The Slow Food movement, started by Carlo Petrini, is an organization that promotes local food and traditional cooking. The way that I was introduced to Slow Food is that it encompasses something far more encompassing than that. It’s about taking the time to slow down and enjoy a meal with friends, away from the busy and hectic of our daily lives.
Tuesday I sat down with two friends at a place I’d not been to yet, (make sure to follow along with the food side of my life over at Cook.Eat.Explore) to hear more about all that, but the point was made, by Chef Thom Stevenson, that it’s not possible to sit down and share a meal, with someone you don’t respect and like. Sure, you can sit down and shovel something that resembles food in your face, but that’s not slow food.
Slow food is sitting down and connecting with people you enjoy while sharing a meal. It’s about connecting with each other. At least that’s how we were raised with it.
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it ::
Slow Food began in Italy with the founding of its forerunner organisation, Arcigola, in 1986 to resist the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. In 1989, the founding manifesto of the international Slow Food movement was signed in Paris, France by delegates from 15 countries.
The Slow Food organisation has expanded to include over 100,000 members with branches in over 150 countries. Over 1,300 local convivia chapters exist. 360 convivia in Italy—to which the name condotta (singular) / condotte (plural) applies—are composed of 35,000 members, along with 450 other regional chapters around the world. The organisational structure is decentralised: each convivium has a leader who is responsible for promoting local artisans, local farmers, and local flavors through regional events such as Taste Workshops, wine tastings, and farmers’ markets.
Offices have been opened in Switzerland (1995), Germany (1998), New York City (2000), France (2003), Japan (2005), the United Kingdom, and Chile. Global headquarters are located in Bra, near Turin, Italy. Numerous publications are put out by the organisation, in several languages around the world. Recent efforts at publicity include the world’s largest food and wine fair, the Salone del Gusto in Turin, a biennial cheese fair in Bra called Cheese, the Genoan fish festival called SlowFish, and Turin‘s Terra Madre (“Mother Earth”) world meeting of food communities.
This is how we grew up, this is what was instilled in us (thanks Mom) from forever, so when I found out that Slow Food Columbus wanted me to photograph the 10th annual Shake the Hand That Feeds You Dinner, I was THROUGH THE ROOF. Hell yes. I was so in.
Being at that dinner, and around all amazing and inspiring chefs that were there to combine thier talents to feed everyone, the farmers whose farms produced what those chefs were using, and a great group of people who were there because this is what they support… phenomenal. Not only did I get to be there, I got to photograph it. I got to check something off of my photography bucket list.