Slow Food Heroes aims to encourage and celebrate the virtuous initiatives in the food world that are reacting to the Covid-19 emergency with ideas that may inspire others.

Through our network in Europe and beyond, we collect emblematic and successful good practices and tell their stories in a creative way so that they can reach a wider audience and be an inspiration especially for young people.
These new or existing food-related initiatives across Europe help strengthen the sense of solidarity in times of crisis and give hope for the future, inspiring new paths to fight the crisis and take action to build a more cohesive and community-oriented society. If you want, submit your own story!

 

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Read all the stories or to see the online catalog

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Stories from Europe

 

Cornel Popa_Iceland

Cooking classes for the less fortunate in Iceland

Iceland – Cornel Popa is a young Italian chef who moved to Iceland, who is also coordinating the local Slow Food Youth Network. Last year, he teamed up with the homeless shelter “Samhjálp” and volunteered to teach a cooking class for 6 months to those less fortunate. In about two-month time, his student were able to cook good food, from scratches, for over 100 people every day. Here the story.

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Leonardo Angelucci_Italy

 

A 4.0 shepherd helps Covid care units

Italy – Leonardo is a young Italian farmer who three years ago moved from Rome to Abruzzo, the land of his ancestors. He runs Casetta Bianca, a goat farm in the small town of Lettopalena (Abruzzo), where he makes excellent artisanal cheeses, all with raw milk and using only traditional methods. During the Covid-19 pandemic he decided to donate the entire proceeds from his farm’s Easter product sale to Covid intensive care units. Here the story.

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: a network of good, clean and fair food

Netherlands Kies Lokaal  (Choose Local) is a platform Slow Food Netherlands set up in the beginning of the 2020 pandemic in The Netherlands to support local producers. Saskia Litooij, one of the founders, tells us how the initiative came about and why it was important to Netherlanders during Covid-19. Here the story.

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: Les Resistants and L’Avant-Poste, two bulwarks against COVID-19

France – The premise of Florent Piard and his restaurants, Les Resistants and l’Avant-Poste, is a righteous one, down to the name. It aims to strengthen links with rural areas and local farmers who respect the environment, as well as to preserve traditional know-how. Since the start of the pandemic he has been in constant contact with the hundred or so farmers most affected by the crisis, following their situation daily and helping where necessary. Here the story.

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Slow Food Hero: in an Old Farmers’ Market, a community resists Covid-19

Slovakia – Petra Molnárova is the soul of Trh Piact Mark in Bratislava. And she didn’t give up even in the face of the pandemic. The market had been reborn and had to keep on living. Here the story.

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Bulgaria – Emilia Shusharova, Convivium leader of the Slow Food Community of Kurtovo Konare and member of the Chitaliste ”L. Karavelov”- Kurtovo Konare, is full of enthusiasm as we talk about the solidarity initiative she started with other community members during the first lockdown. The Slow Food community normally works on several fronts: protecting local vegetal biodiversity, supporting local producers and sustainable livelihoods, strengthening the organizational capacity, self-confidence and cultural identity of producers in Kurtovo Konare. They did not back down during the pandemic and helped many local members to overcome this difficult period through two separate projects. Here the story.

 

 

Slow Food Heroes and Mrizi i Zanave: the agritourism that takes care of the land and people

Albania – When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Albania, Mrizi i Zanave, a restaurant in the hills of Fishtë based on short supply chains, local products and seasonality, had to close. Altin Prenga, who founded the restaurant together with his brother Anton, was faced with a dilemma common to many restaurateurs during the lockdown period: what to do with their staff? More than 70 employees, mostly working in the kitchen and dining room suddenly found themselves out of a job. True to its credo of providing dignity through work, Altin decided to continue paying their salaries as long as they were making themselves useful to the community. At the same time he developed a supply system for nearby cities, ensuring that good food could reach the tables of citizens confined to their homes. Here the story.

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Slow Food Heroes: Trieste.Green helping local producers through a difficult time

ItalyGAL Carso – LAS Kras includes 12 municipalities and is an agency for the economic and social development of the territory between Karst and Istria. Founded in 2008, it has two main tasks: to help private individuals and companies by fostering interaction with institutions, and supporting them in planning and developing their future. At the beginning of the lockdown it couldn’t back out and close its doors to all the producers who were living through the crisis. David Pizziga, GAL Carso President, tells us how their e-commerce project was born, networking with consumers and producers, and helping both to cope with a unique moment in the history of mankind. Here the story.

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: on the back of an emergency, an initiative to do something positive for the community

UK – Peter McKenna, chef and director of The Gannet restaurant in Glasgow, part of the Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance, worked with food banks during the pandemic to produce packages for vulnerable people in the local community, making three deliveries a week. A way to give something back to the city he calls home. Here the story

 

 

 

Slow Food heroes: eating together to face the future

Spain – Daniele Rossi is an Italian cook and restaurant owner in Barcelona. During the Covid-19 emergency he participated in the Comer Contigo (Eating with you) initiative, which provided 23,000 meals a day to hospitals and the homeless. Here the story.

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Slow Food Heroes: a suspended meal

Italy – Cristian Borchi and his team work in Vicchio, a small town in the heart of the Mugello region in Tuscany. They got together to manage the closure and reopening of their restaurant and the leftover ingredients in the pantry. This is where the idea of a ‘suspended meal’ for families in need came from: A story of solidarity that has since spread across the local area. Here the story.

 

 

 

Slow Food Hero: Italian cuisine as an encouragement not to give up in difficulties

Bulgaria – Chef Leo Bianchi and the network of Italian chefs in Bulgaria have made Italian cuisine a medicine for the souls of Bulgarian health workers involved in the emergency. Here the story.

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: Cooking for Those in Need

Belgium – Francesco and Hugo, two friends from Italy, own a fine gastronomic restaurant in Brussels named Racine. During the first lockdown, they had to close their business indefinitely, like many others in town. Once the shock passed, they decided to give a hand to local organizations, and started cooking for people in need. Here the story.

 

 

 

Slow Food Hero: Daring and believing, together, always

Italy – To call him a pizza maker wouldn’t fully capture who Franco Pepe is. His fantastic work inside and outside the kitchen has led him to receive numerous awards the best pizza, the title of Ambassador of Taste and even a Cavalierato al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Cavalier of the Italian Republic), awarded to him in both 2019 and 2020. During the lockdown, he refused to sit idly by and kept the ovens burning to give away bread and other fresh products to the elderly and other people in need. On top of that, he organized a fundraising campaign for the hospital in Caserta (Italy) during times of Covid emergency. Here the story.

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Slow Food Hero: from an application to solidarity

France – Flore Bonnard, who runs the company Rezto, relayed an appeal to recover unused foodstuffs from wholesalers, producers, small or large, to prepare meals for hospitals. Here the story.

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Slow Food Heroes: Mario Montessoro and Italian Solidarity in Times of Covid

Bulgaria – Mario Montessoro was born in Genoa, but has lived in Sofia for years. His restaurant has always had in its statute the obligation to devolve part of the takings to solidarity initiatives. During the pandemic, he rose to the occasion and joined the solidarity project organized by Leo Bianchi, to support health staff engaged in the fight against Coronavirus, and to serve free meals for people in need. Here the story.

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: Michele Crippa and his fight against Covid-19 to reclaim flavors

Italy – Michele Crippa is a gastronome who has made flavors and aromas his daily work. He lost his sense of taste and smell for months with Covid, but he has not resigned himself: for himself and for all those who have found themselves in the same situation, together with the Centro Studi Assaggiatori of Brescia, Novella Bagna and Gian Paolo Braceschi of Good Senses, a company specialized in sensory analysis, he has developed an ad hoc rehabilitation path, a Sensory Box which helps to regain possession of lost flavors. Here the story

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Slow Food Heroes: let’s give food another chance

Blanka Turturro, head of Slow Food Prague and her husband Emilio, could not stay idle when they heard the call in the media, radio and TV of a food collection organized by the Food Bank throughout the Czech Republic. They participated in the collection as members of the Slow Food Prague community and made their contribution to the fight against Coronavirus. Here the story

 

Slow Food Heroes: ReFoodGees and solidarity without borders

Since 2018, the association ReFoodGees has been collecting unsold food and distributing it for free in the Alberone and Esquilino district markets, in Rome. During the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the volunteers, including some refugees and asylum seekers, did not stop organizing home deliveries and the food bank at the market, helping the people throughout the city who needed it the most. Here the story

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…and from around the world!

 

Slow Food Community of Sari-Sari

Together we grow collective power!

Philippines – What started as a 4 month food relief drive in the early days of the pandemic has turned into a sustainable food security initiative. Inspired by the strength and impact of community kitchens, the Slow Food Community of Sari-Sari has expanded its collaboration with Pinagkaisang Lakas ong Mamamayan – Payatas to grow micro food gardens and train 20 urban farmers. Here the story.

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: a team to help 623 families

Kenya – The last few years have not been easy for Kenya. The nation is facing diverse conflicts: Climate Change, the biggest locust invasion in 70 years, and food and nutrition insecurity. In addition to that, in 2020, COVID-19 arrived. John Kariuki, coordinator of Slow Food activities in Kenya, tells us how the Slow Food network has tried to help people in need during this long period of time. Here the story.

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: A School of Colors tackles the lockdown

Mexico – Cynthia Robleswelch, together with the Slow Food Ñam ñam community and Monterrey Culture and Taste Education, thought about the little ones during lockdown, and the consequences of isolation. She developed a series of child-friendly recipes to help families cope with the slow pace of quarantine. Here the story

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: Slow Food Barbados and the Slow Soup Drive

Barbados – As a response to the Coronavirus emergency, the Slow Soup Drive was born in April 2020, organized by Slow Food Barbados, to tackle the issues of food waste, malnutrition and food security, by providing persons and families in need with hot, wholesome and nutritious soups, predominantly made with local ingredients. Here the story

 

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes: smiles of gratitude

Jordan – In Jordan during the Coronavirus emergency, many people were suffering due to worsened economic conditions. During this time, Hanadi Adas and the Slow Food Community EVOO decided to step up and distribute basic food and medicine to families living through hard times. Here the story.

 

 

The energy and commitment of 5 young people spreads throughout Brazil

Five young people that belong to the Slow Food Community Rede Jovem Slow Food Brasil who come from different parts of the country, and have different backgrounds, created a free online map to help producers and consumers to eat good, clean, and fair food during the Covid Emergency. Here the story.

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Food Heroes is a project financed by European Cultural Foundation, with the contribution of CRC Foundation.

 

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