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Traditional, local products and innovation

Posted 4 years ago in SFYN Blogs

It has been almost two years since the SFYN movement arrived to the middle of the world, Ecuador. Since then, an amazing group of young enthusiasts have been working to change the way we view, eat and appreciate food, I have the honor to be in front of such an amazing team, but we know our task has just begun.  My name is Gonzalo Carvajal I´m 21 years old, and a culinary arts student and this is our story.

We are currently living in an era in which innovation and creation are required, but what happens when our innovation begins leaving aside the identity of a dish, an ingredient, a preparation or even the essence of what local food should be?

SFYN Ecuador tries to answer these and many more questions, all based on the philosophy of a good, clean and fair food system. Working together with young cooks, professional chefs, students, kids, and most important of all, famers, we try to bring people back to their roots. This is accomplished not only through sharing information with them, but also by allowing them to embrace all the knowledge that is behind our traditions, our products and the history and insight that the amazing world that slow food can provide.

Here is where the challenge stands for our future ooks in Ecuador: finding the best mixture and blend of traditions, local ingredients and innovation, and bringing them together to be consummated into one delicious bite. By making people understand what it is that we are offering, and how with a simple bite, we can explain not only where we come from, but where we want to go with our gastronomy.

This is the main goal we are focused on, connecting flavors with memory and nostalgia and making people remember the taste of food their mothers gave them as children. We want people to inspire people to appreciate local products and demand the responsible cultivation of them, making our culinary heritage something to be proud of. Further more, we want to create a future in which not only our local products are treasured, but also where our cooking methods are preserved and distributed, and where the knowledge passed down from our older generations is properly collected and distributed so that our food system can be one of good, clean, and fair food that truly supports our culture and traditions.

We know that, if we work together, we can achieve these and many more goals that we have set for these years. The most important of which are to work as a team and to build networks which provide support among ourselves and the amazing collaborators we have in Ecuador, such as María Jose Navarrete, Gabriela Miño, Daniel Samaniego. This teamwork will be what allows all of these ideas come true. Some of us may focus on the rescue of traditional and ancestral seeds and the correct farming system needed to cultivate them, while others may develop recipes, dishes and information to spread the use of these plants. There will be others still who will bring the SFYN and Slow Food philosophy to other people, we don’t have one single task here at home, but that is what makes the ride as fun and rewarding as it is.

How about we begin talking about what we eat, and start changing the world one table at a time!