Meet the team
The FoodSmart City concept promotes sustainable seafood by connecting academia, the food industry and the general public, primarily through working with the project’s partners. Our selection of partners reflects this need to work alongside the public and the food industry directly.
We chose Niall Sabongi as our food industry partner as he is truly passionate about local and sustainable seafood. This passion was sparked in his childhood growing up at the shores of Dublin Bay raking for cockles, picking mussels and catching mackerel. With this ‘second nature’ to eat whatever fresh seafood was available around him and being born into a family with a strong gastronomic background he became an outstanding chef (Failte Ireland Food Champion in 2016 and many other awards) with a mission - “to remind the Irish people that we are an island nation, surrounded by seas and amazing seafood”.
Niall is the proud owner of Sustainable Seafood Ireland as well as the Seafood Café a ‘casual and accessible’ eatery in the heart of Dublin caring primarily about local, fresh and tasty seafood. Niall is committed to sustainability and his own quest to source the best fresh fish led him to establish his seafood wholesale business. This unique position enables him to know exactly where each shellfish and fish was sourced – right down to what boat caught it, and when. A true people person, and with his interest in Irish food culture, Niall is a charismatic and very popular speaker at food festivals nationwide.
Niall Sabongi’s restaurant and fishmonger and his skills as a creative visionary play a key role in the project’s work of assessing consumer responses to innovative seafood meals.
Niall's role on the project is primarily to identify and select historical recipes of a forgotten cuisine that can be turned into appetising dishes to suit the modern pallet.
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ECO-UNESCO is Ireland's Environmental Education and Youth Organisation that works to conserve the environment and empower young people. We chose to partner ECO-UNESCO, because they have a huge national network of schools with bright students motivated to understand, improve and protect the environment around us. They are also affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).
Connecting with ECO-UNESCO gives Food Smart Dublin the great opportunity to reach out to the most important community - our youth, agents of change who will probably be most affected by the way we treat our environment today. With this collaboration we maximise our outreach impact and enable knowledge production and transfer with the next generation to promote sustainable living. Climate justice is increasingly becoming integral to the agency of young people and Food Smart Dublin supports this.
ECO-UNESCO are highly experienced experts in developing and running interactive, bespoke workshops for and with Ireland’s Youth and have established a unique connection with our next generation citizens. Five workshops in close collaboration with ECO-UNESCO are a key part of this project while a questionnaire directed at the students will form a key part of the surveys on responds to the processes of sourcing and developing seafood menus.
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