This will be the story of my role in food tourism strategy development by Ireland’s national tourism authority, during the most significant recession in recent times. Writing a national strategy is easy, but also a waste of time if the stakeholders that it affects do not feel part of it. I will show you that this can be addressed by leveraging social, civic, and business networks through collaboration and cooperation, not only in tourism itself, but also in other parts of the wider gastronomic landscape. When that power is harnessed positively and creatively, the potential for greater sustainable impact increases exponentially in terms of social, cultural and economic capital, with multiple identifiable benefits in terms of jobs, tax and enterprise revenues, return visitors, positive peer reviews on social media, and much more.