#REGENERACTION FOR FOOD FOR CHANGE 2022:
- Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food join forces for the sixth consecutive year, emphasizing the restoration of traditional agricultural techniques from October 20th-23rd
- Relais & Châteaux chefs nominated more than 100 products to Slow Food’s Ark of Taste
- Three Relais & Châteaux speakers will participate to panels at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto (Turin, Italy, September 22nd-26th)
Relais & Châteaux, the global association of 580 independently owned hotels and restaurants, is promoting regenerative farming practices among its members and their wider communities, in support of the joint annual Food for Change campaign.
Regenerative agriculture creates naturally fertile land, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and increases carbon sequestration. Relais & Châteaux is seeking to demonstrate that adopting regenerative principles, even in smaller community settings, can maximize their positive effects.
For Olivier Roellinger, Vice President of Relais & Châteaux, “Relais & Chateaux chefs are guardians of biodiversity, acting as stewards of nature’s beauty, which in turn creates resiliency in our food system. Prioritizing soil health results in carbon drawdown and improved water cycles. This is regeneration. This is the future of gastronomy.”
The approach is seen by food and climate experts as essential in the fight against climate change, providing a crucial plank in the journey towards carbon neutrality and beyond to net zero. It can help restore ecosystems to a natural equilibrium, and increase the productivity of the land, and the animal life it supports.
Edward Mukiibi, President of Slow Food, underlines: “Regenerative practices have the power to transform our food systems, restore the integrity of the land, feed our communities and slow climate change. The solution to the crisis cannot be the same for every continent, territory and latitude: this is the approach of the multinationals that leads to the destruction of biodiversity and the loss of food traditions. Instead, the right approach is differentiated and comes from below, from the experience of local producers and the activation of citizens in adopting environmentally friendly choices and behaviour. Everyone can get involved and make a difference. This is what Slow Food means for RegenerAction.” (See accompanying Q&A for full details).
In addition, Relais & Châteaux has now successfully nominated more than 100 products to Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, a catalogue of 5700 near-extinct foods in an effort to save biodiversity and culinary heritage.
GLOBAL FOOD FOR CHANGE CAMPAIGN “RegenerAction”
Through Food for Change, Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food hope to inspire people around the world to be more mindful about our food system, which is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Relais & Châteaux members are well placed to implement regenerative practices. Many properties cultivate their own gardens, often with heritage, endangered or unusual species that may die out if they are not grown for food. As well as growing fruit and vegetables, many also maintain orchards or vineyards and keep animals including bees, sheep, pigs and cows.
For the campaign “RegenerAction”, the association is sharing in short films three examples of best practice focused on the achievements of contrasting properties:
Relais & Châteaux Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, a hotel and restaurant in Portugal located on a 1,110 acre (450 hectare) wine-growing estate which also rears Alentejana cattle breed, once considered genetically extinct after decades of cross-breeding. The property has successfully nominated the breed to the Ark of Taste.
Relais & Châteaux Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa in Canada, which maintains an extraordinary kitchen garden is a champion of regenerative practices. Chef Jason Bangerter – who works closely with Head Gardener Jeremy Gehl – nominated the climbing prairie rose to the Ark of Taste, which represents the property’s commitment to conserving the nature of Ontario.
Relais & Châteaux Las Balsas hotel and restaurant in Argentina, a B Corp certified property that exists in balance with its home in Patagonia, tells us a story of their circular approach in Patagonia through slow cooking and the indigenous canelo pepper, which the property successfully nominated to the Ark of Taste.
TERRA MADRE SALONE DEL GUSTO WITH RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX SPEAKERS
For Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, the largest gathering of the Slow Food network and the most important international event dedicated to food politics, which takes place in Turin, Italy from September 22-26, 2022, three Relais & Châteaux chefs will speak in various panels at the conference:
Alberto Santini è stato invitato a rappresentare Relais & Châteaux in occasione del panel “Salviamo i prati stabili e i pascoli” il 23 settembre alle 16.30.
Di recente la famiglia Santini ha acquistato un terreno adiacente al Relais & Châteaux Dal Pescatore, il ristorante a tre stelle Michelin a Canneto sull’Oglio (MN), precedentemente coltivato in modo intensivo. Oggi Alberto e suo fratello, lo chef Giovanni, lo trattano con approccio rigenerativo coltivando frutta e verdura e allevando polli, api e bovini.
Alberto gestisce il servizio e la cantina, ma è strettamente coinvolto nella gestione della nuova azienda agricola. Intuisce le implicazioni più ampie del cibo nella società moderna e quali passi dobbiamo compiere per creare un mondo migliore attraverso la cucina e l’ospitalità, l’ambizione espressa dal Manifesto di Relais & Châteaux.
Alberto Santini has been invited to represent Relais & Châteaux network and to speak on the panel “Let’s save the meadows” on September 23rd at 4:30pm.
The Santini family runs Relais & Châteaux Restaurant Dal Pescatore, a Michelin three-star restaurant in a small town near Milan, Italy, but recently bought adjacent land, previously farmed intensively, but which Alberto and his brother chef Giovanni now treats regeneratively to produce fruits, vegetables, chickens, bees and beef.
Alberto manages service and the wine cellar, but he has been closely involved in the new farm’s development. He understands the broader implications of food in modern society and what steps we need to take to create a better world through cuisine and hospitality as per the Relais & Châteaux manifesto.
The third speaker representing Relais & Châteaux is chef Shinobu Namae of Relais & Châteaux L’Effervescence who is also part of the Slow Food Japan network. He will speak on the panel for “A Slow Alliance of Cooks and Producers” on September 26th at 12pm.
There are more than a thousand Slow Food Alliance cooks in 26 countries around the world. They have made a pact with the producers of their territories, pledging to use their products, safeguard local biodiversity and pass on gastronomic knowledge and local cultures.
In this meeting they tell stories of resistance and community, how a good dish cooked with care and love can change things and, above all, how good agriculture needs good cooks.
Chef Namae is pursuing his doctorate degree in Microeconomics of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo, researching how our food system operates and discovering the implications of how we choose what to eat. His ultimate goal is to investigate what we should eat to build the future that we want to see.
LOCAL FOOD FOR CHANGE ACTIVATIONS
Hundreds of Relais & Châteaux properties around the world are expected to showcase their own regenerative practices – including how the approach impacts what they serve in their restaurants, by hosting special dinners and cooking classes to ensure the message gets through to guests and diners.
In addition to Slow Food’s biennial Terra Madre Salone del Gusto event, in which Relais & Châteaux is fielding guest speakers (see box, above), signature events will take place in the four corners of the world. From the German growing region of Rheingau to the untamed landscapes of New Zealand, on the rocky coastline of Devon in South West England and in the heights of Beijing where once stood an ancient village dating back to the Great Ming dynasty, Relais & Châteaux chefs will invite guests to their farms, vegetable gardens and kitchens to raise awareness of the Food for Change campaign, present menus that feature local and seasonal ingredients and let their guests meet the local producers who promote regenerative farming.
Relais & Châteaux Ahilya By The Sea in Goa , India is setting benchmarks in bringing forth regenerative practises when it comes to the ocean. Sitting at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Nerul and Mandovi rivers, A Martini, by the Sea” is an Ahilya take on the classic gin (or vodka) martini cocktail; one that throws a spotlight on sustainability while bringing out the personality and history of the Arabian Sea. The idea is to highlight not only the flavors of the Sea by using sustainably harvested local seaweed, but also the history of Goa, as a spice trading port. The signature ingredient of this cocktail is sustainably harvested artisanal seaweed, which is collected in the pristine tide pools off the coast of Southern Goa. The seaweed not only connects the cocktail to the flavors of ocean, it raises awareness for seaweed as a delicious, nutritious, versatile, and sustainable ingredient as well.
For Relais & Châteaux Shreyas Retreat, Bangalore, India, regeneration and sustainability is in the judicious use of nature’s bounty & the conservation of foot print. Landscaping has been carefully thought to harness rainwater through a system of channels & ponds which conserve water for 3-4 months in the rainy season & help recharge the grounds. The rainwater collection pits dug around the bore-wells also help rejuvenate the bore-wells naturally. All meals served at Shreyas Retreat are made from organically grown ingredients freshly hand-picked by the chefs. The variety of vegetables and herbs grown in their 5-acre organic garden cover 80% of consumption in the kitchen. The remaining are purchased from the local organic vendors. The in-house cows are fed with the grass grown at Shreyas and naturally grown food is provided to the cows. The waste from the vegetables and fruits are directly sent to the cattle. The other kitchen waste is sent for compost manure. The loads of dry leaves from gardens are collected and made into natural manure.
ARK OF TASTE NOMINATIONS
Furthermore, Relais & Châteaux has now successfully nominated more than 100 products to Slow Food’s Ark of Taste to save near-extinct foods. Created in 1996, Slow Food’s Ark of Taste is an online catalogue of over 5700 foods (plant varieties, animal breeds and traditional processed products such as cheeses, cured meats, breads, sweets, etc.) from small-scale quality production from all four corners of the world.
The Ark of Taste is an authority on biodiversity charting edible history, and it creates an invaluable connection between small producers, chefs, academics, consumers and policymakers. As an international reference, it preserves culinary heritage and biodiversity for the future of our food systems. The nominations must undergo a strict evaluation process through 20 technical national committees, Slow Food’s Content and Projects Hub and the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo before being approved to the Ark of Taste.
The full list of the Relais & Châteaux products can be found on Slow Food Foundation’s Ark of Taste digital database
About Relais & Châteaux
Established in 1954, Relais & Châteaux is an association of more than 580 landmark hotels and restaurants operated by independent innkeepers, chefs and owners who share a passion for their businesses and a desire for authenticity in their relationships with their clientele.
Relais & Châteaux is established around the globe, from the Napa Valley vineyards and French Provence to the beaches of the Indian Ocean. It offers an introduction to a lifestyle inspired by local culture and a unique dip into human history. Relais & Châteaux members have a driving desire to protect and promote the richness and diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality. They are committed to preserving local heritage and the environment, as encompassed in the charter presented to UNESCO in November 2014.
www.relaischateaux.com @relaischateaux #relaischateaux #deliciousjourneys
About Slow Food
Slow Food is a worldwide network of local communities founded in 1989 in order to counteract the disappearance of local food traditions and the spread of fast food culture. Since then, Slow Food has grown to become a global movement that involves millions of people in more than 160 countries and works so that we can all have access to good, clean and fair food.