For the 10th anniversary of Negroni Week (September 12-18), Imbibe wanted to partner with an organization whose spirit aligned with those of our participating venues of bars and restaurants around the world, and of the Negroni itself. Slow Food not only does that—pushing for sustainability, biodiversity, and equity—but it does so on a global scale.
The concept of Slow Food began in the ’80s as a response to the proliferation of fast-food restaurants. Specifically, in 1986, founder Carlo Petrini protested the building of a McDonald’s near Rome’s historic Spanish Steps. He did so by handing out plates of pasta. “I was alarmed by the culturally homogenizing nature of fast food,” Petrini said in an interview with Time magazine.
But that movement to celebrate and relish traditional foods has since expanded to a greater purpose. More than 30 years later, Slow Food has worked to make food and beverage “good, clean, and fair” for everyone. Today there are 1,600 chapters globally, including in Mexico, South Korea, Kenya, and Peru, that are dedicated to the cause. Programs created to achieve specific Slow Food objectives include:
- The Ark of Taste catalogs and protects 6,000 nearly extinct food products, such as fruits, vegetables, animal breeds, and more.
- The Cooks’ Alliance is a worldwide network of chefs that supports local producers by using their products and spotlighting their names on their menus.
- The Slow Wine Coalition of winemakers, wine lovers, and professionals promotes wine producers who focus on sustainability, landscape protection, as well as the cultural and social growth of winemaking areas.
- The Solidarity with Ukraine campaign works two ways. One saves Ukrainian biodiversity by financially supporting farmers who have stayed behind to protect and work their farms. The other invites European food producers—such as beekeepers and cheesemakers—to host their Ukrainian refugee counterparts. This matching opportunity allows for an exchange of skills while allowing the Ukrainian food producer to continue their trade.
For Negroni Week, donations from participating bars and restaurants will support Slow Food’s projects around the world, and will directly benefit the hospitality industry. “Funds will support our ongoing work to nourish cultural and biological diversity, educate and mobilize communities, and advance policies that transform food systems,” says Anna Mulè, executive director of Slow Food USA.
To find a bar or restaurant where you can toast this worthwhile cause, visit negroniweek.com.