Chef, restaurateur, author, playwright, founder and businessman JP McMahon has been announced as the Galway Chamber of Commerce President’s Award nominee in association with PwC. The award is presented to someone who has had an exceptional impact on Galway City, the region and their sector.
JP was presented with his award at a glitzy award ceremony last Friday in The Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill. Previous recipients of this award include Garry Hynes of Druid Theatre, Mary Rodgers of PorterShed, Professor John Breslin of the University of Galway and John Power of Aerogen.
Galway Chamber of Commerce President, Evanna Ryan chose JP as her nominee based on his contribution to the city, she said ‘JP has been a cornerstone of business in Galway city, a visionary who has woven an intricate tapestry of success through his various ventures and events. He has played a pivotal role in propelling Galway onto the global food map, establishing it as a world-renowned culinary destination’.
JP is the owner and culinary director of Michelin-starred Aniar Restaurant and award-winning Spanish restaurant Cava Bodega. Aniar is home to the Aniar Boutique Cookery School where JP runs cooking classes for budding young chefs and food-loving adults alike.
In 2022 JP launched JP McMahon Culinary Consultancy and works nationally and internationally with various organisations to develop their food offering and provide support. He is committed to the educational and ethical aspects of food, to buying and supporting the best of local and free-range produce and to engaging directly with farmers and producers.
JP is the founder of one of the most acclaimed food events in Europe, the award-winning international, Food on the Edge symposium. The event features the best international chefs and people working with food and hospitality, from across the globe. The inaugural Food On The Edge took place in Galway in October 2015 and has been a fixture on the food scene each year since. The 2020 event fell victim to COVID-19, however, the team published an ebook ‘Lessons from Lockdown: Cooking after Covid’ featuring many former speakers and voices from the industry. 2021 saw the return of Food on the Edge in a blended format with both in-person and virtual speakers and delegates joining from across the world. In 2024 Food on The Edge will return to Galway, its home.
In 2020, JP’s second book “The Irish Cookbook” was published by Phaidon. The book showcases the true depth of Irish cuisine, its ingredients and its fascinating history as never before. The Irish Cookbook went on to become an international success both at home, in Europe and America. Since then, JP has produced and self-published ‘An Alphabet of Aniar: Notes for a New Irish Cuisine’, while his first book, ‘Cava Cookbook Tapas A Taste of Spain‘ is in its fourth edition.
JP is the director, founding and current chair of the Galway Food Festival and runs the Blas na Gaillimhe, the network that promotes the series of festivals which take place in May and November. He is an ambassador for Irish food travelling widely to promote Ireland, its produce and food culture. He is a member of Euro-Toques Ireland.
If all that was not enough, Dr JP McMahon holds a PhD in English and Theatre Studies from University of Galway and often gives talks on food in art history.
Speaking of the Award, JP said, “It’s wonderful to be recognised with the Galway Chamber President’s Award, I have always felt at home in Galway in terms of the culture, the diversity and the landscape. When deciding to open my first business I felt it was the perfect place to do so, and more than 15 years in business in Galway has cemented that belief. I feel strong networks and collaboration are cornerstones to developing a food community that benefits everyone, and that is why I was committed to the Galway Food Festival and now to Blas na Gaillimhe. I’m positive about the future and look forward to bringing Food on the Edge back to Galway this year”.
The Galway Chamber of Commerce 2023 Awards took place on Friday 24th November in the Galway Bay Hotel.