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Culinary Conservation: Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food Unite to Save Global Food Heritage

Delve into this collaboration aimed at safeguarding culinary heritage through cheeses, wines, and fermentation.

By Kajol Awon

In an era where culinary traditions and the essence of flavour may often seem lost, two global institutions have joined forces for the seventh consecutive year to champion the preservation of our delectable heritage. United under their #FoodforChange campaign, Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food have resolutely committed to safeguarding the treasures of cheeses, wines, and fermentation techniques that have graced our plates for generations.

Renowned for its world-class cuisine and hospitality, Relais & Châteaux has passionately pursued a mission to create a more harmonious world through food since its inception in 2014. The association aspires to "Preserve the diversity of cuisines and hospitality in the world so the future generations can know and share in their richness."

Since 2016, Relais & Châteaux chefs have proudly collaborated with the Slow Food movement to champion its principles: Good, clean, and fair food for all. This year, their focus centres around the survival of local cheeses, wines, and fermented products, igniting awareness through the collective efforts of over 800 chefs and 580 independent properties spanning 65 countries. Together, these establishments advocate for a paradigm shift towards regenerative agriculture.

In her own words, Mauro Colagreco, Vice President of Chefs at Relais & Châteaux, states "To give everyone the right to ‘good, clean, and fair food for all,' no product should be left behind." From cheeses to wines and a host of fermented products, each bears a unique flavour and tradition that Relais & Châteaux aims to protect. Edward Mukiibi, President of Slow Food, points out the importance of agroecology in addressing the climate crisis and the dire consequences of biodiversity loss.

The #FoodforChange campaign takes centre stage this year, with Relais & Châteaux featuring five remarkable properties that present traditional products and production methods. From the Basque region of France to vineyards in Oregon and biodynamic cultivation in Austria, they exemplify a regenerative approach to gastronomy, emphasizing the urgency of climate-conscious culinary practices. As the campaign unfolds, Relais & Châteaux properties across the globe are highlighting cheeses, wines, and fermented beverages that adhere to Slow Food's firm criteria.

In India, properties such as Ahilya By The Sea, Shreyas Retreat, Niraamaya Surya Samudra, Malabar House, and Masque are leading the charge, reviving long-forgotten processes and dishes that match tradition and flavour.

Ahilya By The Sea

Niraamaya Surya Samudra

Shreyas Retreat

In a world that often prioritizes haste over heritage, Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food stand as steadfast guardians of our culinary legacy. Through their #FoodforChange campaign, they remind us that preserving our gastronomic heritage is not only a matter of taste but also an act of preserving our planet's diversity and well-being.


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