Food on the edge part 1: JP McMahon, the founder

Food on the Edge (FOTE) symposium was born as a JP McMahon’s 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 it. 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.” wrote JP McMahon last year (read more here).  Things developed further and on 9th and 10th October 2017 the third edition of Food on the Edge (FOTE) will take place in Galway, Ireland.

JP McMahon. Photo: Declan Monaghan

Who is JP McMahon? How would you present yourself?

“JP is a chef, restaurateur and author. He loves education and writing. He is self taught as a cook and this drives him on – there is always a little lack in him. His vision is to change Irish food at all levels, from street food, cafes, casual and fine dining.”

Where did your interest in cooking come from and how did you decide to make it profession?

“Cooking came to me from doing home economics in secondary school. We were a large family. I liked to feed people. I began working as a chef when I was 15. I left school for a while. Then I went back. In my 20’s I went back to college to study art history and English. I kept cooking all the time to support myself. After I graduated I taught art history while doing a PhD. I kept on cooking. During that time we opened our first restaurant, then our second, then our third… We have other projects on the go. ”

JP and Massimo Bottura at FOTE. Photo: Declan Monaghan

You said you created Food on the Edge to put Ireland on the culinary map. How is the Irish culinary world?

“The Irish culinary world has blossomed in the last ten years. We are getting a confidence to look into our own produce and use it effectively. People want to celebrate the Irish food now. This was not the case when I was young. But all this is changing. In the next 15 years, I hope we will grow further, drawing influence from different food destinations like Copenhagen.”

Part 2: The (hi)story of FOTE:

Do you want to join? Till the end of July you can book the early birds tickets for Food on the Edge here after that they will be available at the regular price.

Virgilio Martinez (Central) and Matt Orlando (Amass) have bitten into the Food on the Edge apple. Will you? Photo: Declan Monaghan


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.