When Taste Causeway was awarded the prestigious accolade of becoming a Slow Food destination in 2021, the response was unprecedented with many producers and hospitality businesses alike eager to gain the red snail Slow Food accreditation.
Slow Food Causeway members are spreading the word about this grassroots movement around Northern Ireland and helping accomplish a much more delicious and sustainable future through the support of local, national and international programmes.
Since the Slow Food Causeway campaign launched in November 2021, producers and businesses have put on an exciting range of events, dining experiences, tours and special menus celebrating the unique food and drink culture of the Causeway Coast.
With many events selling out in minutes, the success of the programme so far has been fantastic with nothing but positive feedback as locals opened up to a new and exciting world of all things Slow.
Despite the campaign set to end next month, here is a list of other ways that Slow Food Members can take advantage of their membership and keep the conversation going.
1.Collaborate with other Slow Food members
According to Slow Food Northern Ireland director Paula McIntyre, the more collaboration between members and their businesses, the better.
“When you collaborate you’re supporting each other and that’s vital. With meaningful collaboration, can come great success, which was the case when Broughgammon Farm collaborated with Corndale Farm to make a veal salami that eventually won the accolade of the best Slow Food product in Northern Ireland in the 2021 awards.
“Collaboration just makes everybody stronger. Collaborations are also good because everybody learns.” Paula added.
2. Attend other Slow Food events
There are so many ways you can embrace the great network that the global Slow Food movement provides. From attending festivals in Europe to trying out fellow members’ events and tastings, you can learn a lot by experiencing how other members of the network are doing things.
Paula recommends that you offer Slow Food dishes on your menu, or if you’re a producer, run Slow Food tastings.
3. Engage with Slow Food on social media
Thanks to Slow Food Causeway’s strong social media presence, it’s never been easier to get your name out there, raise your Slow Food brand awareness and increase online engagement.
Simply tag the Slow Food Causeway social media handles on any post relevant to Slow Food you write and utilise the specific hashtags on Instagram – #SlowFoodCauseway, #EmbraceAGiantSpirit, #SlowFood, #TasteCauseway and #TasteUnrivalled.
You can also tag other members in your posts who can share it onto their timelines to reach more people.
4. Host events
The Slow Food Causeway calendar has been jam packed with unique experiences that have never been seen before on the Causeway Coast, with a lot of events selling out in just minutes.
“When it comes to the events calendar for Slow Food, I think we’ve had some absolutely brilliant stuff. From the Broughgammon butchery courses, the Ursa Minor sourdough bread making, the taste of Mussenden Sea Salt at Mussenden Temple, there’s been a wonderful wealth and breadth of expertise and styles of cooking.” Paula said.
Whether it’s a supper club or cookery demonstration, the past four months have been a testament that the people of Northern Ireland are eager to get involved and try new things.
Take inspiration from past Slow Food events and use that as your guide to hosting your own Slow Food event schedule.
5. Make a clear decision
Becoming a Slow Food accredited business is not an easy feat. The application process is rigorous with Paula keen on calling businesses out for illegally putting ‘local seabass’ on menus when seabass isn’t farmed in Northern Ireland.
“You have to decide if you’re going to use proper meat or wild fish. It’s not a cheap option,It has to be a holistic approach. You have to change.”
The whole business needs to wholly embrace the Slow Food ethos which can mean putting profit aside and charging your customers more to invest in locally sourced meat, fish and other produce.
Paula urges that Slow Food cannot be done half-heartedly, so clear communication with everyone involved in the business is necessary to meet the overarching goal of a much more delicious and sustainable future for everyone.
For more information about how you can get involved with Slow Food Northern Ireland, visit https://slowfood.tastecauseway.com/ or follow the hashtags #SlowFood and #SlowFoodCauseway.