The UK is the seventeenth country where the project has a presence
The Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance in the UK is joining Slow Food’s large network of chefs committed to cooking and promoting products from the Slow Food Ark of Taste, Slow Food Presidia and other communities of local producers. The Alliance project already has hundreds of members in sixteen countries (Albania, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Uganda).
The importance of this new branch in the Alliance has been expressed by many of its members:
Andrew Link, of the “The Riverside” in Hereford: “Chefs and restaurants are a vital link between producers and consumers. It’s both an opportunity and an obligation for chefs at all levels to provide a route to market for tiny producers, such as farmers and shepherds, who are working incredibly hard and don’t have time to promote themselves. We can make that link by steering the attitudes of consumers to make them aware of seasonal, local and sustainable produce, and all our menus are written around that. After the experience of attending Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in 2016, I’m excited by the prospect of a closer connection through the Chefs’ Alliance with the larger Slow Food network of like-minded chefs and producers in other countries.”
Neil Forbes, of the “Cafe St Honore” in Edinburgh: “I see being a member of the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance gives me the opportunity to tell the incredible story of why I do what I do and why it is important to support small scale producers, buy locally, in season and put on our plates great food with stories and integrity. Food is something we all do every day, we all eat and we must all recognize our heritage and with the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance we can achieve and retain our food culture from our past and share our historical recipes with food stuffs from the Ark of Taste to showcase and highlight that our region, Scotland, is a place to be proud of and one to be taken seriously, which can take us in to the future.
Mark Matless, of the “Bite the Bullitt” company in Norfolk: “I am so excited to have been given this opportunity of becoming a proactive part of the Chefs’ Alliance and its associated Slow Food network, which has positively enriched my day–to-day working environment, and given it a refreshed purpose with tangible results. There is much work to be done in raising awareness for the movement even at the level of basic understanding…. what does Slow Food actually mean to consumers? Luckily we have a bunch of great Ark producers, Chefs & like-minded souls to help in this common goal, providing the evidence for people to Touch, Taste, Smell and See, along with a Narrative Tale & the Passion to go with it.”
Colin Hinds, of the “Kilted Lobster” in Edinburgh: “As a Scottish Chef, using seasonal, artisan and heritage produce is paramount to our development as chefs and as consumers. Clean, fair food is always in our thoughts whether creating menus, choosing suppliers or training the next generation of chefs. This ethos also trickles into my own company’s goals and mission to help our community by supporting those in need of food education and food nutrition. I feel my values are mirrored by the Chefs’ Alliance, constantly evolving, bettering our community through companionship, food, and development. The fun of learning, training and striving for excellence is not only with me but with the whole Slow Food movement and many other wonderful organisations committed to the fundamental aims of good, clean and fair food.”
Alison Henderson, of the “Coulston House & Cookery School” in East Lothian, Scotland: “At its most fundamental it’s about survival. Food is not just about nourishment. It’s the importance of provenance—connecting with nature & one’s local environment & building a sustainable, local food culture. We can achieve more together than alone, this is where Chefs’ Alliance comes in! The Chefs’ Alliance brings likeminded chefs together, it amplifies voices & ideas. It’s a forum connecting people, facilitating learning & development & an opportunity to pass on skills & knowledge. This is how I would like to see Scotland’s Chefs’ Alliance developing!”