of Food On The Edge 2018 Kicks Off in Galway

The Food On The Edge 2018 gathering of the world’s best international chefs and food leaders opened this morning  in the National University of Ireland, Galway. The award-winning two-day food symposium will see over 600 people in attendance over the two days, more than 50 speakers take to the stage to share their food stories, and 70 Irish food producers in the Artisan Food Village.

The first day of Food On The Edge 2018 opened with JP McMahon (Founder and Director of Food On The Edge) in conversation with this year’s joint MCs, chefs Matt Orlando (AMASS, Copenhagen) and Sasu Laukkonen (Ora Restaurant, Helsinki).

In his opening address JP McMahon said, “This year at Food On The Edge what we have really tried to do is to think about how diverse things are in the world, and try to shine a light on that diversity. We need to break down barriers and share the diversity of food cultures in a cross-fertilisation of knowledge. We need to change the farm culture, we need to change the food culture and this is our responsibility as ethical chefs and food producers.  And from this we can build a food culture the spreads, not only into our restaurants, but into every element of life.”

This year’s edition of Food On The Edge is being dedicated to the memory of the late American chef and food journalist Anthony Bourdain who died in June. The first talk of the symposium heard Nathan Thornburgh — Bourdain’s partner at Roads & Kingdoms, the producers with CNN of the celebrated TV programme Parts Unknown — reflect on five years of thinking about the future of food, writing and television with Anthony Bourdain in a ‘Food Story’ entitled What Food Meant to Anthony Bourdain (and why it matters)’. Nathan said, “It’s an honour to be able to come to Food On The Edge and talk about Tony. A lot of us who were close to him just want to keep his ideas and the things that he stood for alive for as long as we can. JP is a fairly special guy and I think he really seems to understand Tony the way I did. As a non-chef coming here to talk to cooks about Tony is very interesting, because cooks were his people and he had an incredible affection for the talents that they bring and the stories that they tell.”

The theme of Food On The Edge 2018 is Conversations, and day one of the symposium saw important conversations take place around the challenges and opportunities within the industry.

Irish chefs Andy McFadden (Glovers Alley) and Neven Maguire (MacNean House) spoke in conversation about mentorship and encouraging talent. Neven Maguire said, “I’m  absolutely thrilled to be here at Food On The Edge, my team has been here every year and what JP and the team have done is fantastic, showcasing Irish produce and really talking about our industry. This is a great industry that I’ve been in since the age of twelve, and I am here talking about mentorship, getting young people into food and into cooking and hopefully becoming chefs themselves. It’s a fantastic career, it’s a career that I love with my heart and I’m just delighted to be here.”

This year for the first time Food On The Edge is holding a series of hands-on Masterclasses for delegates led by selected speakers. Today saw Adrian Klonowski and Matylda Grzelak (The Use of Customs to Convay the Food Identity of a Place or Culture); Matt Orlando (No Such Thing as a By-product, Only Another Product); and  Joshna Maharaji (Social Gastronomy in Public Institutions: Triumphs, Challenges & Big Lessons).

Delegates to Food On The Edge also got to experience the Artisan Food Village which showcased food and drinks from 70 top Irish producers. A pop-up Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop is also acting as a hub for signings and sales of titles authored by the speakers.

The 2018 Food On The Edge venue is the Bailey Allen Hall at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), Ireland. The masterclass sessions will take place in the O’Donoghue Centre next door. The event starts at 9.00am on both days.

Gather & Gather is a principal partner of Food On The Edge this year, with Estrella Damm and San Pellegrino returning as major sponsors.

Follow the official hashtag #FOTE2018 for regular updates..

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