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Relais & Châteaux announces global partnership with Slow Food

Relais & Châteaux, the world’s leadings association of landmark hotels and restaurants, is delighted to announce a global partnership with Slow Food, an international grassroots organisation in 160 countries that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment.

From this month until the end of the year, Relais & Châteaux will celebrate Food for Change, in partnership with Slow Food, with a series of events, menus and chef participation around the world. By taking part in these activities, Relais & Châteaux hopes to combat climate change and protect biodiversity.  

Relais & Châteaux 550 members have a driving desire to protect and promote the richness and diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality. As encompassed in Relais & Châteaux’s Vision presented at the UNESCO in 2014, the association is committed to preserving local heritage and the environment. In cooking local and seasonal produce, eliminating meat from industrial livestock production, or having a fully vegetarian approach, Relais & Châteaux properties can significantly help reduce their carbon footprint. Through Food for Change, Relais & Châteaux hopes to inspire people around the world to be more mindful about our food system, which is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.   

Relais & Châteaux is proud to count some of the most acclaimed chefs in the world as members. Their reputation within the hospitality industry and beyond means that these individuals are true influencers and together have the power to affect real change. This was seen in the petition, signed by Relais & Châteaux chefs in January 2018, which saw electric fishing banned by the EU.  

Founder of Slow Food Carlo Petrini says “Climate change is a fact that we cannot deny anymore. It is, instead, a challenge that we have to face in our everyday life. What we put on our plate plays a larger role in contributing to climate change than the car we drive. In our #FoodForChange campaign, we launch a call to Relais & Chateaux chefs from all over the world to help us spread this important message, creating sustainable menus that can raise awareness about the quality and the food chain of every ingredient.”  

Speaking about the partnership Relais & Châteaux President Philippe Gombert said “More than just an association, Relais & Châteaux is now a movement committed to defending biodiversity and the environment. Food is at the crossroads of political, economic and social issues, so we have a role to play in health and culture. Relais & Châteaux campaigns alongside NGOs such as Slow Food, for the protection of biodiversity and to help our members successfully address these issues.”  

The full schedule of Food for Change events around the world will be released shortly. To whet your appetite here’s a taste of things to come:  
Slow Food Nations, Denver, USA, 13 – 15 July
Slow Food Nations is a weekend of culture and flavour in downtown Denver. The festival connects food lovers with farmers, artisans and chefs.  

Relais & Châteaux X Denver Dinner
On 13 July, as part of Slow Food Nations, Relais & Châteaux chefs will partner with local James Beard award-winning chefs Alex Seidel and Jen Jasinski, to create a climate-friendly dinner. The Relais & Châteaux chefs involved in putting together this vegetable-forward 4-course menu are Josh Drage from The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, and Renata Ameni from Manresa, California, with wine pairings from Raj Vaidya from Daniel restaurant in New York, and cheese and charcuterie from Blackberry Farm, Tennessee.
Tickets - $125 - $175.  

Chef’s Summit, 14 July
During Slow Food Nations, Relais & Châteaux chef Josh Drage, The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, will represent the association in a panel discussion on sourcing and transparency, moderated by Sara Brito of Good Food 100. John Coykendall, master gardener at Blackberry Farm, Tennessee, will join a panel discussion on The Buzz on Biodiversity to explore the essential role of biodiversity to the agricultural landscape, and how to create awareness on the stories of bees, seeds and grains in the kitchen.  

Salone del Gusto – Terra Madre, Torino, Italy, 22-26 September
Taking place every two years, Salone del Gusto is Slow Food’s artisan festival that showcases specialty foods from producers from 160 countries and engages visitors in workshops and discussions around sustainability. Renowned chef Olivier Roellinger, Maison de Bricourt, France, will be representing Relais & Châteaux during a forum discussion at the event. 
Tickets - €5 per day.  

Menus for Change, Global Initiative, 4- 7 October
Across the entire Relais & Châteaux network, chefs will be invited to prepare Slow Food-validated menus for guests to experience in their respective restaurants. Dishes will showcase sustainable ingredients highlighting the association’s commitment to committed to preserving local heritage and the environment as well as creating awareness of Slow Food’s mission to inspire change for good, clean and fair food for all.  

Zurich Slow Food Market, Switzerland, 16 – 18 November
Relais & Châteaux will take part in the eighth edition of the annual Zurich Slow Food market. With over 250 producers of Slow Food products and 14,000 visitors in attendance the event brings discussions on sustainable and fairly produced food to the forefront. During the market, Relais & Châteaux will host a tasting table where visitors can try products from various properties, with a particular focus on getting young people involved. In addition, cooking demos from Relais & Châteaux chefs will take place throughout the three days. The Swiss properties taking part include Stéphane Décotterd, Le Pont de Brent, Brent; Thomas Neeser, Grand Hôtel du Lac, Vevey; Roock Mattias, Castello del Sole, Ascona and Stefan Lünse, Lenkerhof Gourmet Spa Resort, Lenk.

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