From discussions on urgent issues affecting our seas to cooking with Michelin-star chefs, from good practices of Italian and international small-scale fishers to concrete tools for choosing the best fish for our health and for the environment. The program of Slow Fish, taking place in Genoa’s Porto Antico, Italy, from May 9 to 12, will be a in-depth analysis, but with solid good-practice tips and experiences, on the world of sea, our common good.
The guest of honor: PLASTIC. More than 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced so far, equivalent to 158,670 Titanic ocean liners—and three quarters of this plastic has already ended up in landfill. Several conferences will tackle the issue, providing good practices to reduce our daily use of plastic (from alternatives in the kitchen to greener packaging). Slow Fish will feature an event on historic and innovative fishing systems all linked by the desire to preserve a healthy environment: from the Italian mussel farmers of Puglia who reject plastic, using tools made with hemp fiber cultivated in an Archaeological Park; to the Camogli Tonnarella’s fixed fishing system, which comprises an entirely hand-made net of coconut fiber, which is placed in the sea and pulled out again daily on a seasonal basis.
Another topic discussed will be how small local fish communities are coping with industrial fishing and its impact on the local markets: not only it plunders rich local waters, but also causes fish markets to be invaded by imported fish that have no connection with local culture. Delegations from North Africa will explain their traditional fishing techniques, such as fishers from the Kerkennah archipelago of Tunisia, where a Slow Food Presidium uses the charfia, a kind of fixed maze built by lining up thousands of palm frond. Thanks to the currents, it drives fish towards capture chambers. Small fish communities are also adapting to the changing ecosystem and unpredictable situations, also caused by climate change.
Slow Fish 2019 will also propose several Taste Workshops, a way of learning while tasting, delving deep into issues and hearing producers’ stories firsthand while also indulging the senses. For example an event will feature fishers of Magghia Masculina (an Italian Slow Food Presidium for local anchovies) will share their fishing techniques, practiced throughout the Mediterranean since the time of Homer. Another Taste Workshop will tackle the issue of Pacific and Southern Atlantic farmed shrimp that too often are found on our supermarket, and their huge environmental impact. Fishers will be bringing the focus back to the local varieties, by comparing three different Italian one: red from Sanremo in Liguria and Mazara del Vallo in Sicily, and violet from Gallipoli in Puglia.
Slow Fish 2019 will feature unforgettable dinners: top Dinner Dates and pop Dinner Dates. The top Dinner Dates feature Michelin-starred chefs or other big international names, such as two-Michelin-star chef Moreno Cedroni, famous for his unique reinterpretation of sushi using local ingredients, who will combine creativity and tradition in Moreno Cedroni: A Journey Through Time. The pop Dinner Dates will be prepared by chefs from the Italian osterias or the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance or involve fishers in the kitchen, like Loubie Rush and Jade de Waal, both members of the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance, will be bringing a taste of South Africa to Slow Fish, with wild herbs, fermentations and seafood in South Africa: When The Sea Meets Cape Herbs.
Visitors will be able to attend a Cooking Schools in order to learn new seafood recipes from Italian and International chefs. For example, Mexican chef Karla Enciso will teach how to add Mayan flavors in the kitchen.
Educational activities at Slow Fish 2019 will give creative and entertaining responses on questions about fish seasonality, what are the best species for our health, how to recognize fresh fish (with tips from a fish market staller). The University of Gastronomic Sciences will also offer the opportunity to tour the fish market with a Personal Fisher, who will give tips on how to recognize good, clean and fair fish and on how to shop more sustainably. Furthermore, as what we do on land and in the kitchen has an influence on the health of the sea, visitors can learn what difference it makes reusing the same wrapping all year rather than throwing it away each day. Made with organic cotton and beeswax, Apepak is long-lasting, multipurpose and biodegradable. It supports the farming of organic cotton and local beekeepers, and the production is managed by a cooperative that gives work to disadvantaged people, giving them a greater sense of social dignity. The Consorzio Ricrea will also be present with activities dedicated to primary school children. The aim is to focus attention on steel containers (cans for tomato sauce, tuna, oil) and on the advantages for the health of the planet and for us if we recycle them correctly. Another activity will feature Scottish chef Caroline Rye, who explores a different fish species every week in her blog species, offering a catalog of sustainable alternatives to the overused cod, tuna, prawns and salmon.
Throughout the event the Market Kitchen program will feature members of immigrant communities who will be taking turns at the stove, preparing their traditional dishes and giving visitors a taste of Haiti, Senegal and more.
SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECT OF THE EVENT
The New Life of PVC conference will talk about the project which consists of creative workshops for women detainees at Pontedecimo Remand Prison: they make bags, accessories and decorations using old Slow Food advertising banners and billboards. The aim is to help the women develop their personal skills and abilities, promoting creativity and research to create a better future.
The stands and spaces of Slow Fish 2019 have been made using the wood from fallen trees of the Italian Dolomite forests, which was severely hit last October. Primo Barzoni of Palm tells more about this project in Storm Tides: From Devastation to Recovery.
Check the Slow Fish 2019 website for regular updates.
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Slow Food International Press Office: Paola Nano and Giulia Capaldi
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Regione Liguria: Jessica Nicolini
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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.
Slow Fish: During Slow Fish, held biennially in Genoa, Italy, academics, researchers, small-scale fishers, representatives of public bodies and enthusiasts meet to discuss sustainable fishing and production, responsible fish consumption and the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems. A large market, conferences, meetings, workshops and tasting sessions make Slow Fish a unique event entirely dedicated to the world of fish. The event takes place in odd-numbered years and is organized by Slow Food and the Region of Liguria with the patronage of the City of Genoa and Italy’s Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection, with the support of the Genoa Chamber of Commerce and the participation of MIPAAF (Italy’s Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies). Slow Fish is also made possible thanks to its many sponsors, including its Official Partners: Agugiaro & Figna Molini, BBBell, Iren, Pastificio di Martino, Quality Beer Academy and Unicredit.