An In Depth Look at the Slow Food Movement in the Culinary Arts

by Joe Taylor
CulinaryEd Columnist
May 19, 2011

An on-the-run meal purchased through your car window encapsulates everything the growing Slow Food movement is against. Founded in 1986 by Italian Carlo Petrini, the Slow Food movement urges people to slow down, enjoy their food, and spend time learning about local produce and growing techniques. Slow Food proponents believe that you don't need a culinary degree to experience the joy of savoring flavors, sharing a love of food with friends, and connecting with traditions often found only at cooking schools.

The Slow Food movement now boasts about 83,000 members worldwide, ranging from cooking school graduates with budding culinary careers to average citizens. More than 800 of these subgroups are active in fifty countries. Groups organize food tastings, potluck meals, and visits to local farms. Some groups also help with local implementation of international Slow Food campaigns through culinary schools and organic food markets.

Increased Culinary Education and Other Slow Food Goals

Local Slow Food groups work to educate local diners and culinary professionals about local farmers and food producers. Some Slow Food members say some people who rush to superstores for cheap produce don't realize that a local farmer is often growing superior fruits and vegetables. Slow Food groups have connected many restaurants and culinary institutions with local food producers.

Other Slow Food objectives include:

  • Teaching consumers about the hidden risks of fast food
  • Teaching gardening, especially to cooking school students
  • Providing culinary education in local food traditions
  • Cultivating culinary careers in traditional restaurants
  • Offering in-depth culinary education


Slow Food Pioneers Taste Tourism

Slow Food groups organize trips to local farmers markets, visits to regional culinary schools, and city-wide taste festivals. Slow Food also hosts the Salone del Gusto, the world's largest cheese and wine festival. These festivals provide an international culinary education and the opportunity to talk to food producers. Many cooking schools send students to festivals to expand their potential culinary careers.

The Slow Food movement is steadily growing, connecting people through magazines, local dinners, and international campaigns. As more people prefer meals from a culinary school graduate instead of a fry cook, Slow Food counts added success to its worldwide appeal for people to slow down and think about what they're eating.


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  • About the Author

    Author and business coach, Joe Taylor Jr. helps professionals change careers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.
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