Ladies and gentlemen, good morning,
Small presentation: my name is Philip De Buck and I m speaking today as a represantant of Slow Food Brussels.
After spending 15 years as a chef in my small hotel of south of belgium, I became to be a Organic Food Addict and also an adept of the ideologie of the Slow Food Mouvement.
Sins 10 years I’m working as freelance for Horeca sectory and green Events organisation.
Horeca in the name we use in Blegium to speak about Hotel-Restaurant and Café business.
This year with Slow Food Brussels we decided to do all we can to valorise et promote the Good, Clean and Fair wich are the three aspects of our philosophy into the HORECA business.
For us, the restaurants have an important educational role, recipes and dishes that they offer can help consumer to discover or rediscover the taste or flavor that assembly of new taste.
We hope with that processus to stimulate the consumer to buying product differently.
Chefs and owners of restaurants are trendsetters, they create new desires and new "trendy" food.
But unlike the trendsetters of fashion textile, their purchases have a much greater impact on agriculture and directly on the economy in general.
What we are trying to stimulate the sector to understand the human aspect of serving food.
Serving a good plate in a restauant is an kind of art and need a bit of “Love”
This form of love is closely linked to agriculture.
If we want to pt quaity in our plate we must encourage producers "Good, clean and fair."
Sins 6 years, Slow Food Brussels organized the event "Taste Brussels" in restaurants just for one week.
During this small week, 80 to 100 participating restaurants proposed a Slow Food menu or a Slow Food Dish....
We realized that it meant nothing, they just use the image of Slow Food to communicate to their customers, and they did’nt respect complytely theyre part of the “Deal”
And in a so short period the public does not have time to test all of these restaurants.
And some of them bought a product "Slow Food" just once time for this week et then …basta…they stoped.
So, for this year (from septembre 2013 to septembre 2014) we decided to select only the 25 most motivated restaurants.
And that’s what they realy expect, they were very happy to learn that Slow Food Brussels will support them during all the year.
But realistically what will they do this year? What does it mean to work in Slow Food way?
All interpretations are possible because the specification can be considered or interpreted as vague and is not well known by the general public.
So we ask them to sign a little agreement in which they agree to work one or more local and seasonal products indicating their origin and preferably the name of the producer.
For example, organic angus beef steak from Mr Andre Grevisse from Habay la Neuve south of Ardenne.
We asked them to provide a dish with belgium cheese or milk product. Organic is better but not required.
They must also propose a Belgian wine on there carte.
A easy way to promote our 78 belgium appelation….
Not buying fish over-fishing, not buying protected species, etc ...
Organic food is not mandatory, Slow Food is a step towards a better agriculture but also a step towards thinking. And we hope by that way to promote organic food in there mind.
To facilitate their work order or search provider which in their daily is not easy,
we give them a "catalog" of producers and pipeline of delivery.
They must also be member of Slow Food and truth that agrement they are supposed to know a little more about the Good Clean and Fair and begins to be able to argue and communicate themselves to their staff, customers, friends and family etc. ....
With Taste Brussels Action we also try to build bridges between all of these restauratants.
Horeca is an "industry" with almost 30,000 jobs in the Brussels Region for a little more than 6,500 companies. To this we must add the deliveraciers who depend on it, freelance etc…
As in all cities of the world, every restaurant working alone on their own, there is nearly no solidarity between them.
We believe that with Slow Food somes links are possible, as trade suppliers, common purchasing, joint actions or event may be finally imaginable. Even if on the beginning we have to push them a little bit.
During this year, we will support our 25 restaurants providing them visibility through the written press with whom we have "free" partnership agreements as well as national radio and tv.
Even if it has not always been the case, the kitchen is fashionable and media like to talk about. It is not very difficult to get support from the press.
With this support and partnership with the press at the same time we can communicate on the Slow Food Movement, which is not yet well known to the general public.
This is only the beginning ... the best in coming….we hope that our way to work will be follow by other coutry and cities.
For information, I wanted to tell you that among the 25 restaurants, there is a very motivated Greek gourmet restaurant. And they even agreed to put a Belgian wine in there “carte” wich is contained only Greek wines for over 10 years ....
And I hope that you have a lot of questions..
Thank you for listening