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Slow Food

Take time to cook


Slow Food

Are you looking for a simple way to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter? Begin by joining the international slow food movement.

Are you looking for a simple way to slow down and enjoy the things that really matter? Begin by joining the international slow food movement.

Slow food enthusiasts seek new ways to prepare food in the oven or on the grill–never in the microwave. They make food a priority and try to buy local, fresh organic ingredients whenever possible. During the summer, this means visiting farmers’ markets to deal with local growers, and it means selecting quality regional wines and learning which foods to pair them with.

“Our biggest message is food and local community,” says Dr. Sinclair Philip, cofounder, in 2000 with Mara Jernigan, of Slow Food’s Vancouver Island chapter, one of the first in Canada (


Philip’s certified organic restaurant, Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island, is a stellar example of slow food in action. The cooks at Harbour House grow their own organic produce and herbs, raise their own pork, serve local organic wines, and buy fish from nearby fishers who use sustainable fishing practices that limit bycatch and reduce habitat destruction.

“We have been here for 26 years, building relationships with local growers and encouraging people to grow their own food,” says Philip.


Philip’s Vancouver Island chapter is one of 26 local chapters of Slow Food International, called convivia, which have formed across Canada. Members meet regularly to taste local farm cheeses, tea, or wine.

Members of local convivia are also members of the worldwide slow food movement, founded in Paris in 1989. The international movement was inspired by Dr. Carlo Petrini, who, in 1986, began an Italian slow food association in Barolo in the Langhe district in the province of Cuneo, when he became concerned that mass industrialization of food was standardizing taste and destroying thousands of food varieties and flavours. Today the organization is active in 100 countries with a worldwide membership of over 80,000 people.


This year Slow Food International hosts a global food event in Turin between October 26 and 30. Called Terra Madre 2006, it will strengthen networks within the food community and find new outlets for small-scale, often artisanal producers, who face crushing competition from industrial producers.

Over 5,000 people attended the previous Terra Madre event in 2004, when Sinclair Philip hosted a Salone del Gusto feature dinner at the Castello di Verdunno, a restaurant about 30 kilometres from Turin, in the village of Verdunno.

“Terra Madre is amazing in its diversity of food and people, and it is galvanizing the world’s interest in slow food,” says Philip.

You do not have to go all the way to Turin to enjoy slow food. Simply start at home with some local ingredients and an afternoon with nothing to do but cook an exquisite meal to enjoy with friends.



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