The theme of Food On The Edge, the international chefs' symposium that returns to Galway on October 22nd-23rd, has been revealed as "Conversations". Launching the event in Dublin on Monday, symposium director JP McMahon said, "Conversations are what we need to move food forward in Ireland. To connect it to our schools, our hospitals, our homes."
Chef Andy McFadden, whose Glovers Alley restaurant hosted the launch, was a speaker at the first running of the symposium in 2015, and this time around he will be "in conversation" at the event with his former mentor, Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant.
“The conversation we need to keep having is the one about the chef shortage. It is a real problem in the industry and it’s through conversation that we will address the true impact of the problem and start to develop some real solutions, ” McFadden said.
Also speaking at the launch, chef Danni Barry of Clenaghan's said, "A simple conversation can be the beginning of something much bigger, so we have to continue to talk to each other, especially around the area of mental health and our well-being as chefs."
The internationally renowned chefs who will be taking part in the two-day series of talks, panel discussions and presentations in Galway includes several whose restaurants have multiple Michelin stars and feature in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.
Among the best known are Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz restaurant in San Sebastian), Ana Roš (Hisa Franko, Slovenia), Albert Adrià (el Barri group in Barcelona), Esben Holmboe Bang (Maaemo, Oslo), Emma Bengtsson (Aquavit, New York) and Vladimir Mukhin (White Rabbit in Moscow).
Matt Orlando of Amass in Copenhagen and Sasu Laukkonen of Ora in Helsinki, are co-hosts for the event and each will also present a masterclass. Orlando's topic is "Zero Waste in the Kitchen" and Laukkonen's is "Working with Farmers".
The London restaurant scene is represented by Irish chef Clare Smyth of Core by Clare Smyth, London-based Finnish chef Helena Puolakka of Aster, and Skye Gyngell of Spring Restaurant at Somerset House.
In addition, food writer and broadcaster Diana Henry will moderate a panel discussion on the topic of "Contemporary British Food", and London-based Irish chefs Niall Davidson (soon to relocate to Dublin to open a restaurant on South Frederick Street), Marguerite Keogh (The Five Fields), Kevin Burke (The Ninth) and Aidan McGee (Corrigan's Mayfair) will talk address the topic of "Irish Chefs Abroad".
New contributors to the event this year include Norbert Niederkofler of the three Michelin starred St. Hubertus restaurant in San Cassiano; Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen of Europe's first under sea restaurant, Under, in Norway, and Paul Ivic of Tian, a vegetarian restaurant in Vienna with a Michelin star.
Food On The Edge will take place at the Bailey Allen Hall at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). Early bird tickets covering access to all talks, lunches and a wrap party are available at a discounted price of €300 until August 31st. See foodontheedge.ie.