The Caribbean Beat at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto

24 Jul 2018 | English

A delegation of about 30 people is set to take part in the most important international event dedicated to food culture.

Organized by Slow Food in collaboration with the Region of Piedmont and the City of Turin, the 12th edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto will be held in Turin, Italy, from September 20 to 24, 2018. Over 5,000 delegates from 140 countries, over 800 exhibitors, 300 Slow Food Presidia, and 500 Terra Madre food communities will gather in Turin.

Cuba will be the Caribbean country most represented in Turin. It is the home country of Madelaine Vázquez Gálvez, Slow Food International Councillor for the Caribbean. Since 2012, Madelaine has been working hard to a single, strong Slow Food network in the Caribbean despite encountering many difficulties, such as the fact that the Caribbean is an island region where three different languages are spoken. About Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, she says, « I am extremely proud to be part of the international network that is Slow Food, and to represent a delegation that will take part in Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018. Food for change is the theme of this 12th edition and I am sure that, through exchange and dialogue with people who differ in culture, language, and customs, every one of us will return home richer and with new enthusiasm for pursuing our activities and striving for a better future for our planet. »

One of the main themes that Madelaine will bring to Turin is that of the Finca Slow project (Slow Farms), launched by the Cuban Slow Food network, to develop a series of parameters to identify all those farms in the country that work in a sustainable way, with agroecological methods and permaculture.

Speaking of agroecology, Leidy Casimiro Rodriguez will also be at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. Leidy is an expert agroecologist with a solid academic background and long experience in field research. The first Cuban woman to be awarded a doctorate at the University of Antioquia in Colombia, after her academic achievements she returned home, determined to work on her parents’ farm, which she turned into the most sustainable farm in Cuba. Leidy also invented a successful mathematical formula for measuring the socio-ecological resilience of family-run farms.

Several representatives of the farming world will join us in Turin:

  • Jose Antonio Casimiro Gonzales, the greatest representative of agroecology in Cuba, from Finca del Medio in Taguasco, one of the first Finca Slow being certified, and a point of reference for its biodiversity and sustainable production, and the home of the local convivium;
  • Hortensia Martinez Del Valle, from Finca La China, who joined the good, clean and fair philosophy in 2005 as a member of ACPA, the Cuban Association of Animal Production;
  • Misael Ponce Lugo from Finca Vista Hermosa in Guanabacoa (Havana) where they grow vegetables, and breed livestock from which they produce cheeses and artisanal sausages with natural ingredients. Since 2017, the first Cuban Earth Market has also been held here.

The delegation will also include academics, young people, students, chefs, and producers who will bring their knowledge and experience to the numerous activities that will be offered during this 5-day event. More than ever before, the focus of this 12th edition will be on people and the change that everyone can help to bring about.

Amelis Beatón Castellanos is a young woman engaged in many activities on food waste and sensitizing citizens about a more conscious consumption. She will come to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto as  a representative of the recently created youth network in Cuba and will be involved in the Terra Madre Arena (one of the novelties of this edition), a meeting point for young people from around the world and a place for them to discuss different issues, to learn and to have fun together. Inspiration and empowerment will be the common threads of all the activities planned.

Yamilet Magariño Andux, chef and member of FACRC (Federación de Associaciones Culinarias de la República de Cuba), is also the leader of Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance in Cuba. Yamilet will prepare some traditional Cuban dishes at the Terra Madre Kitchens, a space that will be presented in a new format this year: Each day, every two hours, four chefs at a time (each of them from a different continent), will prepare an authentic dish from their home countries, using products from their native lands with creativity and passion.

From the academic world we welcome Maria Isabel Lantero Abreu (from the Universidad de la Habana) a member of the La Habana Germinal Slow Food Convivium; and Nilda Iglesias Domecq, professor at the Universidad de Oriente (Santiago de Cuba) and part of the Proyecto Comunitario Conservacion de Alimentos, an important community food project focused on food conservation techniques that has helped thousands of Cubans to improve their food security through drying and fermentation methods. Project founder Vilda Figueroa and José Lama will receive honorary degrees at the University of Gastronomic Sciences this autumn.

Haiti is coming to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto with two pieces of exciting news. First of which is the official launch of the Slow Food network in Haiti, which was possible thanks to a collaboration with HEP (Haitian Education Project, Inc.). As part of the inaugural launch, HEP has established convivia in four areas (Port-au-Prince, Fort-Liberté, Pétion-ville, Cap-Haïtien) and plans to launch more in the near future. From September 20 to 24, a group of Haiti Slow Food-HEP members will attend the 12th edition of the event.

Second, the first Haitian Presidium has been launched. The Italian company Velier started the project to support the rediscovery and promotion of Traditional Haitian Clairin, and to promote artisanal clairin producers who respect traditional production methods. The Presidium will be present at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto with its project coordinator in a dedicated stand. Moreover, Luca Gargano, president of Velier, will conduct the Taste Workshop The Very Near Future: The Slow Food Clairin Presidium (September 23 at 3:00 p.m. – Torino, Palazzo Giunta Regionale), during which he will introduce the public to clairin (a spirit that was, until recently, largely unknown) and to its land of origin where over 530 small artisanal distilleries continue to operate. The tasting itself well include five different clairins.

Many delegates will come to Turin to join the Terra Madre Forum focused on the Slow Fish Caribe project (September 21 at 2:00 p.m. – Torino Lingotto Fiere). Slow Fish Caribe was launched in 2017 to promote the conservation of biodiversity in Caribbean coastal ecosystems and coral reefs, consolidating good practices for the sustainable use of food resources in Biosphere Reserves. From Petite Martinique (Grenada) will be Akeisha Clarke who is involved in a local group called Women in Action that works to decrease the dependence on fish as a food and commodity, and keeping the island fertile.

Last but not least, we are excited to announce the participation of Puerto Rico, which, despite the recent devastation caused by hurricane Maria, has been able to rebuild its agricultural fabric. Two producers are coming to Turin: Julitza Maria Nieves, Slow Food coordinator of Aguadilla Earth Market, and Yolanda Perez Sanchez, a member of the Earth Market and an artisanal cheese producer.

Taste Workshops and Cooking Schools are paid events and can be purchased online; the Terra Madre thematic Forums are presented by delegates of the network and are open to the public as long as seats are available. Click here for the list of available events, which is constantly updated.

Madelaine Vázquez Gálvez – International Councillor for Caribbean

[email protected]

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 Press Office

Slow Food, +39 329 83 212 85 [email protected] – Twitter: @SlowFoodPress

Region of Piedmont, +39 011 432 2549 – [email protected]

City of Turin, +39 011 011 21976 – +39 342 1100131 – [email protected]

To request press accreditation, please click here.

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto is an event organized by the City of Turin, Slow Food, and the Region of Piedmont in collaboration with MIPAAF (Italy’s Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies). It has been made possible thanks to its many sponsors, including the Official Partners, GLEvents-Lingotto Fiere, IREN, Lavazza, Lurisia, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pastificio Di Martino and Quality Beer Academy; with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT-Cassa di Risparmio di Torino, Associazione delle Fondazioni di Origine Bancaria del Piemonte, and Coldiretti; and with the contribution of IFAD, the European Union, and CIA (Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori).

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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