Sunday, October 15 and Monday, October 16 in Montecatini Terme, Tuscany, the second meeting of the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance was held, with nearly 200 chefs from seven countries: Albania, Russia, Italy, Iceland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
At the heart of the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance meeting this year was a focus on climate change and the ways that chefs can help mitigate this phenomenon.
Slow Food has launched an international campaign to support projects that fight climate change and Alliance chefs will be its most important advocates.
Food production is both a cause and victim of climate change, and the source of a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. Food produced with intensive industrial systems, using powerful chemicals and mechanization, huge amounts of water, selected animal breeds and high-yielding seeds has failed the planet and is eroding its biodiversity. As an alternative to this agricultural model, Slow Food proposes supporting local rural communities that produce food sustainably, preserving traditional knowledge at risk of disappearing.
The Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance brings together more than 800 chefs from 20 countries, from Albania to the Netherlands, from Morocco to Mexico, supporting small-scale producers, the custodians of biodiversity who use products from the Presidia and Ark of Taste in their kitchens, as well as “good, clean and fair” vegetables, fruit, and cheese produced locally.
Every day Alliance chefs put Slow Food campaigns into action through initiatives to cut food waste, refuse GM products, encourage reduced meat consumption and favor biodiversity. But it doesn’t stop there. The chefs of the Alliance come together to participate in events and cook together. As on this occasion, where on Sunday evening, October 15, four chefs from Albania, Russia, Iceland and Belgium cooked for their colleagues in Montecatini. During the day, 50 Italian Presidia producers participated in a market that brought more than 500 products that are safeguarded by Slow Food to this Tuscan town.
Damien Bouchéry of Bouchéry in Brussels represented the Belgium Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance in Tuscany: “I’m happy to be part of the Alliance because it reflects what I believe in, what I am. It’s not simple in Belgium and there is so much work to do to create shorter value chains connecting producers to restaurants. Thankfully the local government is making land available for anyone who wants to grow vegetables outside the city, and I go to visit these gardens to see what they can provide. Of course in the winter it’s very difficult to secure local supplies, but we have a small network that I trust to provide quality ingredients. It may cost more, but it’s worth it for the quality, as well as for the creation of jobs in our local area.”
For more information about the Chefs’ Alliance in different countries, please see:
For further information please contact:
Slow Food International Press Office
Paola Nano, Giulia Capaldi
firstname.lastname@example.org – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress
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.