Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Food and beverages, Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural and economic geography, Media and socio-cultural communication

Publication Details

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of M.A. in Gastronomy and Food Studies. Presented to the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology, Technological University Dublin, City Campus, May 2020.


“Everybody eats and drinks; yet only few appreciate the taste of food”

Confucius (551- 479BC).

This research study examines contemporary food culture in Ireland through the phenomenon of foodism and the habits and traits expressed through the subculture of foodies. Elements and actors of the Irish foodscape are also considered. Other topics it discusses are Irish food history, Ireland’s gastronomical global position and the modern Irish chef.

The thesis defined foodism as: “A keen or exaggerated interest in food, especially in the minute details of preparation, presentation, and consumption of food” (‘Foodism’, 2018a). In order to answer the five sub-research questions posed, it applied qualitative research which featured a selection of six in-depth interviews with experts from the tourism sector, educational sector, food sector and a state food agency.

The study draws insights from the fields of sociology and cultural studies. It adopted a philosophical standpoint from the paradigm of interpretivism. Thematic analysis was used as part of the methodology process, from which five themes developed from the data findings.

The research data established that, in 2019, food industry experts and academics concur that Irish food culture has ‘evolved’ and is evolving, from a more traditional Irish cuisine. In addition, it was noted that there is a ‘hunger for food’ amongst a small but growing cohort of the population, in relation to access to information through food media and for food experiences such as culinary courses, gastro tours and food festival events.

The research offers a perspective of perceptions formed around Irish foodism and the psyche of the foodie persona. There are a number of avenues from the findings of this study that could be explored for future research.