So it was at Slow Food's announcement of its 100th Chef Alliance member, held recently at the Photographers' Gallery just off Oxford Street. The chef in question was Pierre Koffman (pictured above); he of Koffman's at The Berkeley Restaurant of course.
Speaking about his new membership, Koffman said, “I am proud to work with Slow Food in this ambassadorial role and offer my experience alongside so many great chefs to positively influencing British cuisine in the future."
Fluid London had the honour of attending the Slow Food Week back in June and in just under half a year Slow Food UK has shown rapid development.
Slow Food UK has achieved its goal of promoting ‘Forgotten Foods - ingredients from small-scale producers from around the UK - by encouraging chefs to serve them on their menus. The idea: to bring awareness to the sustainability surrounding food and farming in Britain.
The Slow Food movement was founded in Italy in 1986 by Carlo Petrini. Quite simply, it was an alternative to fast food. It's aim is to promote and preserve local produce from small-scale producers, as well as traditional regional cuisines and cooking. Since it was established, the movement has expanded globally into 150 countries.
Speeches on the night were led by CEO of Slow Food UK, Cat Gazzoli - taking time out from her maternity leave - and Slow Food UK Trustee, Prue Leith as well as Richard Corrigan. A round of applause went out to Pierre Koffmann who sadly had to miss the event due to his restaurant being short staffed that night. “I am absolutely thrilled at how many brilliant and talented chefs [and producers] have joined the Slow Food cause," said Corrigan.
Obtaining the 100th member of the Chef Alliance is an incredible milestone for Slow Food UK. Yet they have no intention of slowing down. Cat and her small team consisting of Colin Bom (Acting CEO, Commercial and Operations Manager), Nathalie Nötzold (Partnership & Chef Alliance Coordinator) and Katharina Augustin (Forgotten Foods Coordinator) are based above the Books for Cooks shop in Notting Hill. Though they may be small, they are fierce in their commitment to spread the Slow Food UK word running educational projects and local group networks.
Pierre Koffmann is added to an impressive list of chefs. He joins fellow Alliance chefs such as (see how many Michelin star restaurants you can count):
- Brett Graham of The Ledbury restaurant
- Giorgio Locatelli of Locanda Locatelli restaurant
- Angela Hartnett of Murano restaurant
- Richard Corrigan of Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill
- Vivek Singh of Cinnamon Club restaurant
- Anna Hansen of The Modern Pantry restaurant
- Chris Galvin of Galvin restaurants
- Stevie Parle of The Dock Kitchen restaurant
- Tom Aiken of, well, several London restaurants
- Lukas Pfaff of Sartoria restaurant
- Mark Hix of several London restaurants
- Jacob Kenedy of Bocca di Lupo restaurant
- Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon restaurant
- Thomasina Miers of Wahaca restaurants
- Joe Mercer Mairne of Medlar restaurant
- Peter Weeden of Newman Street Tavern
- Phil Howard of The Square restaurant
- René Redzepi of Noma (Copenhagen), formerly the best restaurant in the world.
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