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Edinburgh Larder - Slow food, big tables
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Edinburgh Larder Bistro
Blackfriars Street

The slow food movement was founded in 1989 by Carlo Petrini in Italy. He saw a plan by McDonald's to open on the Spanish steps in Rome as an attack on culture and promptly organised a demonstration where people brandished bowls of penne as 'weapons of protest'. Slow food was duly born with the aim of protecting ‘the pleasures of the table from the homogenisation of modern fast food and life’. 

The movement is now international with a presence in 150 countries through a network of local ‘convivia’.   

Slow food supports various projects, and the Edinburgh chapter is currently running ‘Big Tables’, dinners hosted by chefs and producers with speakers and discussion. 

The venue for these Big Table dinners is the Edinburgh Larder, and they are themed around author Michael Pollen’s quote 'Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants'. 
At the February event, the guest speaker was Charlotte Maberly, lecturer on and co-creator of the Queen Margaret University MSc Gastronomy, who opened the evening and talked about veganism and ‘veganuary’.

The seasonal four-course meal comprised savoury herb-infused broth with beremeal (an ancient grain name-checked for preservation in Slow Food’s ‘Ark of Taste’) noodles, sweetheart cabbage stuffed with barley and pork belly from local charcuterie company East Coast cured, Lawson’s black pudding gnocchi and rhubarb pâte de fruits with oaty biscuits.  Chefs Steve Brown and Marcus O Shea were at the helm in the kitchen.  

With full bellies, we resumed our chat about veganism, health and farming.

The night was delightful and interactive, and I would recommend that anyone interested should book seats quickly; £14.50 Slow Food members and  £16.50 non -members. The March event is sold out, but it's still possible to book the April one (Thursday 25th) so hurry up! (E. Vanello)

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