Food On The Edge 2019 Launched in London

The launch of ​Food On The Edge 2019 ​(FOTE 2019) took place yesterday evening (May 20) at ​Robin Gill’s newly-launched​ Darby’s​ restaurant in London.

FOTE is a global food symposium which takes place annually in Galway, Ireland, with the aim of generating debate, discussion, and thought leadership on the future of food. Last night’s event saw the announcement of the 2019 venue, the themes and list of speakers to date, as well as the launch of the ​FOTE Ambassador Programme​.

JP McMahon​, founder and symposium director of ​the festival​, said: “​We are delighted to launch Food On The Edge 2019 in London this year and to use this event to announce our new Food On The Edge Ambassador Programme. Each year we receive a large number of inspirational applicants hoping to partake and speak at Food On The Edge. These applicants are very often doing wonderful things for Irish food and developing the industry in their own way.”

“While we have limited capacity of speaking slots, we wanted to do something to acknowledge these food champions. I hope this initiative will widen the reach of the Food On The Edge and act as its legacy into the future, eventually expanding onto a global scale.”

Six people who are working to change the landscape of Irish food and are exemplifying the FOTE ethos will be selected to be ambassadors for 2019. Those chosen will be invited to discuss at the festival​ the work they are doing and will receive a two-day ticket to​ ​FOTE and a profile on the event’s website. Applicants for the initiative are urged to go to the site for more details.

London Launch

Signature snacks at the launch celebrated Irish food and were prepared by London-based Irish chefs. ​Robin Gill ​prepared Dooncastle oysters cooked over coal with Connemara seaweed. Kevin Burke​ served up St. Tola goats cheese and pepper barbajuans. ​Anna Haugh​ created black pudding wrapped in Ballymakenny spuds with apple purée. ​Aidan McGee​ prepared braised Irish beef scrumpet, horseradish and aged parmesan. And ​Shauna Froydenlund​ made treacle cured and turf smoked trout and dill on sourdough crumpets.

Speakers at the launch included ​UK-based chefs and FOTE supporters such as Pierre Koffmann​, ​Skye Gyngell​, ​Tom Brown, Claude Bosi​ and ​Doug McMaster​. The venue for this year’s festival was also announced at the London launch. It will be held in ​NUI Galway​, the city’s university, for the second year.

McMahon said ​“The feedback from last year’s event was so positive. The facilities and support provided by management and staff of NUI Galway meant it was a very easy decision to make. The University is so close to the city centre and as food education is a driving factor behind the Food On The Edge ethos, NUI Galway itself is leading the way internationally in terms of third level education, so the fit is perfect.”

The FOTE founder then went on to reveal the full list of confirmed speakers to date to add to the already impressive line-up which includes cult ​chefs and stars of the ​Netflix series ​Chef’s Table,
namely Brazil’s most influential chef ​Alex Atala​ of ​D.O.M,​ and New Zealand-born ​Ben Shewry​ of Attica​ restaurant. Columbian chef and winner of 2017 Best Female Chef in Latin America ​Leonor Espinosa​ of Leo Cocina y Cava will be attending as well as trailblazer ​Daniel Giusti​,​ ​former head chef of​ ​Noma in Copenhagen. The latter set up ​Brigaid​, a project which puts professional chefs into public schools to transform and rethink school food.

Australian chef ​Mark Best​ of ​Bistro​ and ​Netflix fame from​ The Final Table; ​Prateek Sadhu​ of Masque​, the number five ranked restaurant in Mumbai; ​British-Indian chef, presenter and food writer, ​Romy Gill​ of Romy’s Kitchen in Thornbury; Irish chef​ Derry Clarke​ of Michelin Star l’Ecrivain​ in Dublin; and ​Dalad Kambhu​ of Michelin Star ​Kin Dee​ in Berlin are all also due to speak.

Other confirmed speakers are ​Alan Jenkins, ​editor of the Observer Food Monthly; ​Korean-born Danish chef ​Kristian Baumann​ of Michelin Star ​Restaurant 108 ​in Copenhagen; ​chef, cookbook writer and activist ​Sophia Hoffmann​ of Berlin’s ​Café Isla Coffee​; pizza chef ​Denis Lovatel​ of ​Pizzeria Ezio​ in the mountains of Belluno; and Brazilian chef Alberto Landgraf​, of ​Oteque in Rio de Janeiro.

FOTE 2019 will be a two-day programme of 15-minute talks, panel discussions, masterclasses and networking activity, with an artisan food village showcasing the best of Irish and West of Ireland food produce. The event will take place October 21 – 22.

Early bird tickets are available at a reduced rate of €350 until the end of June. They include admission on both days, lunches, and entertainment on both nights. Instalments plan payments are also available.

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

Featured Image Credit – James Mason

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