SCCC hosts 'slow food' event celebrating Terra Madre Day

Schenectady County Community College will join a network of organizations worldwide hosting events as part of Terra Madre (Mother Earth) Day to bring awareness about the Slow Food movement's philosophy of good, clean and fair food. The event, A Gathering of Local Food Communities, will be on Monday, Dec. 13, from 1 to 9 p.m. at the college campus.

The event will bring together local farmers, chefs, students, culinary instructors, farmers market representatives and food activists to share their successes, issues and stories surrounding food. Some of the planned activities are a panel discussion, mini trade show, tasting of local products and cooking demonstrations.

Chef Rocco Verrigni, professor in Culinary Arts Department at SCCC, will kick off the event at 1 p.m. with a presentation of his recent visit to the international Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy. Over 6,000 educators, chefs, youth and musicians from 161 countries attended the event. Verrigni's trip was the inspiration for the event at the college.

Terra Madre was like the United Nations and the Olympics rolled into one. Despite speaking many different languages, the participants were united in a desire to promote sustainable local food production in harmony with the environment while respecting knowledge handed down over the generations, said Verrigni. "I wanted to share that sentiment and what I learned at the international conference with students, my colleagues and the community through an event at the College."

Culinary arts students at the college are helping organize the event through the Slow Food SCCC club in collaboration with Slow Food Saratoga. Verrigni is also advisor to the club and co-founder and vice president of Slow Food Saratoga Region. Verrigni said he is invigorated by the energy and commitment his students have shown toward the Slow Food philosophy.

"It's obvious that the youth food movement is alive and well globally and our students exemplify this momentum. Out of all of the workshops I attended at the international conference, the most enthusiasm was generated from the youth workshops," he said.

The event is free and for an updated schedule of activities for the day visit www.slowfoodsccc.blogspot.com . To read The Spotlight's previously published story "Terra Madre highlights food sustainability," which is about Verrigni's trip to Italy and the Terra Madre conference, click here .""

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