Five thousand delegates from 160 countries will gather in Turin for the 11th edition of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. This gathering is not only the largest event dedicated to food culture, but it is also the place for thinking about earth, the nourishing mother, or not, of future generations.
Does Slow Food Presidia meaning anything to you? Not yet? Well, it will not be too long before it does. The Slow Food Fondation for Biodiversity, who aims to protect traditional agricultural and livestock productions and promote products threatened with extinction, has just celebrated its 500th product. It is a truly feminine Presidia, symbolizing the commitment of Mexican women and their social and economic independence achieved through the cultivation of an exceptional pepper, the beautifully named the Serrano de Tlaola. And yes, going to Salone del Gusto is not only about feasting on good products, but also about listening to their histories.
And history teaches us that usually it takes some advocating if you want to preserve even a few things for the health of future generations, not to mention their identity and culture. Five hundred is good, but 5,000 would be better. This is an issue that Relais & Châteaux knows well since it is stands beside Slow Food in the Ark of Taste, a project which has been drawing up an inventory since 1996 of the planet's diverse gastronomic heritage, as much in terms of fruits and vegetables as animals, but also of craftsmanship.
While Slow Food can already claim over a million supporters worldwide, it would like to make this community into a major lever in food policies. At Salone del Gusto, in Turin, there are no less than 40 seminars planned. They will speak of the major issues facing the African continent, like the burning issue of refugees, and MEP José Bové will come to discuss regulations in the food system, such as in the production of seeds, but also those of fertilizers and pesticides, during a seminar entitled "They are Giants, but We are Many".
In this “many”, chefs and hoteliers enter the dance with force. This industry may in a way take advantage of its media presence to highlight good practices. Chefs figure prominently into this equation, for example Michel Bras (Le Suquet Laguiole - France) and Olivier Roellinger (Maisons de Bricourt in Cancale - France) will discuss a topic that is dear to them, "When Chefs Come Together with Farmers". The tone has been set, since the dishes presented at these establishments are not created from ingredients produced in aseptic and distance factories. Michel Bras, like Olivier Roellinger, has a modesty that believes that if it was not for the farmers, producers, and local artisans who design the culinary landscape from the start, then his talent as a chef, as vast as it may be, would never amount to so much.
This is the root of the issue at Terra Madre, ensuring that the land long continues to be the nourishing mother to everyone.