Food Connect — exploring ways of putting place on a plate
More about the culinary traveller than the culinary tourist, Food Connect was Fáilte Ireland’s landmark two-day conference for Irish food and drink businesses seeking new ways of putting their place on a plate (or in a glass).
We’re talking “terroir”, of course, but we’re also talking the substantial business to be had from travellers to Ireland who want an authentic and immersive experience of this terroir.
Food Connect took place in Tankardstown House, a handsome country house hotel near Slane, Co. Meath (a little northish of Dublin) on the 12th and 13th of September, 2016.
By the way, “fáilte” is the Irish word for “welcome” and Fáilte Ireland is Ireland’s national tourism development agency.
Food Connect — themes of day 1 and
The themes of day 1 of Food Connect were “Stories and People” (in the morning) and “Innovations and Insights” (in the afternoon).
The themes of day 2 of Food Connect were “Putting Place on a Plate” and “Appetites for Travel”.
A panel discussion was held at the end of the morning and the afternoon session on both days.
Fáilte Ireland chose excellent topics and speakers. Truly, the speakers were outstanding. And travel writer Pól Ó Conghaile, MC for the two days, ran a tight ship and expertly curated the content. Considering the number of speakers and “same but different” array of topics, that was no mayn fayte, as we say in Co. Mayo.
How this post is organised
There are two strands to this post:
- Audio recordings of all bar one of the speakers’ presentations, roughly thirty minutes apiece. The speakers, as you’ll hear, delivered outstanding presentations.
- Short and wonderfully sweet audios with some of the attendees.
This post is a work in progress because of the amount of audio I need to process. This means that I will publish the audio files over the next couple of weeks as and when they are ready.
I’ll also make a podcast of highlights of the event.
Here, now, are the audio interviews I recorded with some of the attendees — just click on the play icon to listen.
Interview with Sinead Hennessy, Fáilte Ireland (9 mins, 50 sec)
Sinead Hennessy, from Fáilte Ireland, gives an overview of the objectives and themes of Food Connect 2016.
Interview with Ruth Hegarty, Egg & Chicken Food Projects (8 mins, 34 secs)
This is an 8-minute interview with Ruth Hegarty, conference attendee and founder of Egg & Chicken Food Projects, an artisan food and drink project management consultancy based in Galway.
Interview with Jacinta Dalton, Lecturer at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (6 mins, 13 secs)
Jacinta Dalton is a food and beverage/hospitality and marketing lecturer at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. As a member of the steering committee for the European Region of Gastronomy, Jacinta was instrumental in helping Galway win its bid for European Region of Gastronomy 2018. Jacinta is on Twitter as @jcdal
Interview with Catherine Allen, Fab Food Trails (5 mins)
Catherine Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School graduate and food blogger, is a guide for Fab Food Trails, Ireland’s first culinary tourism business. Catherine gives an overview of culinary tours offered by Fab Food Trails, including walking food trails in Dublin and Cork.
Fab Food Trails: Social
Catherine Allen’s food blog, Elbows off the Table.
Interview with John Fitzgerald, Atlantic Irish Seaweed (5 mins, 16 secs)
John is co-owner of Atlantic Irish Seaweed, which is based on the coast of Co. Kerry. John describes the seaweed discovery tours, workshops and sea vegetable tastings — including a 16-course feast — that Atlantic Irish Seaweed offers.
Atlantic Irish Seaweed: Social
Interview with Mark Murphy, Co-Owner The Dingle Cookery School and Committee Member, The Dingle Food Festival (8 mins, 23 sec)
Mark Murphy, co-owner of The Dingle Cookery School, describes the immersive courses on offer at the school, which is based in Co. Kerry. He also gives an overview of the Dingle Food Festival, which celebrates the food and drink of the Dingle Peninsula. This annual festival is regarded as the best food festival in Ireland.
The Dingle Cookery School and The Dingle Food Festival: Social
Interview with Rebecca Cronin, Co-Director of The Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food & Wine (LitFest) [8 mins, 39 secs]
As a Co-Director who works on the ground at LitFest, Rebecca Cronin has a unique perspective on the current state of the Irish artisan Food and drink business sector. Rebecca describes what she took away from Food Connect 2016, and calls for a national platform where Irish food and drink businesses can connect for mutual business benefit.
Rebecca Cronin/LitFest: Social
To be continued…