Global gathering of chefs in Galway will focus on ‘action and reaction’
Food on the Edge 2017 will include three stars of Netflix ‘Chef’s Table’
Food On The Edge director JP McMahon, and chef Domini Kemp at the event briefing in Dublin on Monday. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds
“Action: Reaction” has been announced as the principal theme for the third Food On The Edge symposium which takes place in Galway in October 9th and 10th, and which brings together some of the world’s best known and most influential culinary stars.
Speaking at a briefing on the event in Dublin on Monday, following on from its London launch last month, JP McMahon, event director said: “It was time to reflect on the issues we’ve been talking about and try to change or act on them. Feedback from chefs that had taken direct action as a result of attending Food On The Edge – chefs at the top of their game and chefs just starting out – has been inspiring and motivating. We’d like to hear these stories and promote action.”
This year’s event will feature contributions from three chefs who have featured in the Netflix series Chef’s Table, Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken in Sweden, Ana Roš of Hiša Franko restaurant in Slovenia, and Niki Nakayama, owner of n|naka restaurant in Los Angeles.
Food stories, inspirational narratives and finding new voices with interesting things to say about food are other strands to the programme. “I think it’s important for me to try and balance massive names like Magnus Nilsson with people who are absolutely unknown,” McMahon said.
Two Syrian chefs will be attending the symposium this year. “One is currently in the Netherlands, where he is cooking for displaced people and that is his action, but it’s also his food story, how he got to the Netherlands ...” McMahon said.
The event costs €300,000 to run, McMahon said. One third of that comes from ticket sales, and the organisers are determined to keep the maximum number of delegates at 500 to retain the event’s intimacy.
Sponsorship contributes to the shortfall, and McMahon and his wife and business partner Drigin Gaffey, who run the Michelin starred Aniar, as well as Cava bodega and Eat gastropub in Galway, also contribute. “We still put in quite a lot of our own resources and how long we can sustain that depends on how successful my restaurants are,” McMahon said.
In a new development, McMahon said he is exploring the possibility of doing something in tandem with the culinary minds behind MAD, the Copenhagen food symposium. “I am talking to the organisers of MAD and I want to try and do something together. They see FOTE as a successful event. Now MAD is going through difficulties; it’s not happening this year. They’re going through a period of analysis,” he said.
Early bird tickets are available to purchase until July 31st from foodontheedge.ie. A two-day entry ticket, including lunches and wrap party, costs €350. A single day ticket will cost €225. The programme will be a mixture of 15-minute talks, panel discussions and masterclasses. The venue this year is the Black Box Theatre, in Galway.
The official hashtags for Food On The Edge 2017 are #ActionReaction and #FOTE2017.