Two weeks ago I had the chance to attend the "Food on the Edge" symposium which took place over two days in Galway. The full event covered two days of talks and a few more celebrating as well as traveling to visit home produce on location around Galway and the Aran Islands. The theme of the symposium was to discuss and to challenge the perspective on food and our connection to it.
The 2 day conference gathered over 40 internationally well known Cooks who came to get inspired and inspire other local cooks, foodies and a photographer food passionate like me. Their mission was to open a debate on how to become more sustainable and possibly become an example of such purpose. My objective was to offer a photographic view to the relationship I am slowly developing with good food and its makers. This time I was accompanied by some food making stars, celebrities, home produce food & suppliers, event organizers, farmers, bloggers and many food/drink tastings all over Galway. All of these served as my photographic background. What I was inspired by mostly was the overall hospitality and the sharing of thoughts and home produce the event had on offer. I really enjoyed the little moments shared with hommy cooks such as Elena Arzak, Igor Zalakain, Kevin Patricio, Albert Adriá and Quique Dacosta as well as with so many others involved in the event over its full extent.
At the symposium in one of the first speeches, cook Albert Adriá expressed a cry out on how our oceans need to be sustained differently as fish species that used to be commonly available are slowly disappearing. Most of the cooks invited agreed on how seasonal and local produce can make food makers become more sustainable overall. Some cooks like Matt Orlando have opted to include a garden for self growing in their way to develop a more sustainable system. The speech of Elena Arzak made a remark on the necessity to reinvent oneself but in a way to maintain tradition with a phrase like "It's time to rethink everything." There were some honest speeches that praised their best achievements, as cooks and owners of awarded restaurants, on their working teams. One of the last talks was carried by Quique Dacosta and touched one of our unsorted realities, our incapability of eradicating world hunger. A young cook Mark Moriarty ended up resuming the full event by stating the shortage of staff the industry appears to suffer from and how responsibility should be shared upon the owners of such industry so this can improve going forward. The event was full of kitchen creatives & masters who spend long hours and talent in cooking labs or cooking on the go trying to bring perfection into a plate. Many words and laughs were shared at the event but it was the thinking and the amount of hard work cooks put behind each day what made me believe that it is truly not an easy path to take. It requires passion, dedication and most importantly sustainability. As for my photography, it was carried on the go, with little use of sometimes much needed/wanted equipment, time or planning to produce what we would most like to under the appropriate lighting conditions or ciscunstances. The photography mostly surfaced from what I experimented as I arrived to all the different events and was priorly discussed. Intuition, inspiration, observation, conversation, experience and such roller coaster of an event did the rest. This can probably have a lot more in common with the way we produce food today. It is not the same cooking for 10 than for a 100 eaters out of a sudden but it keeps our creativity jumping in between the unknown and how to impress within our style. As creatives we should never stop experimenting but we should play with and make use of what we have around us, what is closer to us, what is easier to reach and possibly smaller but really good. This is more sustainable. Because most of the times "Less is more" says one humble photographer on the edge.
The Slide shows below show part of some of the events that took place at Food on the Edge in Galway, October 2015.
The first batch shows the atmosphere over the two days of talks.
The second shows the gathering at Electric. The 3rd shows the portraits and the next two the trips taken to the oyster tasting, different farms, homes in Galway and the Aran Islands.
to view more photos of moments taken at Food on the Edge