Stephen Jardine: Get back to the kitchen in 2012
Once upon a time, it was all about fast food. After generations of cooking from scratch, technology suddenly made eating quick and simple. In the home, the Pot Noodle came to symbolise the fast food revolution.
Add hot water, wait a couple of minutes and, eureka, you had a meal that was quick and convenient. They may have tasted like rubber bands boil-washed with gym kit but the Pot Noodle was quick and convenient.
The same applied to fast food outside the home where the drive-through meant you could buy a burger without having to even waste time getting out of the car.
Then, just when food was at it’s fastest, the slow-down started.
Twenty years ago, Carlo Petrini’s fight against a McDonald’s outlet in the centre of Rome sparked the start of the Slow Food Movement.
It aimed to reconnect people with the pleasure of good food and the story of where it comes from. Today, the organisation has more than 100,000 members in 130 countries and tomorrow marks the start of Slow Food Week across the UK.
In Scotland, chef Tom Lewis is hosting a special dinner at his Monachyle Mhor hotel, near Balquihidder, and special events are planned around the country.
In Edinburgh, chef Neil Forbes has been a long time supporter of the Slow Food Movement.
“Slow Food encompasses what I believe is the right way to eat. There are health benefits, of course, but I also believe that it leads to a more enjoyable way of life by getting people back into the kitchen at home,” says Neil.
Nowhere is the slow-food message more apparent than at the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant at The Mound. Owner Carina Contini’s father came from the land where the movement started. Now she’s making sure Scotland lives up to the founding principles.
On Wednesday, a special slow-food menu will celebrate the best Scottish seasonal and local produce with a special twist. Some of it will come from a garden that the Continis have created on the outskirts of Edinburgh
“By growing our own produce within a five-mile radius of the city we are cutting back on food miles, developing heritage varieties where possible, but most of all really connecting with the seasons.
“We’re also using all our coffee grounds and vegetable food waste for compost so we’re recycling wherever possible. Slow food for me is about making good choices about food”
If you read this column, you already care about food and probably try to make good choices. But this week I talked to someone who repeatedly referred to food as ‘fuel”. For people like them, Slow Food Week is the chance to reflect.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West