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Fote 2019 speakers
Speakers at FOTE 2019

Five Reasons To Get Excited About This Year's Food On The Edge

Our top picks for this year's chef symposium.


The 2019 edition of Food On The Edge will take place on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd October in NUI Galway.

Now in its fifth year, the coming-together of top international chefs aims to challenge our perspective on food and our connection to it. Chosen for their innovation, passion and influence on today’s food culture, approximately 50 chefs from Ireland and abroad will be speaking over the two-day symposium. With their own unique perspective, they will address the cultural, social, environmental and educational aspects of food, with an emphasis on their vision for the future of food and how we can make things better on both a local and a global level.

Introduced last year to great success, the Food on the Edge Masterclasses will offer the opportunity to enjoy more intimate sessions with several specially selected speakers. The masterclasses are longer and more interactive than the main stage talks, allowing the attendees to engage with speakers and ask them questions directly. These sessions will accommodate limited numbers on a first come, first served basis. 

While the exciting line-up includes talks about “Food as a tool for diplomacy” by Arlene Stein, “Transforming Society Through Gastronomy” by Blanca del Noval, or “To learn how to eat well is to learn how to live well: On food education and self-efficacy” by Billy Wagner, these are our five top picks for this year’s event. 


Darina and Rachel Allen 

The powerhouse ladies of Ballymaloe will kick start the two-day event with a conversation about Irish food, remembering the past, assessing the present and sharing their vision for the future. The leader of the Slow Food movement in Ireland and daughter-in-law to legend Myrtle Allen, Darina and her own daughter-in-law will surely capture the public’s attention with their unique views on Irish food.  

Time: 9.40am - 10am

Alex Atala 

The Brazilian chef, owner of D.O.M. in São Paulo, made a name for himself by adapting French and Italian culinary techniques to native Brazilian ingredients, an effort that saw him mentioned several times on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Atala became known by a wider international audience through the Netflix programme Chef’s Table

Time: 5.30pm - 5.45pm

Bonus: Masterclass with Majken Bech

The front of house manager and one half of the husband-and-wife team behind Aimsir will host a masterclass about non-alcoholic pairings, an option that guests have been enjoying in the restaurant since its opening. We are excited to hear Majken explaining how she chooses the beverages to complement the superb food served at the Cliff at Lyons' dining room.

Time: 11am 


Ben Shewry 

The chef from Melbourne’s Attica restaurant will share his food story called “Shut Up and Listen”. Shewry, who grew up in rural New Zealand, had almost no exposure to the culinary world but his childhood in the countryside was critical in defining his style of cooking. As shown in an episode of Chef’s Table, Shewry has been influential to modern Australian cuisine by experimenting with native and foraged ingredients, a trend that has also taken hold in Ireland in recent years. We can’t wait to hear what the chef has to say about his journey and how it can be relatable for chefs in Ireland.

Time: 9.15am - 9.30am

Daniel Giusti 

Former head chef at Noma in Copenhagen, Daniel Giusti recently set up Brigaid, a project intended to bring professional chefs into public schools in order to improve school meals. At FOTE, Giusti will give a talk about “learning how to cook for others and not for myself”. Food education has been a key topic at the symposium, and JP McMahon recently called on the government to introduce food education to school curriculums in Ireland.

Time: 11.15am - 11.30am 

Leonor Espinosa
Leonor Espinosa

Leonor Espinosa 

Named Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2017, Leonor Espinosa is credited for bringing Colombian cuisine to the world stage. She founded the Leo Espinosa Foundation, which creates development initiatives in rural areas to strengthen culinary traditions. The chef’s talk at FOTE will address integral gastronomy centres as an alternative model of community development in Colombia. 

Time: 2.40pm - 2.55pm 

For more details on the event and to get tickets, click here