Culinary Careers and the Art of Slowing Down

Slow Food Gains Momentum

It's only natural that those who are passionate about culinary art adhere to a philosophy that encourages people to savor their meals. But chefs aren't the only people joining the movement; the group now boasts more than 80 thousand members in more than 850 chapters worldwide. In the U.S. alone there are 70 chapters across 40 states, with 12,500 paying members.

Celebrity Chef Endorses Slow Food

Chef Alice Waters, an International Governor of Slow Food, is one of the most vocal Slow Food proponents. She founded Chez Panisse in Berkeley with Slow Food in mind, and it has since been named "The Best Restaurant in America" by both the James Beard Foundation and by Gourmet magazine. According to Waters, "The culture of fast food is everywhere. We're swallowed up by it." Chez Panisse is her response to a culture crisis.

Chefs Juggle Politics and Budgets

Even those who are passionate about changing the way people view their food have to mind the bottom line, and most chefs won't risk sweeping philosophical changes that could cost them their culinary careers. Many find a middle ground by looking for local sources and letting the seasons guide their menu choices. For example, they might use strawberries in June, blueberries in July, peaches in August, and apples in October.

Every chef-in-training must decide which culinary philosophies appeal to them. If you hope to serve those who can truly appreciate your work, look to the pioneers of the Slow Food Movement for a bit of inspiration.