FOTE2016: 10 Things to Take Away
This year’s Food on the Edge was a great success with over 600 people attending the two-day event. Chefs from all around the world came to Galway to debate and discuss the future of food. Many talks were very political and many were deeply personal. All the speakers reached out to audience to try and encourage them to act better when it came to food.
Whether growing, making, serving or marketing food: all counts. The fight for good food has still only just begun. Many have no access to this food. Many ignore it. Our mission is to try to make it accessible. Directly talking and acting to establish a discourse of good food that will affect the most number of people. Steps are small and difficult, the road is long, but we must go on.
Below are then ten things I took away from FOTE2016. If you were there, you may have others.
- Caring and Sharing our Heritage to create local food destinations
- Looking to the past to create a better food future
- Using food as a tool for social change and resistance to commodity culture
- The importance of mentorship in the role of young chefs
- The role of diversity and travel in inspiring young chefs
- Trying to find more sustainable proteins
- Buying more organic food products, from beef to vegetables
- Using more seaweed and making it the national vegetable of Ireland
- The importance of family in the life and career of the chef
- Using cooking as a call to act and inspire.
If you missed the event, we’ll soon have all the talks uploads on to YOUTUBE. Massimo Bottura’s talk is already online so you can check it out here. It’s called “Cooking is a Call to Act”. It was a tremendous and powerful talk.
And indeed we must act. I want to ensure that Food on the Edge is not just talk. We want to see actions happening, we want to see positive change. That is why in 2017, while the over-arching theme will still be ‘The Future of Food’, our talks and panel discussions with be divided into two sub-themes; Food Stories and Action-Reaction.
Food Stories will be about the many ways that food is used to build communities, connect people, how it is significant in changing people’s lives in small and big ways, personal and political, local and global.
Action-Reaction will be about the actions that have come out of Food on the Edge to date and will come out of it in future. It is about how chefs who have attended Food on the Edge in year 1 and 2, or been influenced by it, have reacted to what they have heard or how they have been inspired to act. It is also about what actions we can each take to make a positive changes and to improve our industry or improve life and the world in general through food.
Many of you will have attended Food on the Edge in 2015 or 2016 or both. Hopefully more of you will have the chance to attend next year. Many more may have followed it on social media and watched the talks on our YouTube channel.
Some of you have contacted me to tell me the ways that Food on the Edge has inspired you and actions you took as a result. Hopefully there are more of you out there with similar stories.
Because of this, and because we want this effect to ripple out and inspire further action, we are setting up a Food on the Edge community here on ChefNetwork.ie, where any chef who has attended Food on the Edge or is interested in the themes it addresses, can share the moments that most inspired you, discuss what you took away from Food on the Edge, tell other chefs about any actions it has inspired you to take or plans you have, or share ideas for changes we can all make.
I really looking forward to hearing what you have to share. ACTION-REACTION