Chefs and cooks have a powerful influence – from supporting small producers to influencing what we eat, from education to community projects, and beyond. Slow Food’s Scottish Chef Alliance recognises and supports those efforts as they help to build a ‘good, clean and fair’ food culture in Scotland.
Slow Food Scotland Chef Alliance joins similar Slow Food networks from countries as diverse as Albania and Canada, Mexico and Italy and now numbers over 550 chefs.
In order to be part of the Alliance, chefs must, for example, meet protocols such as using Ark of Taste* products, supporting small local producers, being transparent about sourcing with their customers and engaging with local Slow Food groups, all in the spirit of ‘good, clean and fair’ food.
Chef and food writer, Wendy Barrie, has been recognised for supporting these values and has recently been appointed as a member.
Wendy is no stranger to local food culture from organising food events, producing recipe booklets, developing sustainable cooking course and later becoming chief inspector for a national food guide. She has also worked with East Ayrshire Council on their trail blazing school lunches and was twice invited to Italy by Slow Food to share good practice.
Inspired to collaborate more with artisan producers and like-minded chefs, Wendy founded her own food guides Scottish Food Guide in 2002 and Scottish Cheese Trail in 2004. She has also won the Food Tourism Catering in Scotland Excellence Award. Dedicated to biodiversity and food heritage, Wendy was invited to Slow Food’s inaugural Terra Madre 2004 and was deeply moved by the experience.
At Scotland’s Royal Highland Show, she manages the theatres in Scotland’s Larder Live; organising their Scottish Bread Championships she co-founded in 2017 with Scotland the Bread, and supporting their Dairy Championships with artisan cheese tasting. Her collaboration with local producers and chefs extends to commissions in France and Scandinavia.
Wendy is also Scotland’s Leader for the Slow Food Ark of Taste.
*The Ark of Taste programme aims to catalogue and promote quality products from around the world that are rooted in culture, history and tradition and that are in danger of disappearing. It seeks to re-discover an extraordinary heritage of fruits, vegetables, animal breeds, cheeses, breeds, sweets, cured meats, and much more. Products that feature on Scotland Ark List is everything from Reestit mutton and Native Shetland Lamb to beremeal, peasemeal and the Musselburgh Leek.
Footnote: Wendy Barrie is a current member of the REHIS council, REHIS congratulate her on her new role.