South Africa joins the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance

10 May 2018 | English

Chefs and cooks of the new born Alliance will be active change makers and trend setters, as well as protectors of local traditions

 

Today Slow Food has officially launched the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance in South Africa at the event Soweto Eat-In. South Africa is the fourth African country to join the Alliance after KenyaMorocco and Uganda.

“As the Alliance launches in South Africa, it is imperative that representatives from the whole range of traditions and income brackets are included and stand together in making efforts to revive traditions that have all but disappeared, as well as explore new approaches that might hold solutions – says Loubie Rusch, Coordinator for the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance in South Africa in Western Cape.

“Our Alliance will be drawing from the range of more traditional chefs operating in fixed venue restaurants, as well as from a range of chefs and cooks who work in more informal and flexible ways and who may also consult, influence and advise businesses as well as individuals with a view to effecting change”.

In South Africa, the complex history and the diversity of peoples’ food cultures, as situated in its very varied landscapes and climatic zones, are only in small part reflected on restaurant menus or at street vendor stands. Sadly, traditions from elsewhere are generally better represented. Many local and ancient food traditions have already virtually completely been displaced while others, particularly from rural areas, are increasingly under threat.

The Western Cape, with its remarkable but underutilized edible biodiversity, is the site of innovative work by chefs and cooks. Their range of innovative skills are revealing potential regenerative and climate change solutions for the province. They are ensuring that a diversity of meat-based traditions as well as innovative plant-based practices are being promoted in both formal as well as informal establishments and settings. Local versions of distilling, brewing, fermenting, culturing and processing are being nurtured to life by professionally trained chefs as well as experienced cooks, who are all determined to keep alive or to restorethe diversity of farming as well as culinary practices in their localenvironments.

Chefs joining the Alliance are called to make key commitments: establishing a direct relationship with producers who supply ingredients, wherever possible, respecting the seasons when choosing ingredients, promoting and supportingSlow Food campaigns (Slow Meat, Slow Cheese, the campaign against food waste, etc. ) and consequently making choices in line with the aims of these campaigns.

Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance is a network of chefs and cooks from different parts of the world who are committed to defending biodiversity, to promoting local cultures and traditional gastronomic skills, and to supporting virtuous food producers who believe in the preservation of traditional knowledge and techniques and who work with respect for the environment and animal welfare. The Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance project already has hundreds of members intwenty countries (Albania, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Iceland, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, the Netherlands, Uganda, United Kingdom and Russia, United States).

 

For further information please contact:

Loubie Rusch, email: [email protected]

Caroline McCann, email: [email protected]

Gordon Wright, email: [email protected]

Slow Food International Press Office

[email protected] – 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.

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