Turkey – Mustafa Alper Ülgen is the Slow Food Ida Convivium leader and with the other members of the community decided to organize online events to keep the community spirit strong during the Coronavirus emergency. Free panels were organized on sustainable access to good, clean and fair food, the relationship between crop production in agriculture and animal husbandry…and a lot of other interesting subjects. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes
Slow Food Heroes aims to encourage and celebrate the virtuous initiatives in the food world that are reacting to the Covid-19 emergency with ideas that may inspire others.
Stories from Europe
Cooking classes for the less fortunate in Iceland
Iceland – Cornel Popa is a young Italian chef who moved to Iceland, who is also coordinating the local Slow Food Youth Network. Last year, he teamed up with the homeless shelter “Samhjálp” and volunteered to teach a cooking class for 6 months to those less fortunate. In about two-month time, his student were able to cook good food, from scratches, for over 100 people every day. Here the story.
A 4.0 shepherd helps Covid care units
Italy – Leonardo is a young Italian farmer who three years ago moved from Rome to Abruzzo, the land of his ancestors. He runs Casetta Bianca, a goat farm in the small town of Lettopalena (Abruzzo), where he makes excellent artisanal cheeses, all with raw milk and using only traditional methods. During the Covid-19 pandemic he decided to donate the entire proceeds from his farm’s Easter product sale to Covid intensive care units. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: a network of good, clean and fair food
Netherlands – Kies Lokaal (Choose Local) is a platform Slow Food Netherlands set up in the beginning of the 2020 pandemic in The Netherlands to support local producers. Saskia Litooij, one of the founders, tells us how the initiative came about and why it was important to Netherlanders during Covid-19. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Les Resistants and L’Avant-Poste, two bulwarks against COVID-19
France – The premise of Florent Piard and his restaurants, Les Resistants and l’Avant-Poste, is a righteous one, down to the name. It aims to strengthen links with rural areas and local farmers who respect the environment, as well as to preserve traditional know-how. Since the start of the pandemic he has been in constant contact with the hundred or so farmers most affected by the crisis, following their situation daily and helping where necessary. Here the story.
Slow Food Hero: in an Old Farmers’ Market, a community resists Covid-19
Slovakia – Petra Molnárova is the soul of Trh Piact Mark in Bratislava. And she didn’t give up even in the face of the pandemic. The market had been reborn and had to keep on living. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed
Bulgaria – Emilia Shusharova, Convivium leader of the Slow Food Community of Kurtovo Konare and member of the Chitaliste ”L. Karavelov”- Kurtovo Konare, is full of enthusiasm as we talk about the solidarity initiative she started with other community members during the first lockdown. The Slow Food community normally works on several fronts: protecting local vegetal biodiversity, supporting local producers and sustainable livelihoods, strengthening the organizational capacity, self-confidence and cultural identity of producers in Kurtovo Konare. They did not back down during the pandemic and helped many local members to overcome this difficult period through two separate projects. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes and Mrizi i Zanave: the agritourism that takes care of the land and people
Albania – When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Albania, Mrizi i Zanave, a restaurant in the hills of Fishtë based on short supply chains, local products and seasonality, had to close. Altin Prenga, who founded the restaurant together with his brother Anton, was faced with a dilemma common to many restaurateurs during the lockdown period: what to do with their staff? More than 70 employees, mostly working in the kitchen and dining room suddenly found themselves out of a job. True to its credo of providing dignity through work, Altin decided to continue paying their salaries as long as they were making themselves useful to the community. At the same time he developed a supply system for nearby cities, ensuring that good food could reach the tables of citizens confined to their homes. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Trieste.Green helping local producers through a difficult time
Italy – GAL Carso – LAS Kras includes 12 municipalities and is an agency for the economic and social development of the territory between Karst and Istria. Founded in 2008, it has two main tasks: to help private individuals and companies by fostering interaction with institutions, and supporting them in planning and developing their future. At the beginning of the lockdown it couldn’t back out and close its doors to all the producers who were living through the crisis. David Pizziga, GAL Carso President, tells us how their e-commerce project was born, networking with consumers and producers, and helping both to cope with a unique moment in the history of mankind. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: on the back of an emergency, an initiative to do something positive for the community
UK – Peter McKenna, chef and director of The Gannet restaurant in Glasgow, part of the Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance, worked with food banks during the pandemic to produce packages for vulnerable people in the local community, making three deliveries a week. A way to give something back to the city he calls home. Here the story
Slow Food heroes: eating together to face the future
Spain – Daniele Rossi is an Italian cook and restaurant owner in Barcelona. During the Covid-19 emergency he participated in the Comer Contigo (Eating with you) initiative, which provided 23,000 meals a day to hospitals and the homeless. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: a suspended meal
Italy – Cristian Borchi and his team work in Vicchio, a small town in the heart of the Mugello region in Tuscany. They got together to manage the closure and reopening of their restaurant and the leftover ingredients in the pantry. This is where the idea of a ‘suspended meal’ for families in need came from: A story of solidarity that has since spread across the local area. Here the story.
Slow Food Hero: Italian cuisine as an encouragement not to give up in difficulties
Bulgaria – Chef Leo Bianchi and the network of Italian chefs in Bulgaria have made Italian cuisine a medicine for the souls of Bulgarian health workers involved in the emergency. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Cooking for Those in Need
Belgium – Francesco and Hugo, two friends from Italy, own a fine gastronomic restaurant in Brussels named Racine. During the first lockdown, they had to close their business indefinitely, like many others in town. Once the shock passed, they decided to give a hand to local organizations, and started cooking for people in need. Here the story.
Slow Food Hero: Daring and believing, together, always
Italy – To call him a pizza maker wouldn’t fully capture who Franco Pepe is. His fantastic work inside and outside the kitchen has led him to receive numerous awards the best pizza, the title of Ambassador of Taste and even a Cavalierato al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Cavalier of the Italian Republic), awarded to him in both 2019 and 2020. During the lockdown, he refused to sit idly by and kept the ovens burning to give away bread and other fresh products to the elderly and other people in need. On top of that, he organized a fundraising campaign for the hospital in Caserta (Italy) during times of Covid emergency. Here the story.
Slow Food Hero: from an application to solidarity
Slow Food Heroes: Mario Montessoro and Italian Solidarity in Times of Covid
Bulgaria – Mario Montessoro was born in Genoa, but has lived in Sofia for years. His restaurant has always had in its statute the obligation to devolve part of the takings to solidarity initiatives. During the pandemic, he rose to the occasion and joined the solidarity project organized by Leo Bianchi, to support health staff engaged in the fight against Coronavirus, and to serve free meals for people in need. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Michele Crippa and his fight against Covid-19 to reclaim flavors
Italy – Michele Crippa is a gastronome who has made flavors and aromas his daily work. He lost his sense of taste and smell for months with Covid, but he has not resigned himself: for himself and for all those who have found themselves in the same situation, together with the Centro Studi Assaggiatori of Brescia, Novella Bagna and Gian Paolo Braceschi of Good Senses, a company specialized in sensory analysis, he has developed an ad hoc rehabilitation path, a Sensory Box which helps to regain possession of lost flavors. Here the story
Slow Food Heroes: let’s give food another chance
Czech Republic – Blanka Turturro, head of Slow Food Prague and her husband Emilio, could not stay idle when they heard the call in the media, radio and TV of a food collection organized by the Food Bank throughout the Czech Republic. They participated in the collection as members of the Slow Food Prague community and made their contribution to the fight against Coronavirus. Here the story
Slow Food Heroes: ReFoodGees and solidarity without borders
Italy – Since 2018, the association ReFoodGees has been collecting unsold food and distributing it for free in the Alberone and Esquilino district markets, in Rome. During the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the volunteers, including some refugees and asylum seekers, did not stop organizing home deliveries and the food bank at the market, helping the people throughout the city who needed it the most. Here the story
Slow Food Hero: from student to Chef in the ward
Italy – When the Covid 19 emergency exploded, Riccardo Emanuele Tiritiello was in the fifth year of the Frisi Hotel and Catering Institute in Milan. Just a breath away from graduating̀. But between his school commitments, online classes, and working in his family’s delicatessen, he felt the need to do something useful for others. So, he started the project “Chef in corsia”: for almost 100 consecutive days, he prepared meals to be delivered free of charge to doctors who worked hard to save the sick in the Covid-19 wards. Here the story
Slow Food Hero: our work never stops, we have to continue to fight for our right to have a choice
Romania – Marta Pozsonyi is a passionate food activist. Leader of Slow Food Turda, she believes in food education, especially for young people. Even during times of COVID-19 Marta felt she was responsible to find ways to continue the work. Here the story
Slow Food Heroes: projects with heart and soul that endure and find ways to move forward without forgetting others
Italy – Antonella Bonora, a trustee of the Bologna Convivium and coordinator of the city’s Slow Food markets, recounts how the producers of the three city markets set up a home delivery service to keep regular consumers supplied with good, clean and fair products and to help those in difficulty during the Coronavirus emergency. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: the passion of the Slow Food Dolny Slask Convivium to fight Coronavirus
Poland – Anna Maria Ruminska lives in southwest Poland and runs, with other volunteers, the Slow Food Dolny Slask Convivium, born to promote the gastronomical biodiversity of the whole region. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Local Food Baskets for the Elderly in Belgium
Belgium – Food can heal the soul, and the “Silly Cooking Project” is a living proof of it! During the first confinement in March 2020, the Slow Food Convivium in Silly (Hainaut, Belgium) decided to prepare and deliver food baskets to elderly people, with regional products from local producers. Sabine Storme, coordinator of the project, tells us more about it and what impact it had on its beneficiaries. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: a Borderless European Wine
France – Respectively born in Rome, Avignon and Jurançon, Jerome, Françoise and Bruce Roger lived and worked in different countries and encountered the wine culture at a very young age. With Europe facing the COVID-19 crisis and other issues such as climate change and globalization, it is natural for them to think about how the European future would look like. They decided to start the project with the idea of supporting the wine producers buying their grape juices and at the same time unite Europe by telling the stories of vignerons from different European countries. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Imagine how much we could do if people worked together!
Netherlands – Nominated in the top 100 list of young sustainable entrepreneurs of the Netherlands, Andres Jara is a former UNISG student that transformed the Coronavirus crisis into an opportunity to help small-scale farmers and to fight food waste. He tells us how the idea came about from his farm, De Stadsgroenteboer, and his restaurant Herbano. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: #SOScampesinado
Spain – The crisis triggered by COVID-19 has led to the reinforcement of traditional and hegemonic powers and ways of doing things, but a diversity of spontaneous processes of self-organization, mutual support, and articulation between social movements and citizens have also emerged to respond to a critical socio-economic reality. In the case of agroecological movements, one of these responses has been the #SOSCampesinado campaign, from which we share reflections and lessons learned thanks to the words of Patricia Dopazo Gallego, journalist of Soberania Alimentaria. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Creating Opportunities for Unemployed Event Workers on Organic Farms
Netherlands – In Spring 2020, many event workers in the Netherlands saw their festival season go up in corona smoke. At the same time, Dutch farmers struggled to find enough seasonal workers to work on their land as many of their usual workers could no longer come to the Netherlands. Jur Jacobs, one of the founders, explains how Seasonal Workers started by matching the suddenly unemployed event workers with farmers who had a shortage of seasonal workers, and this proved to be a win-win: hard workers for the farmer, great alternative seasonal work for event workers. Here the story
Slow Food Heroes: a Taste@Home box to face the Covid19 emergency
Germany – Since its foundation, Slow Food Youth Berlin works with local producers to help them valorize and promote their activities. During the pandemic, this work that has always been mostly done physically has moved online, without losing the usual passion. Katrin and Adèle from Slow Food Youth Berlin created the very first Taste@Home box, trying to help producers to present their products during online tastings. The box was delivered by bike by an initiative with whom they cooperated. They organized this event during the lockdown twice, with different products. Here the story.
…and from around the world!
Together we grow collective power!
Philippines – What started as a 4 month food relief drive in the early days of the pandemic has turned into a sustainable food security initiative. Inspired by the strength and impact of community kitchens, the Slow Food Community of Sari-Sari has expanded its collaboration with Pinagkaisang Lakas ong Mamamayan – Payatas to grow micro food gardens and train 20 urban farmers. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: a team to help 623 families
Kenya – The last few years have not been easy for Kenya. The nation is facing diverse conflicts: Climate Change, the biggest locust invasion in 70 years, and food and nutrition insecurity. In addition to that, in 2020, COVID-19 arrived. John Kariuki, coordinator of Slow Food activities in Kenya, tells us how the Slow Food network has tried to help people in need during this long period of time. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: A School of Colors tackles the lockdown
Mexico – Cynthia Robleswelch, together with the Slow Food Ñam ñam community and Monterrey Culture and Taste Education, thought about the little ones during lockdown, and the consequences of isolation. She developed a series of child-friendly recipes to help families cope with the slow pace of quarantine. Here the story
Slow Food Heroes: Slow Food Barbados and the Slow Soup Drive
Barbados – As a response to the Coronavirus emergency, the Slow Soup Drive was born in April 2020, organized by Slow Food Barbados, to tackle the issues of food waste, malnutrition and food security, by providing persons and families in need with hot, wholesome and nutritious soups, predominantly made with local ingredients. Here the story
Slow Food Heroes: smiles of gratitude
Jordan – In Jordan during the Coronavirus emergency, many people were suffering due to worsened economic conditions. During this time, Hanadi Adas and the Slow Food Community EVOO decided to step up and distribute basic food and medicine to families living through hard times. Here the story.
The energy and commitment of 5 young people spreads throughout Brazil
Brazil – Five young people that belong to the Slow Food Community Rede Jovem Slow Food Brasil who come from different parts of the country, and have different backgrounds, created a free online map to help producers and consumers to eat good, clean, and fair food during the Covid Emergency. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: Share a Seed
USA – Reana Kovalcik, Slow Food DC Board Member, and Slow Food USA Southeast Regional Councilor founded Share a Seed in January 2020 as a direct response to the supply chain shortages caused by COVID-19. The project seeks to connect community members with the land and their food system and to help replace scarcity with abundance through resource sharing. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes: showing once more the resilience of Indigenous peoples
Brazil – As COVID-19 swept around the globe, it reached remote areas where indigenous peoples have peacefully coexisted with nature for centuries. It amplified the problems created by climate change and inequality, and as they have done for centuries, indigenous peoples continued fighting to keep existing. Showing once more their resilience, as peoples. Jose Amaury Machado Camizão tells us how his indigenous Slow Food Community in Brazil redirected its agricultural efforts to support the community living in distress. Here the story.
Slow Food Heroes is a project financed by European Cultural Foundation, with the contribution of CRC Foundation.