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knowing its journey from the soil to when
you're drinking it. Having that connection to
where something is grown is vital: you can
understand its quality and understand
where it's come from.'
The Rosewood London's restaurant, the
Holborn Dining Room, has a short menu
based on the market's ingredients to run
alongside its Sunday brunch o£ ering. It's the
best form of marketing there is: after eating
the gently smoked, rmly eshed salmon
served with poached egg and potato cake
from Stoke Newington smokehouse Hansen
Lydersen, I bought some more to take home.
It's this quality of ingredients from Slow
Food producers that is the biggest attraction
for Rosewood's executive chef, Amandine
Chaignot. 'As a chef, I am always looking for
the best quality ingredients, which have been
responsibly and lovingly harvested. Slow Food
o£ ers just that - produce which is unrivalled
in quality and is ethically produced to take
into account people and planet.'
Chaignot isn't the only chef to be signed up
to the Slow Food philosophy. In 2011, Richard
Corrigan set up Slow Food's Chef Alliance.
In four years, it has grown to include 125 UK
chefs, including L'Anima's Francesco Mazzei,
The Hand Flowers's Tom Kerridge, Jeremy
Lee of Quo Vadis, Xavier Boyer of L'Atelier de
Joël Robuchon and Sartoria's Lukas Pfa£ .
The chefs are committed to championing
the Ark of Taste, a programme dedicated
to protecting traditional foods from smallscale
producers who, without Slow Food,
would be at risk of going out of business.
Pfa£ , for instance, serves roveja, a variety
of pea imported to Europe from the Middle
East, which has been known since Neolithic
times but recently almost disappeared.
Mazzei imports his extra virgin olive oil from
small producers who practise sustainable
agriculture, while Corrigan is full of praise for a
nut oil produced near Reading that he found
through Slow Food. During Slow Food Week in
June, Boyer creates a special menu using Ark
of Taste ingredients to promote the Slow Food
ethos. The Alliance is sponsored by Lavazza,
the family-owned co£ ee brand that is based
in Turin and which has supported Slow Food
since the inaugural Salone del Gusto in 1986.
For chefs such as Corrigan and Mazzei, Slow
Food o£ ers the chance to reconnect with the
rural food culture of their upbringing. 'I was
lucky enough to grow up with locally sourced
food,' Mazzei says. 'We got our bread from the
baker and our meat from our own slaughtered
animals and the local butcher. When I moved
to the UK, I noticed how privileged I had been,
and how di£ erent the vegetables tasted.
I've been a fan of the Slow Food movement
in Italy for many years and I wanted to get
involved to help promote the positive aspects
of enjoying locally produced food.'
Mazzei acknowledges that Italy's food
culture makes it easier to champion regional
food, but feels that with Slow Food's help,
things are changing in the UK. It's a view
echoed by Tom Kerridge. 'We're fast becoming
more aware of regional produce in the UK
and developing an understanding of what
'AS A CHEF, I AM LOOKING FOR
THE BEST INGREDIENTS, WHICH
HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLY
AND LOVINGLY HARVESTED'
AMANDINE CHAIGNOT, ROSEWOOD LONDON
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