Food on the Edge (FOTE) was born as an idea somewhere around August 2015. I wanted to bring a nice group of chefs to Galway. I suppose I was inspired by gatherings such as Cook it Raw and conferences like Terroir and MAD. I thought that we had amazing produce in Ireland but the world just didn’t know about. If I brought chefs, then they could learn what an amazing country was Ireland. That was the first part: introducing international chefs to Ireland and its produce. The second part of the plan was to create a benchmark for good food in Ireland. All the chefs that speak at FOTE are leaders. People follow leaders. I knew that if people listened, they would be inspired to change, to make better food, to change our culture in Ireland. We are getting there but I think Ireland can rival the best countries in the world, like Spain and Denmark. We just need to invest in our food culture. FOTE is a way of doing this, creating a summit for best practice.
I don’t want FOTE to have any ultimate directives. The theme each year is the future of food, in the context of every area of eating, from fine dining to street food. I want FOTE to be like throwing small stones into water. You never know where the ripples end up. The power of FOTE lies in reaching out to everyone in a equal way – anybody can come and join us.