How it looks to me that our food system changes.
Having been in this industry now for 26 years I have watched food go through 4 different changes in Ireland. Being in the scene as companies like pallas foods or la rousse were only being setup at the time I have had the pleasure of watching food on our island make several moves.
The first that I got to witness was the traditional stage as tourists flooded our green isle for things like Irish stew, bacon and cabbage and some of the best fish this world has to offer. The fish itself has taken a turn like no other. I remember as a child going with our father to the river to do a spot of fishing on a lazy Sunday morning. From the mouth of the river we could see the wild Salmon as they would make their climb up the river to the old nests where they would drop their eggs. Catching the salmon jumping up out of the water would have been a common thing as I grew up but now you could spend 3 days out by the river and never see a single one.
The next piece of growth in the Irish food scene. As owners started to come into plenty of money and the food scene took off into 2 areas. Gourmet and bulk. Bulk started taking place in towns with plenty of beds to fill. An example of that would be your Clifdens, Westport, Killarney etc. Where the bus tour companies moved in, serving anything but Irish food. They may have called it Irish stew but I’m about 98% sure that if your going to make Irish stew you could at least use Irish beef or lamb and well I reckon that 90% of all Irish stews at the time were made with beef which in my mind is the desecration of our culture by our own caused by figures on a screen. At the time of this taking place chef’s had no say, they were given figures and weren’t told do the best you can with that, they were told that’s what you have, this is what I want you to make now hop to it.
Our resilient chefs, this is where the fight back happens and food take a change for the right and the introduction of social media. Now I want you to sit back while you read the next part because some of you may think that’s a load of waffle but here we go. “The god complex” As we listen to idiots talk about figures, the truth comes out about food and what the people with the calculator have done. Devastating food, history, passion, belief and skill and then we the passionate have to listen to idiots with calculators talk about the shortage of chefs and wonder why. It’s actually pathetic to think that they will abuse a person to within an inch and then wonder why nobody wants to be a chef. DUE TO THE INCREASED VOLUMES OF SHIT THAT CHEFS HAVE TO PUT UP WITH, THE TABLE WILL TURN.
Where are we at now, well let’s talk about our own patch. 3 of the gangsters opened a restaurant with the food system in their minds. The best of Kerry on a plate I heard get passed around. Food is now changing and chefs are been proven that a god complex is fitting as for humans to survive we need to eat. The distance we are willing to go is fantastic. Allowing grown men to chop up your planet without a care in the world (No pun intended). In the mean time I watch our cluster, I’ll start with our Gangster Sid Sheehan who opened a school called nourish by nature, chef Noel create a gardening company to serve food that has grown with your plate in mind. Serving food that tastes the way it should. Marcus Eidner a mushroom foraging expert. Paul Cotter does his coastal and woodland foraging most days so as he may serve up the best he can find. The result is there is no calculator men here. Just people that are passionate about the next stage of the evolution of food.
The message I would like you to get is simple, protect your kids, raise your awareness and try not to give into the quick fix because the quick fix generally falls short of health and safety. Remember folks, man created the calculator, god created the planet….