As previously shared, the trip I have been describing (in other posts, and more to come) was for the prime purpose of accompanying my wife to a conference she was attending as a delegate of Slow Food Edmonton. Terra Madre 2010, a meeting of world food communities, was held in Turin, Italy, from October 21 to 24, 2010, together with a world slow food fair, Salone del Gusto, which extended to October 25. My participation was as an observer, primarily meaning I was not provided with transportation, meals, accommodation, and free admission to Salone. However, while experiencing some of the events, it also allowed me to engage in other activities that made the trip very enjoyable (see my other posts and photographs). My wife was housed and fed with other delegates, about 1.5 hours away. I stayed in a hotel that was a short bus ride from the events.
Attending Terra Madre started as an opportunity to travel with my wife for a new experience in Italy. As I learned more about the slow food movement, I became even more interested in participating with the event. In addition to becoming more aware of what it was all about, I attended with the specific goal of identifying e-learning related opportunities–being my area of research interest. Here are a few ideas that I picked up that are e-learning or just learning related.
- There is a need for sharing information in areas of the world that do not have the same access to resources as in the USA and Canada.
- Teach the method of preparation rather than recipies. This allows the cook to be more creative and use what is readily available, preferably local.
- Chefs need to be networked with farmers and producers. Cross-training is needed, starting at the student levels. (My wife has talked about visiting a seed farm for cross-training.)
- Chefs need to work with, and buy from, farmers they trust.
- Teach others to be taste, rather than measurement, focused.
- Create multidisciplinary teams for research and education.
While Terra Madre is the meeting and presentation portion, one should not attend without experiencing Salone del Gusto. Arranged alphabetically by regions, exhibitors showed their products, provided samples, and sold small plates for a low price. One area was for wine tasting with hundreds available to sample (at an added price). I was there for a general overview. Sometimes I was on my own, and at others I was with my wife taking photos. There was no plan to the way I travelled around the show. However, for someone serious about specific products and comparisons, some advance planning would likely be helpful. Keep in mind, it would take many, many hours to get around, slowed by the crowds at times. The lightest traffic time I found was on the last evening of Terra Madre, prior to the last day of Salone del Gusto.