This year’s winners come from the USA, Georgia, Cape Verde and Italy
The eleventh edition of Cheese was inaugurated this morning in the presence of Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food International, and leading local authorities. The event, held in Bra, Italy, will continue until Monday September 18.
The inauguration ceremony also saw the presentation of the fifth edition of theSlow Cheese Award, which Slow Food assigns to shepherds and artisan cheesemakers who stand out for the passion, dedication and commitment with which they pursue quality, rejecting the shortcuts of sham modernity and respecting naturalness, tradition and animal welfare. Such small-scale producers continue to resist, irrespective of the hard work, risks and isolation involved, keeping alive an extraordinary living heritage of biodiversity and human skill.
This year’s Slow Cheese Awards went to:
Andy Hatch – Wisconsin (United States) of the American Raw Milk Cheese Presidium
Andy Hatch received the award not only for the sensory qualities of his cheese but also for his work in raising American public awareness about the importance of raw milk and his daily efforts to protect the biodiversity of artisan dairy products. Andy Hatch fights every day to assert a model of livestock farming and cheese production with a low impact on the planet’s ecosystems, respectful of the rhythms of nature and animal welfare, and capable of producing authentic, complex flavors that are a pleasure for the palate.
Kakha Abulidze – Alaznistavi Agricultural Cooperative (Georgia)
Kakha Abulidze received the award on behalf of the producers of the Alaznistavi Cooperative for the latter’s work in protecting a local area with an ancient culture. The Cooperative’s producers ‘resist’ in extremely tough conditions at high altitudes on the plateaus of the Caucasus Mountains, where they protect highly endangered local animal breeds. They preserve and hand down traditional production methods to prevent cheeses such as Tushuri Guda—boarded on the Slow Food Ark of Taste—from being lost. It is thanks to their everyday commitment that the culture of the local Tusheti people has survived to this day.
Roberto Logias – Slow Food Shepherds’ Fiore Sardo Presidium (Sardinia, Italy)
Roberto Logias received the award on behalf of the Sardinian breeders and producers who work to preserve a tradition, an uncontaminated environment and a culture. More specifically, the award acknowledged Roberto’s personal refusal to use selected enzymes. It is vital, in fact, to save not only animal and plant biodiversity but also the biodiversity of microbial flora, endangered by the rampant use, even by artisan producers, of industrial enzymes, the new protagonists of a standardized market of homogenized, simple, uniform flavors.
Irineu Eusebio da Luz – President of the Criadores das MontanhasCooperative
Irineu Eusebio da Luz received the award on behalf of all the producers of the Criadores das Montanhas Cooperative, a Slow Food Presidium, for the latter’s contribution to the preservation of cheese production in a difficult, hot and arid area, virtually bereft of the most elementary services. With their presence they allow an entire community to survive. Their cheese, promoted by a Slow Food Presidium, is also testimony to the integration, over the course of the centuries, of the souls of the people of Cape Verde and Europe, particularly Portugal.
Luigi De Carolis of Civita di Cascia (Umbria) and Paola Capanna of Amatrice (Lazio)
Luigi De Carolis and Paola Capanna received the award on behalf of all the producers of the regions of Central Italy hit by the 2016 earthquake who, despite the tragedy their communities have suffered, are nonetheless resisting and beginning to rebuild their homes, villages and workshops. Thanks to them, the area will not be depopulated and abandoned, but will rise again and continue to preserve its traditions and biodiversity.
Cheese 2017 has been made possible thanks to the commitment of companies and bodies that believe in its values and aims. They include the following Official Partners: Cassa di Risparmio di Bra, Egea, Lurisia, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pastificio Di Martino, Quality Beer Academy, Velier. Official Sparkling Wine: Consorzio Alta Langa.
The eleventh edition of Cheese, the biennial event that has given life to an international network of dairy artisans, takes place from September 15 to 18 in Bra (Piedmont, Italy).
For further information:
Slow Food International Press Office
+39 0172 419 645 – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress
City of Bra
Elena Martini and Erica Asselle, +39 0172 438278, [email protected]
Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.