28 Juil 2023 | Spanish

For the seventh year, Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food present their annual Food for Change campaign to protect local biodiversity and promote sustainable food consumption.

Since 2014, Relais & Châteaux has made it its mission to contribute to a better world through gastronomy and hospitality in a manifesto submitted to UNESCO. Among the 20 commitments adopted by the Association is « to offer a kitchen that is the testimony and expression of a natural and cultural environment, as well as a local history, to illustrate the diversity of the world’s cuisines. »

Every year, since 2016, the chefs of Relais & Châteaux have been committed together with Slow Food in favor of good, clean and fair food to fight against global warming and preserve biodiversity. This participation in the #FoodForChange campaign has allowed more than a hundred products to be registered in the Ark of Taste since 2021.



This year, in September and October, Relais & Châteaux members will highlight cheeses, wines and other fermented products during a collaborative campaign . With its more than 800 chefs and 580 independent establishments in 65 countries, Relais & Châteaux uses the strength of the collective to demonstrate that another path is possible: that of sustainable agriculture, with the greatest possible attachment to life, respecting animal welfare (the five fundamental freedoms [1]Consequently, Relais & Châteaux has shared the Slow Food “guidelines” on cheese and wine online. ) and the ancestral methods and preserving the flavor and the diversity of the aromas.


By participating in the #FoodforChange campaign, Relais & Châteaux chefs will remind us that it is urgent to pay attention to our way of eating, responsible for more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions according to the FAO [2 ] .


Choosing dairy products and cheeses well means opting for a sustainable agriculture that respects animals, landscapes and knowledge and contributes to preserving a local heritage. For their part, wine and alcoholic beverages do not depend only on the weather, but are the result of a series of knowledge associated with ancestral beverages that have been able to adapt throughout their history. a>

According to Mauro Colagreco , vice president, chefs at Relais & Châteaux, “For sustainable cooking and healthy eating, both for people and for the planet, no food should be left out. Cheeses, dairy products, wines, and traditional fermented beverages such as beer and sake also reflect a variety of ancient practices, unique flavors, and diverse landscapes that Relais & Châteaux members strive to preserve. The landscapes of tomorrow are already inscribed on our plates and in our glasses: let’s help draw them! »


Edward Mukiibi, president of Slow Food, states: «According to Slow Food, agroecology plays a fundamental role in solving the climate crisis. We are facing a loss of biodiversity in soils and breeds caused by food and milk production, by social and economic challenges such as the depopulation of rural and mountainous areas, by insufficient support for livestock farmers and by difficulties in May generations be renewed. Throughout all the years that we have been collaborating with Relais & Châteaux, we strive to promote sustainable food production and consumption, in order to address a new stage in the protection of biodiversity and the planet.




To illustrate this campaign, Relais & Châteaux has chosen five characteristic establishments to highlight traditional products and production methods:


  • At L’Auberge Basque, Relais & Châteaux located in the French Basque Country, chef Cédric Béchade talks about the relationship of trust that he maintains with the pastor Jean-Bernard Maïtia, with whom he shares his philosophy. The shepherd makes at 1400 meters, with ancestral methods, a sheep’s cheese from pastures of the black-headed manech breed, a species threatened with extinction. Working hand in hand, they preserve our culinary heritage for future generations.


  • In Bulgaria, at the Relais & Châteaux Zornitza Family Estate, the Stoychev family spreads a simple way of life that follows the rhythm of nature. They recognize the magic of time and make as many products as possible themselves, including cow, sheep and goat cheeses (from ultra-fresh to cured) that guests can savor during an unforgettable stay.


  • Located in the Willamette Valley (in Oregon, United States), Tributary, newcomer to Relais & Châteaux, and its restaurant ōkta offer us an original approach to gastronomy based on natural fermentation techniques give birth to farm products. Executive Chef Matthew Lightner and Head Garde-Manger Larry Nguyen. They experiment in what they call “fermentation laboratory” with new ways of condensing flavors that give rise to surprising tastes in the kitchen, while reducing food waste.


  • In Austria, two sisters share a very holistic vision of gastronomy. On the one hand, Barbara Eselböck, who runs the Relais & Châteaux Taubenkobel with her husband, chef Alain Weissgerber. And on the other hand, her sister and brother-in-law, Stephanie and Eduard Tscheppe, who biodynamically grow Gut Oggau natural wine. Although the two couples run different companies, they support each other and favor a regenerative approach.


  • In South Africa, climate warming poses many challenges for historic vineyards like Relais & Châteaux Delaire Graff Estate. Morné Vrey, the estate’s winemaker, explains to us how responsible viticulture can address these problems by better managing water resources.





To support this campaign, hundreds of Relais & Châteaux from all over the world will pay tribute to cheeses, wines and fermented drinks that meet the Slow Food criteria, whether they come from artisans, small suppliers in the surrounding area or directly from their own production.

The campaign will reach its climax with the Cheese event, an international event dedicated to natural and artisanal dairy products organized by Slow Food in Bra (Italy), which will be held from September 15 to 18.


About Relais & Chateau

Created in 1954, Relais & Châteaux is an international association of 580 unusual hotels and restaurants, run by self-employed professionals, often family-run, all driven by a passion for their profession and highly focused on establishing authentic relationships with their guests.

Members of Relais & Châteaux strive to protect, bring to life and foster the richness and diversity of local cuisine and hospitality traditions. This purpose, as well as the preservation of local heritage and the environment, was reflected in the Manifesto they presented in November 2014 at UNESCO.


About Slow Food

Slow Food is a global network of local communities founded in 1989 with the aim of fighting the disappearance of local food traditions and the spread of fast food culture. Since then, Slow Food has become a global movement that brings together millions of people in more than 160 countries and works so that we can all have access to good, healthy and fair food.

About Cheese

Cheese, the largest international event dedicated to raw milk, natural cheeses and artisanal dairy products, returns to the city of Bra (Italy) from September 15 to 18, 2023. Organized by Slow Food and the municipality de Bra, the fourteenth edition brings together ranchers, cheesemakers and fans. The theme of this year’s edition is “The Taste of Meadows,” which emphasizes the importance of raw milk from pasture-raised animals for sustainable food systems.

*About Slow Food’s Ark of Taste

Created in 1996, the Slow Food Ark of Taste is an online catalog of more than 5,700 foods (plant varieties, animal breeds and transformed traditional products such as cheeses, sausages, breads, sweets, etc.) from quality production at small scale from all over the world.

The Ark of Taste is an authority on biodiversity that traces the history of edible products and creates an invaluable link between small producers, chefs, university students, consumers and policy makers. As an international reference, it preserves culinary heritage and biodiversity, thinking about the future of our food systems. Before being approved by the Ark of Taste, the applications must undergo a rigorous evaluation process before 20 technical committees, the Slow Food Content and Project Center and the University of Gastronomic Science of Pollenzo.

Relay & Châteaux has added more than 100 products to Slow Food’s Ark of Taste to save disappearing foods. The full list of products is available on the Slow Food Foundation website: the-ark-of-taste/food-for-change-relais -chateaux-chefs-for-the-ark-of-taste/

[1] The five fundamental freedoms: Free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition – Free from fear and anguish – Free from physical and thermal discomfort – Free from pain, injury and disease – Possibility for the animal to manifest the natural behavior of its species

[2] FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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