Freedom of thought and sharing: this is the future of food

We’ve been to Helsinki to Sauce Forum, which summoned more or less famous people from the international food scene

09-10-2018

The fourth edition of Sauce Forum took place in the Finnish capital, Helsinki

A few weeks ago, in Helsinki the fourth edition of Sauce Forum took place. Sauce is, in the words of its founder, Pauliina Pirkola, an «international community that unites restaurant professionals and all those who are interested in the future of food, focusing on education, networking, and the sharing of collective resources».

Having already participated in a previous edition, in Tallinn, I must say that even this time Sauce confirmed to be one of the most useful meetings in this field: the speakers are not the usual names, the themes covered are the most varied, the freedom of thought and of word is virtually unlimited – this year on stage we went from food tourism to social eating.

 

A photo depicting some of the professionals who participated in Sauce in Helsinki

A photo depicting some of the professionals who participated in Sauce in Helsinki

Here are two highlights from the conference and the previous days.

- NO BORDERS
TheNo Borders Dinner, organised on the day before the conference, was one of the most intense moments. Syrian Mohamad Orfali, Turkish Maksut Askar and Polish Adrian Klonowskicooked together with Startup Refugees where some young migrants work. A beautiful moment, sharing thoughts and dishes, all inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine. «When I attended culinary school in Aleppo I did not learn my cuisine, Syrian cuisine – said Orfali from the stage, the following day at the conference – our art of cooking is inspired by centuries of different civilizations that have followed one another in Syria. We didn’t even know how to describe it».

 

Mohamad Orfali

Mohamad Orfali

The importance of food in going beyond borders, and most of all as a way to reclaim one’s identity for people at war was described by Souk El Tayeb, the founder of the first farmers’ market in Beirut, who from the stage pointed out how food is «an expression of who we are and where we come from. We forget to look at our similarities beyond our differences. Eating and cooking, all around the world, are an act of sharing, care, nourishment».

This was a particularly interesting discussion to be held in Finland, where a restaurant out of six is ethnic and where the contribution of immigration to the local culinary scene has been constantly documented since the Fifties.

- BOOKS ARE NOT DEAD
Those who think that the culinary publishing industry is at a standstill and complain about the publishers’ lack of courage, their low desire to risk in new and original editorial projects, must change their mind. During Sauce we came across two very interesting books. 

 

"We, chefs", by Joao Wengorovius

"We, chefs", by Joao Wengorovius

One is "We, Chefs" by Portuguese Joao Wengorovius, who travelled around the world for four years and met 21 of the best chefs from every latitude, from Helena Arzak to Virgilio Martinez, to André Chiang to our Massimo Bottura. He reported on these conversations in this big book with beautiful photographs, focusing on their being something else, rather than chefs - narrators, entrepreneurs, artisans, activists… - and on 33 concepts that emerge in all their stories: stories of paradox and rebirth, of resilience and serendipity. 

The other is "Nordic by Nature". It’s a literary trip to the cold North experienced by the four young, hipster and Scandinavian guys from Borderless Co. to overcome the stereotypes often associated with Nordic cuisine, assessing its latest evolution and discussing it with people like Matt Orlando or Claus Meyer. Just consider: to do so, they arrived up to Greenland.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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