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Slow Food Nations was a major international food festival hosted in Denver, CO from 2017-2019. As one of America’s great food cities, Denver stands out for its collaborative spirit. Chefs, restaurateurs, producers and eaters all flocked to the greater Denver area, making it a hub for a new and innovative food movement. 


Where Tradition Meets Innovation: 2019 SLOW FOOD NATIONS

Slow Food Nations wrapped up its final edition in 2019 after three days of workshops, talks and parties focused on Where Tradition Meets Innovation. It is clear that Slow Food is embracing new ways of thinking about how to work together collaboratively across the world for a delicious revolution.

The farmer and the chef play pivotal roles in reimagining the food system to be good, clean and fair for all

At the Chef Summit, chef Eric Skokan challenged the room: “Create one relationship with one farmer. Invite them into the restaurant for a beer after a hot day. Buy their good stuff. Buy their bad stuff and be creative with it.” Farmer Paul Willis agreed: “Anytime you have a chance to meet a farmer, have a conversation.” Chef Alice Waters called out “fast-food farming” and asked chefs and farmers to engage schools: “I would like all of you chefs to think about what school lunch can be. What do children love? What would be culturally diverse and simple to make? Let’s make school lunch an academic subject.” At the Colorado Fare Block Party, we tasted the magic that can happen when purveyors from across Colorado are paired with chefs to present a delicious foodscape of the state. 

We can vote with our forks

Individuals have a collective power to make real change, beginning with what we eat. A first (and fun!) step is to get to know who is producing your food. The Slow Food Nations Taste Marketplace brought in small-scale producers to meet consumers face to face to sample and buy new products. The Grain Chain let kids and adults alike explore how grains are grown and processed. One visitor from Chicago said, “I’ve always tried to align my values, but the more I learn, the more I realize there’s room for improvement.”

Sharing food traditions gives us common ground to connect and learn 

At the Leader Summit, John Kariuki from Kenya gave closing remarks that illustrated the centrality of working together across cultures: “We all share the responsibility for the future, and as Slow Food in Africa we believe in collaboration and not aid. Our combined efforts can increase the global cooperation, awareness, grassroots interventions and push policy markers towards a more sustainable future.” From chef Regina Escalante’s Taste of the Yucatán Peninsula session, to chef Pierre Thiam digging into fonio from Senegal, and indigenous youth presenting on a sustainable future, the values of equity, inclusion and justice resonated throughout the festival footprint.

Slow Food Nations: History of Barbecue

Dr. Howard Conyers grew up in South Carolina on the same soil labored on by his ancestors, those that were enslaved, and sharecroppers. Cooking his first whole hog at age eleven, he collected stories of a tradition learned from his father, using techniques perfected...

Teen Perspective from Slow Food Nations

Michaela Koski’s visit to Slow Food Nations 2018 and the Leaders Summit reinforced in her that change can happen at any age.

Slow Food Nations: A Festival Snapshot

As the dust settles from an exhilarating festival weekend, we are beginning to piece together the feedback from partners, participants, exhibitors, and attendees.