Setting the Slow Agenda

03 Nov 2009

Halloween weekend saw Slow Food UK convivium leaders and representatives converge in London to attend the National Meeting. Members traveled from all over the country to discuss ways of strengthening the UK network for good, clean and fair food, the expansion of the UK Ark of Taste and development of the recently launched Taste Adventure -­ an interactive project for children to learn about the five senses when eating.

The meeting, which was also attended by Slow Food International President Carlo Petrini, took the format of an open space session, in which the participants were able to raise whatever subjects they wanted to discuss. Over 20 subjects – from social media to ‘what is slow food and how should it be communicated?’- were addressed by small groups of between five and 25 people.

“The National Meeting allowed the members from around the country to set
the agenda for Slow Food UK over the next few years,” said Leon Ballin of Slow Food Sheffield. “This will make the organization stronger and more sustainable as it combines grassroots democracy with strong and positive leadership.”

The meeting was held at Southbank, which is also the location of the long-standing Slow Food London Market and delegates were be able to browse the seasonal and artisan produce at the Slow Food Harvest Halloween market. The market celebrated autumn’s abundance and the country’s finest food and drink producers and included a program of guest chefs, and free demonstrations including: how to skin and cook a rabbit, family meals for a fiver, a talk and tasting of British native oysters from fifth generation oyster grower Richard Haward, and a lesson in cooking with nettles, pumpkins and squash.

One of the official partners of the Slow Food Market is The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The Balvenie is unlike all other single malt Scotch whiskies thanks to a unique combination of human craft and natural alchemy. Based in Speyside, Banffshire, it is the only distillery to still grow its own barley, malt in its own traditional floor maltings and employ a team of coopers to tend all the casks and a coppersmith to maintain the stills. The Balvenie are currently organizing Taste Workshops with local groups around the country to shed light on the traditional craftsmanship that is required for the production of this Single Malt.

After a long day, an evening meal was organized at Slow Food member Anna Hansen’s restaurant, The Modern Pantry, and a brunch the following day at Fergus Henderson’s St.John, famous for it’s nose to tail British recipes.

For more information on Slow Food UK, click here: www.slowfood.org.uk

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