Chef Casey Halpern went to Turin (Torino), Italy for Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto that that was held October 25 to 29, 2012. Terra Madre is a gathering of producers, educators, chefs and food enthusiasts from 153 countries and an opportunity for these delegates to share and learn and be inspired hosted by Slow Food International an organization “supporting good, clean, and fair food.” Chef Casey was one of the 5 Hawaii delegates to be invited to the event.
This was Chef Casey’s first trip out of the country, and he spent two weeks in Turin for this international event that happens every two years. Chef Casey met other Slow Food delegates from all over the world like Congo, Korea, and Peru.
In Italy, the cuisine is all about tradition and all about the ingredients. Chefs are passionate about their food and take their time in producing quality cuisine. Chef Casey’s favorite quote that he felt will stick with him for years was from Italian Chef Phobio Peramichalini “good food is like thousands of little caresses.”
Chef Casey soaked up a wealth of knowledge and was inspired by those he met, all he learned, and everything he ate. His biggest take home message from Italy was to focus on the ingredients and message of the Slow Food movement. Cafe Pesto and Chef Casey is already in great support of buying and supporting local, but he wants to try and do more. For example, he would like to use macadamia nut oils instead of imported oils, using more cuts of meat in his dishes, and using more local produce. The end result in buying and supporting local will increase the local food supply, help preserve local food, therefore protecting farmers and help build a more sustainable Hawaii.
Look out for new Italia inspired dishes coming soon to Cafe Pesto! Chef Casey can’t wait to return to Italy in two years for the next Terra Madre!