With less than two weeks to go until a gathering of world-class international chefs, food leaders and experts converges in Galway, Ireland, for Food On The Edge 2017 on the 9th and 10th of October, the anticipation is building in the lead up to the award-winning two-day global food symposium, whose founder and director is chef and restaurateur JP McMahon.
The two-day programme features talks and panel discussions involving more than 50 international and Irish participants, who will take to the stage of the Black Box venue to share their food stories on topics ranging from the importance of the family dinner (Emma Bengtsson, Monday, 2.45pm, of Aquavit, New York City), the influence of bio-diversity on food (Heinz Reitbauer, Monday, 4.15pm, whose Steirereck restaurant in Vienna, Austria, is at number 10 in the current World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), food & cancer (Domini Kemp, Tuesday, 9.45am, of Itsa Group, Ireland), food waste (Samuel Nutter & Victor Wagman, Tuesday, 5pm, of BROR, Copenhagen) and connecting community (Dublin-born Cúán Greene, 5.15pm, of Noma, Copenhagen) to name but a few. Panel discussions will cover the topics of The Future Of Finnish Food (Monday 11am), Creating A Better Food System (Tuesday 11am, whose panelists include the influential British investigative food journalist Joanna Blythman as well as celebrated British chef Tom Adams of Pitt Cue Co, London), and Australian Food Now (Tuesday 2pm).
The World’s Best Female Chef of 2016 Ana Roš of Hisa Franko in Slovenia and star of an episode in series two of the acclaimed Netflix series Chef’s Table, will open proceedings at 9:30am on day one with a talk entitled “(con)fusion”, followed at 9.45am by Enrico Crippa, whose Piazza Duomo restaurant in Alba, Italy, is at number 15 on the elite World’s 50 Best list. British chefs Ashley Palmer Watts, protége of Heston Blumenthal, from Dinner restaurant, London, number 36 in the World’s 50 Best, Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House, and Isaac McHale of the Clove Club, London, number 26 in the World’s 50 Best, will speak at 10am, 12:30pm and 2.30pm respectively on day one. Another Chef’s Table star, modern kaiseki chef Niki Nakayama of n/naka in LA, will take to the stage at 3pm on day one.
The major theme of Food On The Edge 2017 is Action & Reaction and a number of speakers will present personal stories about how they have been inspired to take action in reaction to issues spoken about in previous years at Food On The Edge. For example, JP McMahon will share his “action & reaction” story about his new Education Agenda campaign to get food introduced as a proper subject in primary schools in Ireland. Copenhagen-based, US chef Matt Orlando of Amass restaurant will open day two at 9.30am with his “reaction” story entitled “No Such Thing As A By-Product, Only Another Product”.
Day two will also see cult chef and Chef’s Table star Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken in Sweden take to the stage at 12.30pm, while post-avant garde Spanish chef Quique Dacosta, whose eponymous restaurant in Alicante is at number 39 in the World’s 50 Best list, takes his turn at 4.15pm. North American writer, editor and founder of the not-for-profit online mental health support resource Chefs With Issues Kat Kinsman will take to the stage on day two at 12:15pm.
Food On The Edge 2017 will conclude with a number of sixth class children from Galway Educate Together National School reading essays they have written on the subject of food, which is a further strand of JP’s Education Agenda “reaction” story. JP McMahon said, “We need a food subject on our primary school curriculum to help children to understand where food comes from. Food is as important as maths. We need a food subject that takes in agriculture, farming, science, geography and history.”
An Artisan Food Village sponsored by La Rousse Foods will showcase food and drinks products from approximately 60 local food producers over the two days. It will also feed the speakers, panelists and delegates. A pop-up Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop will act as a hub for signings and sales of titles authored by the speakers. Roisin Dubh is the venue for a Monday after-party with live music, while O’Connell’s bar on Eyre Square will host the wrap party with food by The Dough Bros.
The 2017 Food On The Edge venue is the Black Box, which is located along the banks of the River Corrib in Galway city on the west coast of Ireland. The dates again are the 9th and 10th of October. Tickets are available to purchase from www.foodontheedge.ie.
Follow the official hashtag #FOTE2017 for regular updates.