Held every two years in Turin - Salone del Gusto is a food festival like no other. There are over 1,260 exhibitors here from all over the world and the one thing that they have in common is that the food that they are selling and displaying is definitely not mass produced. This is one of the cornerstones of the Slow Food movement, a movement that favours quality not quantity.
I am here as a guest of my friend David Hertz who runs a food based Social Enterprise called Gastromotiva. With similar ideals as Jamie's Fifteen - David is teaching people from all over Brasil how to cook and then empowering them to teach others. He firmly believes that food should be used to enhance social inclusion. I cannot thank my friend David enough for inviting me because from the moment I attended the opening ceremony I have been completely inspired and humbled by this extraordinary food event.
Carlo Petrini and a group of activists founded the Slow Food movement in 1986 in response to plans for a Mcdonald's outlet to open on the Spanish Steps in Rome. Since then it has become a global movement that promotes and encourages local food and farming.
Carlo Petrini's message was clear in his opening speech He said that indigenous races and the delegates at Salone del Gusto are the true intellectuals of the world. His request to all of us and to many more people around the world who were listening in was to protect Bio Diversity. He asked all of us to share our food stories of people and communities whose principles echo that of the Slow Food movement.
My favourite area here at Salone del Gusto is the Oval where many of the worldwide members of the Slow Food are stationed exhibiting the food that they prepare and eat every day. This is simple food prepared by farmers and families, no strange "e numbers" or labeling, fresh, wholesome real food. I have been tasting my way around this arena every day and one of the highlights for me was trying the Kimchi that was prepared by Buddhist Monks from a Korean Temple.
I have learnt so much in the short time that I have been here and I am preparing myself for more inspiring food stories from around the world over the next few days.