Food on the Edge, the annual two-day symposium gathering dozens of chefs and food leaders from around the world in Galway, dedicated to sharing the big issues, is just days away!
Whether you will be there in person or following the event coverage on our social media channels, this is the food symposium where chefs and industry leaders talk, listen and take action for a better future for food. After all, as organizer McMahon says “The whole point of this symposium is talking about things, but then doing them.”
This year sees some exciting new additions with Ryan King, senior correspondent at Fine Dining Lovers speaking on industry issues, the launch of the brand new Fine Dining Lovers chef survey and chef Leonor Espinosa taking over the Fine Dining Lovers Instagram account!
The Theme: Migration
Each year issues are taken to the edge on a theme. We asked organizer and chef JP McMahon to tell us more about why he chose this year's theme of "migration" along with his expectations for this year's debate.
"Migration is such an important issue of our time, in particular, migration from the Middle East into Europe, and Central America into the United States. But the migration of people is only one half of the equation, and food is the other half. When we think about food it often isn’t acknowledged how the migration of food has contributed to the development of certain cuisines. It is an important metaphor for how we define people and food - “from here” and “not from here” - but really it is not that black and white. Example here in Ireland are cinnamon and nutmeg. They have been in Ireland for 800 years, but does that mean they are part of Irish food or are they just food used in Ireland - where do we draw the line?
At this year’s FOTE we hope to broaden out the debate and to tackle issues in the wider food culture. Over the years of FOTE we have always tried to deal with important issues specific to our industry including food waste and kitchen culture, but last year we saw this expand beyond the kitchen through speakers such as Joshna Maharaj and Karissa Becarra. We saw more chefs realising that the issues they are having in their kitchens are issues that are also out there in the world and that nothing will change if chefs just stay in their kitchen and talking amongst themselves. We have seen a progression away from simply talking about food to recognising the power of food as a tool for social change."
Here's what to look out for at Food on the Edge 2019
Alongside the dozens of chef talks listed in the programme, here are some unmissable highlights.
Kitchen Culture: The Sustainability of the Chef
Ryan King, Senior Correspondent at Fine Dining Lovers, will present on "kitchen culture" amplifying the conversations happening in the industry. He'll be giving voice to some of the issues surrounding the "sustainability of the chef" concentrating on mental health, work hours and work/life balance.
Catch Ryan on stage at 12.20pm on Monday 21 October.
Fine Dining Lovers Kitchen Culture Chef Survey
We will also be taking the opportunity to speak to the assembled chefs and gather responses in our brand new industry survey on "kitchen culture". We want to hear the voice of professionals working in kitchens, investigate chef lifestyles and conditions by capturing their thoughts and experiences in a short survey.
If you're a chef and have a few minutes free come and find us over the two days, we'd love to hear from you (all responses remain anonymous!).
#FineDiningLovers Instagram Account Takeover!
In an exciting first, chef Leonor Espinosa from restaurants Leo and Misia in Colombia and founder of the Leo Espinosa Foundation FUNLEO (meet her here) will be taking over the Fine Dining Lovers Instagram account for the duration of the symposium. Leonor will be capturing the stories both front and back stage, as they happen. With so many chefs in one place there are sure to be some unmissable moments, even more so through the lens of an insider!
Catch Leonor's speech on "Integral Gastronomy Centers: An alternative model of community development in Colombia" at 2.40pm on Tuesday 22 October.