Food On The Edge 2018 brings global food conversations to Galway

JP McMahon (centre), director of Food On The Edge, pictured with (from left) guest speakers Vladimir Mukhin, Nathan Outlaw, Luke French, Paul Cunningham, Nathan Thornburgh, and Clare Smyth on the first day of Food On The Edge 2018 at NUI, Galway. Photo: Declan Monaghan.

JP McMahon (centre), director of Food On The Edge, pictured with (from left) guest speakers Vladimir Mukhin, Nathan Outlaw, Luke French, Paul Cunningham, Nathan Thornburgh, and Clare Smyth on the first day of Food On The Edge 2018 at NUI, Galway. Photo: Declan Monaghan.

The two-day international food symposium Food On The Edge took place in Galway this week, with chefs and other food leaders from around the world descending on the city for the event.

More than 600 people attended the symposium, which this year was held in NUI Galway. More than 50 of the world’s best international and Irish chefs and food leaders took to the stage to share their food stories and debate topics, while approximately 70 Irish food producers showcased their produce in the Artisan Food Village.

Conversations was the theme of Food On The Edge 2018, and both days of the symposium saw important conversations take place around the challenges and opportunities within the industry, not only on stage but through the connections and meeting of minds.

A major theme of Food On The Edge 2018 was 'action and reaction' and a number of speakers presented 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.

In his closing remarks, joint MC and chef Matt Orlando (AMASS, Copenhagen ) said: “If you don’t walk away from Food On The Edge with a plan, you have missed the entirety of what we have been doing over the past two days. It’s simple — pick something, pick anything from what you’ve heard here, and attack it. Go for it. Commit to it. Committing is the most important thing. Everyone talks about doing something, and there’s a small percentage of people who actually do it. Be that small percentage.”

JP McMahon closed the award-winning event by reflecting on the major themes of this year’s Food On The Edge. “Over the past two days we spoke about legacy," he said. "About where we have come from. That unconscious past that we all have to tap into and understand. We need to think about the way food culture has been in Ireland and about how we can turn that around and take it and embrace it.

"And we spoke about where we are going. Children, the institutionalisation of food, what we feed our kids. Education and children is a very important topic and something that is very dear to me. We looked at the value of food in our society, and about what sort of society we are creating. The only way I can describe Food On The Edge is as a chaotic network, you just don’t know who is going to collide with who and what result will come from it.”

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