Galway chef, restaurateur, educator and food writer JP McMahon was announced Local Food Hero 2016 at the Irish Restaurant Awards All-Ireland Finals held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Dublin on 16th May 2016.
“The Local Food Hero award recognises the individual that promotes food culture in their locality and stirs up the passion in people to explore various cuisines. They are inspirational foodies – from artisan producers to local chefs throughout Ireland,” stated Adrian Cummins, CEO of Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI).
Speaking at the awards JP said, “I am honoured and humbled to be the recipient of this award. It is great to see our work having a strong and tangible impact on our food culture. This is evident in the success of Food On The Edge, as well as the strong team ethos in our approach to cooking in Aniar, Cava Bodega, Eat Gastropub and The Farmer project. I would like to thank the RAI for giving us recognition for these endeavours.” The other nominees in the Local Food Hero category were Olivia Duff of Boyne Valley Food Series representing Leinster; Robert Curley of Slemish Market Supper Club representing Ulster and Mark Murphy of Dingle Cookery School representing Munster. This is the second consecutive year that the RAI’s Local Food Hero award has gone to Galway, with Ronan Byrne of The Friendly Farmer having received the award in 2015. Notes: JP McMahon’s growing list of accomplishments include being Culinary Director of the award-winning EatGalway Restaurant Group, which comprises Aniar, Cava Bodega, and Eat Gastropub. Aniar was awarded a Michelin Star for 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. He also runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School. Director and Founder of Galway Food Festival, JP is also an Ambassador for Irish Food (Fáilte Ireland), a Network Leader for the global Cook It Raw project, the Ambassador for Spanish Food in Ireland, a Commissioner for Euro-Toques Ireland and member of its Food Council. A tireless advocate for a sustainable food culture, JP McMahon is the Creator and Symposium Director of Food On The Edge, a two-day forum for debating the future of food that takes place annually in Galway, Ireland. Respected food writers John and Sally McKenna awarded Food On The Edge their Food Event of the Year 2015. The second Food On The Edge is taking place on 24th and 25th October 2016 in Galway, with a number of the world’s leading chefs already confirmed for the speaker line-up. You can book tickets on www.foodontheedge.ie with a special early-bird price available until 31st July. http://eatgalway.ie