Meet JP from Dublin.
I met JP gathering seaweed off the rocks in Silver Strand. Despite being soaked by rain he was happy to chat and explain the different varieties he was collecting to use in his Michelin Star restaurant, Aniar. Like his understanding of seaweed varieties, his training as a chef has come from learning while working. Pretty impressive for a man who is now a world renowned chef and has successfully retained a Michelin star for four years in a row.
JP has a lot of tattoos; two of which are of literary greats, James Joyce and Samuel Becket, and another is a butcher's diagram of a pig. This sums up JP, a man whose first love was literature and he currently owns and runs three award winning restaurants. His degree was in English and Art History, and JP is currently studying a Masters in English focusing on food in Becket's works. Until recently he lectured in Art history in U.U.C. This creativity helped in his food both through displaying the plate and the restaurant design itself. A Michelin Star is about much more than tasty food; it is about providing an experience.
Celebrating food for food's sake is not something we traditionally do as Irish. Unlike the Italians or Spanish we have tended to look food as sustenance rather than an occasion. JP is hoping to change this attitude by celebrating Irish Food and helping to develop a sense of ownership of what can be grown and reared here. In 2015 JP set up "Food on the Edge" as a way to bring Irish food and Irish chefs onto a world stage. It's success has proven that Ireland has a lot to offer and now attracts the world's top chefs and food critics. Wanting to link our food even more to our culture JP hopes to host this years event in a Galway Castle. He aims to show the world that our history and culture adds to the food created. By getting this excitement back JP hopes we can all celebrate food a well as our European counterparts.