Standing in a circle inside Café ce Soir, each dinner guest takes a turn explaining the dish they’ve brought to this Sunday evening potluck.
Words like ‘non-GMO,’ ‘dairy free,’ ‘organic’ and ‘local’ are used frequently.
'“It’s enjoying your food, falling in love with your food again, savouring it, having conversation over the table as opposed to sitting in front of the TV while you’re eating.' - Anna Echols
Some guests go even further, detailing where they foraged the wild mushrooms, which neighbour donated the herbs for the focaccia and what Manitoba farmer raised the bison we’re all about to eat.
These 12 passionate food lovers cum activists are on a mission to resurrect the Slow Food movement in Winnipeg.
Part activism, part passion, the movement extols the virtues of eating foods that are local, fair, sustainable, chemical-free, and in turn, delicious.
“We want to teach people where food is coming from. Food is not from a bag, it’s from the farm, it’s coming from the forest,” said chef Cam Tran, the event’s co-organizer and owner of Café ce Soir.
The original Winnipeg group went dormant about four years ago. The new group has taken over the Facebook and Twitter feeds to help revive the local scene.
“Slow food is more than just cooking it slow and eating at home and supporting local business,” said Anna Echols, a local food blogger and co-organizer.
“It’s enjoying your food, falling in love with your food again, savouring it, having conversation over the table as opposed to sitting in front of the TV while you’re eating,” she said.
Eating nutritious and delicious, local food is a bit of a breakout for potluck guest Ron Robinson. The 66-year-old was twigged to the movement after becoming a regular at Café ce Soir and meeting Tran.
Besides great food, Robinson wants to “see local restaurants survive.”
The local slow food chapter needs a minimum of 20 founding members to earn official status from the international organization. An annual membership costs $90 per person or $110 for couples.
Tran said members will take tours of farms and restaurants to see how local food is grown, produced and transformed. They will learn how to forage and eat from the wild on field trips. Tran also hopes like-minded restaurateurs will offer discounts to members.