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February 10, 2015

Slow Food Edinburgh can claim something of a feather in their collective cap with the news that Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, will be attending several events in the capital at the end of February.

Carlo Petrini: Slow Food founder.
Carlo Petrini: Slow Food founder.

If you haven’t heard of Slow Food, here’s a potted history. Slow Food was started in 1989 after McDonalds opened a restaurant in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Distraught at the fast food giant setting up in one of Rome’s most beautiful squares, Petrini launched the movement as a reaction against what he saw as the spread of fast food.

Much more than a protest group, Slow Food is also about the enjoyment of good food, sustainability and preserving local food traditions.

Some 26 years after Petrini founded Slow Food, the organisation has spread to 150 countries with over 100,000 members worldwide dedicated to promoting locally grown produce and eating in season.

During the final week of February, Petrini will be in Edinburgh for the following three events:

Thought for Food: Carlo Petrini on cultivating a positive food future in Scotland

Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, National Gallery of Scotland, Wednesday 25th February, from 6.00pm.

Organised by Queen Margaret University and Slow Food Scotland, Carlo Petrini will be speaking about our increasing disconnection from what we eat, and what we can do to return to good, clean and fair food.

With additional contributions from Mike Small (Fife Diet) and producer Denise Walton (the award-winning Peelham Farm), this looks like being a thought-provoking examination of the food issues of today.

Drinks and canapés will be served beforehand in the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant (£10/£8 concession including Slow Food members).

Entrance to the lecture is free but you must have a ticket to attend. Ticket reservations and further details can be found here

Slow Food Edinburgh Stall

Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, Castle Terrace. Saturday 28th February, 10.30am.

Carlo Petrini visits the famous Edinburgh Farmers’ Market. He will be talking to local producers and sampling some of Scotland’s best produce from stall holders.

At 10.30am, Carlo Petrini will be at the Slow Food Edinburgh Stall and people are welcome to come along and meet the man.

There will be tasters of Ark of Taste Products and lots more information about Slow Food to share.

Lunch with Carlo Petrini

Victor & Carina Contini Cannonball, 356 Castle Hill. Saturday 28th February, 11.30am-2pm

A rare chance to have lunch with Carlo Petrini at Cannonball, hosted by long-time Slow Food supporters Victor and Carina Contini.

The Continis are thrilled to be able to welcome their food hero to Edinburgh – Carina and head chef Suzanne O’Connor are proud members of the Slow Food UK Chefs Alliance.

‘Scotland’s food and drink revolution has been built on local produce and eating in season and we owe all that to the Slow Food movement,’ said Carina Contini. ‘Fast food had severed our connection to farmers and the land but Carlo Petrini and Slow Food has restored the relationship. This lunch is going to be an incredible opportunity to meet and thank the man who has literally changed the way we eat.’

The focus of the event is going to be a three course lunch showcasing Scottish local and seasonal food at its very best. Lunch is £25 including a glass of wine and a celebration glass of Prosecco on arrival. Find all the details here

The Continis have three Edinburgh restaurants: Cannonball, The Scottish Café and Restaurant and Contini Ristorante.

Between the three restaurants, Victor and Carina Contini work with over 70 Scottish suppliers.

The couple also use produce from their own kitchen garden on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Last year, the 5pm Dining blog had a chat with Carina Contini about her Kitchen Garden Cookbook inspired by the produce grown in their kitchen gardens.

Here’s the clip again: