On Terra Madre Day 2016, ten Russian chefs joined the ever-expanding international Slow Food project. Chefs from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Azov and the Tula region are now part of the Alliance.
Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 was marked by the active participation of Russian chefs and members of the Terra Madre network. Cooking schools, dinners and traditional dishes were all present at the Terra Madre Kitchens, and for the first time in history chefs carried the Russian flag at the Terra Madre parade alongside 7,000 delegates from around the world, united together in the name of good, clean and fair food for all. As a result, the Chefs’ Alliance, involving 16 countries, now extends to Eastern Europe—as the Alliance was launched in Russia.
Ten chef-pioneers celebrated joining the Alliance in different ways. Two chefs from St. Petersburg, Igor Grishechkin and Anton Abrezov, have dedicated special dishes. The menu of the Cococo restaurant was enriched with a dish from the Russian fairy-tale “Axe Porridge” (similar to the “Stone soup” story)—green buckwheat porridge with penny bun mushrooms and stewed beef cheeks. GRÄS restaurant presented Hoe with gorbuscha and feijoa guacamole—an Asian speciality with a South American sauce but made entirely with Russian products. The unity of nations in miniature.
In Moscow celebrations took place in the new restaurant Spices, where the chef Mark Statsenko and his team presented the “Terra Madre” set – shchi soup with porcini mushrooms stewed in a traditional wood-burning stove, black ravioli with nelma and goose paté with quince jam. The food was prepared entirely using Russian produce. The shchi was accompanied with a traditional drink, polugar with horseradish, and appetizers were served with wines from the Russian winery “Raevskoe”.
In the Tula region, Slow Food convivia organized a gala dinner at the farm restaurant “Mark i Lev”. It was dedicated to the preservation of biodiversity in native regional habitats. Besides the dishes prepared by new members of the Alliance, chefs Mikhail Lukashonok and Pavel Klepikov, many guests brought traditional home-made dishes, made from local productions including some from the Ark of Taste.
The Regional Slow Food coordinator, Anna Kanshieva, congratulated the chefs, food producers and Slow Food supporters on this landmark event and expressed her hope for the Alliance’s continued developments both in terms of quantity and quality: “Today’s global experience shows that the role of the chef goes far beyond cooking delicious food from quality products. Examples like Dan Barber, whose farm-restaurant can be called a rather experimental laboratory and a model for the future of agriculture, or Massimo Bottura, who unites chefs around the food waste challenge, or Ivan and Sergey Berezutsky who regularly undertake expeditions into remote Russian regions to bring their forgotten gastronomic “treasures” back to public attention—these and other examples show that today the chef is also an enlightener, researcher, politician and an agent of social change. “