Food on the Edge founder Jp McMahon, a chef, restauranteur and author has launched a new book Lessons from lockdown: Cooking after COVID.
In the foreword, JP says that the year 2020 struck many of us as unprecedented. For some it was expected. “Pandemics happen. But for most of us, we believed they would not happen in our time, that they were a thing of the past. Whatever we thought about our contemporary way of life, the way in which we go about our daily lives, how we work, has utterly changed,” the Irish chef of Aniar Restaurant in Galway wrote.
He created the book after cancelling the annual gathering in Galway in October 2020. Food on the Edge had become one of the top events in the field of gastronomy with the Irish chef inviting many top names in the world of food.
Instead, he has invited many of his friends to write a message in this ebook that is available to people who are subscribed to the Food on the Edge newsletter.
The list of contributors is huge and includes some of the world’s best chefs, food writers, producers and more.
“Though the actual idea of doing a book consisting of emails from chefs and friends of Food on the Edge did occur to me before; the lockdown and the effects of the pandemic spurred me forward. It is important to ‘keep the fire lit’ and just as we lit a fire well over six years, it is vital to keep it going,” he said.
“Moving forward during this time seems impossible. But every era has its challenges, and it is important to see this pandemic in terms of the many hurdles we have overcome as a species. Perhaps a more attuned historical consciousness would help us deal better with pandemics and how we should cope with them. The world has passed through many difficulties and we have come out the other side, changed but still eager to move forward.
“The emails collected in this book represent a global answer to the present pandemic. In contacting our past speakers, chef friends, industry colleagues, I have tried to be as broad and inclusive as possible. This is important given the issues that our own industry still needs to tackle in terms of representation and equity for all. This pandemic will undoubtedly create new issues for our industry to deal with, though others, such as food waste, climate change, mental health, and food poverty will remain with us to continue to try to solve. This book is a record of our time. Of our ambitions. Of our failings. I hope it will stand the test of time,” he said.
Jp McMahon is a chef, restaurateur and author. He is culinary director of the EatGalway Restaurant Group, which comprises of Michelin-starred Aniar Restaurant, award-winning Spanish restaurant Cava Bodega, and Tartare Café & Wine Bar (Bib Gourmand). He also runs the Aniar Boutique Cookery School. Jp is the founder of Food on the Edge. The inaugural event took place in Galway in October 2015. He is published author and writer of ‘Tapas, A Taste of Spain in Ireland’ (2014) and ‘The Irish Cookbook’ (Phaidon 2020), he also has a weekly column in the Irish Times.