Migration is key theme for this year's Food On The Edge

Food PR team Jane Foley, Olivia Collins, and Maria Ryan at the programme launch of Food On The Edge 2019 during Culture Night at Druid's Mick Lally Theatre.
Photo: Andrew Downes.

Food PR team Jane Foley, Olivia Collins, and Maria Ryan at the programme launch of Food On The Edge 2019 during Culture Night at Druid's Mick Lally Theatre. Photo: Andrew Downes.

Migration — how food travels and how this journey affects people's perception of food — is the main theme for this year's Food on the Edge, taking place on October 21 and 22.

The programme for the annual food symposium was officially unveiled at a launch event in the Druid Theatre on Culture Night last week.

The symposium will be a mix of 15-minute talks, panel discussions, and hands-on masterclass sessions. The event will start at 9am on both days, with registration opening from 8am.

Shinobu Namae (L’Effervescence, Tokyo ) will open the first day of talks, with chef Alex Atala (D.O.M, São Paulo ) closing the day. Tuesday’s talks will begin with Australian chef Ben Shewry (Attica, Melbourne ) who will present a ‘food story’ titled Shut Up and Listen, with Alberto Landgraf (Oteque, Rio de Janeiro ) closing the event.

Newly announced speaker chef Rosio Sanchéz of Hija de Sanchéz, Copenhagen, will speak on Tuesday afternoon, with director and producer of Netflix’s Chef’s Table Brian McGinn speaking on his highly acclaimed and popular series on Tuesday morning.

Speakers discussing the central theme of migration include Derry Clarke (l’Ecrivain, Dublin ) on ‘Invasive Crops’; Arlene Stein (Terroir Talk, Berlin ) on ‘#noborders: Food as a Tool for Diplomacy’; Paul Carroll (Polly, Vladimir ) on ‘From Tallaght to Tsar’; and Josh Niland (Saint Peter, Sydney ) on ‘Beyond the Fillet’.

Conversations return as a theme this year, with the line-up including chefs Darina Allen and Rachel Allen (Ballymaloe Cookery School, Cork ) speaking about ‘Irish Food: Past, Present, and Our Vision for the Future’ on Monday morning. Chefs Matt Orlando and Kim Wejendorp (AMASS, Copenhagen ) will be discussing ‘Responsible Deliciousness’, and British food writer and author Allan Jenkins will also speak on Tuesday afternoon.

‘Food Story’ talks on the line-up include chef Tom Brown (Cornerstone, Hackney ) on ‘Meanwhile in East London, Lunatics Open a Restaurant’; Leonor Espinosa (LEO and MISIA, Columbia ) on ‘Integral Gastronomy Centers: An Alternative Model of Community Development in Columbia’; and Selassie Atadika (Mindunu, Ghana ) on ‘This Is Africa’.

A series of masterclasses, sponsored by Chef Network, will take place again this year. They will be led by selected speakers including Will Goldfarb on ‘Revisiting Personal Pastry Through a Local Literary Lens’; Matt Orlando, Tiago Falcone, and Tom Delaney on ‘The Intersection of Food and Beer’; Sophia Hoffmann - ‘The Seven Seas of Deliciousness - Discovering The Endless Joy of Plant Based Cooking’; and Douglas McMaster - ‘Nu Waste’. These sessions are limited to 50 people and early arrival is recommended.

“The topics at this year’s Food On The Edge are diverse and designed to foster conversation and build bridges," said symposium director JP McMahon. "This year’s main theme will focus on the issue of migration, as we question the idea of what it means to be local and how people moving from place to place has defined us and shaped our food culture. We will also be looking at themes of waste, social gastronomy, education, and kitchen culture.”

Six people who are working to change the landscape of Irish food were selected as Food On The Edge ambassadors for 2019. The ambassadors — Paula Stakelum (Ashford Castle ), Chad Byrne (Chef Collab ), Annette Sweeney (TU Dublin ), Ronan Fox (Mayo General Hospital ), Deirdre Doyle (Cool Food School ), and Devin O’Sullivan (FEAST ) — will take part in a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Moving Food On The Edge Forward into New Realms’ which will be moderated by Mark Anderson (Gather & Gather ).

Another panel discussion on ‘Migration and the Nordic Food Movement’ will feature Bo Bech (Restaurant Geist, København ), Nicolai Norregaard (Kadeau, København ), and Esben Bang (Maaemo, Oslo ), and will be moderated by JP McMahon.

Food On The Edge delegates will also get to experience an artisan food village this year, which will showcase the best of Irish produce from more than 60 top Irish producers.

The venue for Food On The Edge is the Bailey Allen Hall at the NUI Galway. The masterclasses will take place next door in the Bank of Ireland Theatre.

A two-day ticket costs €400, with a two-day student ticket available fro €350, and group rates for groups of six-plus, 10-plus, and 20-plus. Tickets can be purchased at www.foodontheedge.ie

Gather & Gather and Fáilte Ireland are principal sponsors for Food On The Edge 2019. San Pellegrino is returning as a major sponsor, along with new major sponsor Galway Bay Brewery.

For more information see www.foodontheedge.ie Check out @FoodOnTheEdge on social media and follow the official hashtag #FOTE2019 for regular updates.

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