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Article repost from Incentive Travel and Corporate Meetings

Relais & Châteaux, the world’s leading association of landmark hotels and restaurants, is delighted to announce a global partnership with Slow Food, an international grassroots organisation in 160 countries that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment.

From this month until the end of the year, Relais & Châteaux will celebrate Food for Change, in partnership with Slow Food, with a series of events, menus and chef participation around the world. By taking part in these activities, Relais & Châteaux hopes to combat climate change and protect biodiversity.

Relais & Châteaux 550 members have a driving desire to protect and promote the richness and diversity of the world’s cuisine and traditions of hospitality. As encompassed in Relais & Châteaux’s Vision presented at the UNESCO in 2014, the association is committed to preserving local heritage and the environment. In cooking local and seasonal produce, eliminating meat from industrial livestock production, or having a fully vegetarian approach, Relais & Châteaux properties can significantly help reduce their carbon footprint. Through Food for Change, Relais & Châteaux hopes to inspire people around the world to be more mindful about our food system, which is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Relais & Châteaux is proud to count some of the most acclaimed chefs in the world as members. Their reputation within the hospitality industry and beyond means that these individuals are true influencers and together have the power to affect real change. This was seen in the petition, signed by Relais & Châteaux chefs in January 2018, which saw electric fishing banned by the EU.

Founder of Slow Food Carlo Petrini says “Climate change is a fact that we cannot deny anymore. It is, instead, a challenge that we have to face in our everyday life. What we put on our plate plays a larger role in contributing to climate change than the car we drive. In our #FoodForChange campaign, we launch a call to Relais & Chateaux chefs from all over the world to help us spread this important message, creating sustainable menus that can raise awareness about the quality and the food chain of every ingredient.”

Speaking about the partnership Relais & Châteaux President Philippe Gombert said “More than just an association, Relais & Châteaux is now a movement committed to defending biodiversity and the environment. Food is at the crossroads of political, economic and social issues, so we have a role to play in health and culture. Relais & Châteaux campaigns alongside NGOs such as Slow Food, for the protection of biodiversity and to help our members successfully address these issues.”

As a result of this partnership, Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic will celebrate from the 4th to the 7th of October, the Slow Food Festival.

Menus for Change, Global Initiative, 4- 7 October
Across the entire Relais & Châteaux network, chefs will be invited to prepare Slow Food-validated menus for guests to experience in their respective restaurants. Dishes will showcase sustainable ingredients highlighting the association’s commitment to committed to preserving local heritage and the environment as well as creating awareness of Slow Food’s mission to inspire change for good, clean and fair food for all.

What is Slow Food and why this partnership?

Slow Food is a global organization founded in 1989 to challenge fast food and fast life.

A partnership to:

1) Combat climate change

2) Protect the biodiversity of animals and plants

Food production is responsible for 30% of the world’s climate change

By creating a “sustainable menu, good for the climate”,  the chefs, become actors of change!

What actions will be taken by Relais Chateaux properties?

  1. All year long Relais Chateaux properties will create at least one of the following sustainable menus, “Menu for Change”, “Menu Act for the Climate”:
  1. i) “Natural”
  2. ii) “Plantonly”

Menus will be validated by Slow Food, in coordination with Relais & Châteaux HQ

What are the criteria for creating these sustainable menus?

  1. i) “Act for the Climate Menu” : “Natural”

‐ Cut down on meat products and eliminate any meat from industrial livestock production

‐ Use of seafood by following the Ethical Ocean Seafood Guidelines

‐ Reduced animal‐based content by cooking with more legumes and plant‐based ingredients

‐ Use of local ingredients from within a 50 km radius

‐ Cook with seasonal ingredients

‐ Use of organic products if locally available

‐ Fight food waste by applying a zero waste policy

‐ Natural wine pairing

  1. ii) “Act for the Climate Menu” : “Plantonly”

All‐vegetarian menu that meets the same criteria: short supply channels and organic seasonal produce