What is the Airfield Estate Food Series and why are we doing it?

In fulfillment of our mission, we launched the Airfield Estate Food Series on Thursday, 27 April 2017.

The series is a structured session and thought provoking forum for discussion, debate and dialogue, focused on raising the important, relevant questions around food in our lives today.

A key objective of The Food Series at Airfield Estate is to build community with the widest possible stakeholder groups concerned with food, farming and the land.

Our next Food Series event will take place on Thursday 7th September

This event will explore the topic ‘Food Literacy: Unearthing the Knowledge Gap’ in an afternoon of discussion, dialogue and debate.

The event will focus on where Ireland is at in terms of its food education, what’s planned, where the gaps are and what is happening elsewhere in the world.

The afternoon will follow three distinct tracks and conversation styles – discussion, dialogue and debate.

Outline of event

Food Literacy: Unearthing the knowledge Gap
7th September 2017

Begins at 15:30

Location: Airfield Estate

Tickets: €40 per person / €20 for students.


15.45 Nose to tail food demonstration with Airfield Estate Culinary Excellence Manager, Luke Matthews and Washington College Professor, Bill Schindler

16:00 WELCOME –

Grainne Kelliher, CEO at Airfield Estate

Moderator of the Day: Pól Ó Conghaile, Travel Editor of The Irish Independent & Independent.ie.

16:15 Debate – “That practical food education should be compulsory in schools”

Journalist Joe McNamee and CEO of Advanced Metadata Group, Brendan Cannon will lead teams from Belvedere College (proposing the motion) and Santa Sabina, Dominican College (opposing the motion) in a formal debate.

17:00 Refreshment Break

17:15 Discussion – Exploring the current state of food literacy in our education system“Where are we now?”

This session will be a general discussion about food literacy today, aimed at painting a picture of the prevailing educational system.

We will hear from Dr. Pádraig Kirk, Director of Junior Cycle for Teachers with the Department of Education and Skills, on current curriculum developments at junior cycle level in relation to Home Economics, and food education.

We will hear from Professor Dónal O’Shea, consultant endocrinologist and physician on the alarming increase in obesity in Ireland and the link back to poor education.

Deirdre O’Shea, Executive Director from Agriaware will inform us about Ireland’s commitment to sustainable food and drink production.  Deirdre will also speak on her experience at educating attendees at Bloom and The Ploughing Championships.

Dr Kirstie McAdoo from Airfield Estate will share her insights into student’s perception of food and its production as well as discuss how pivotal it is that children are involved in and understand the food production process.

18:15 Dialogue– Sharing success in food literacy -stories to encourage and inspire – “Where would we like to be?”

This session will discuss best practices both in Ireland and overseas.

Dr. Bill Schindler, Director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Washington College, USA will be talking about the importance of taking a comprehensive look at how technological developments impacted our 3.4 million year dietary past and how it resulted in who we are today both biologically and culturally.  He believes this perspective provides the context with which to view the modern diet and is a necessary step forward in order to make meaningful changes to our knowledge and relationship with food, the environment and one another.

Annette Sweeney, Lecturer in Culinary Arts at Tallaght IT will update us on the inspiration for a brand new Masters in Applied Culinary Nutrition and a Degree in Botanical Cuisine, and their current and future role in the education of chefs.

Kenneth Hojgaard, from the Copenhagen Food House which is an independent, non-commercial foundation established by the City of Copenhagen in 2007 will explain how they have moved to improve the quality of meals offered by the City to its citizens and to create a healthy, happy and sustainable public food culture. Now working across Denmark, their mission is to change the eating culture and install a love of quality food in Copenhagen’s public kitchens.

Jilly Dougan, author of Sow Grow Munch will speak on her involvement with the Department of Education in Northern Ireland as she helped form part of the primary school curriculum for healthy eating and nutrition.

Finally Una Fitzgibbon, is Bord Bia’s Marketing Director, responsible for effective marketing communications to consumer and business audiences at home and abroad.



19:30 Nose to tail GLAS inspired networking supper.