The Boulder campus of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts proudly supported the global slow food movement as a premier volunteer partner at the prominent Slow Food Nations festival on July 13-15, 2018. The three-day event, which took place on Larimer Square in Denver, Colorado, helps connect farmers, chefs, artisans and food lovers dedicated to increasing awareness of locally-grown agriculture. Twenty-nine students and graduates volunteered a total of 493 hours, working alongside globally-renowned chefs and slow food experts from around the world.
The Escoffier volunteers assisted in preparing, cooking and plating a wide variety of different dishes for over 20,000 of the festival’s total guests. Chef Eric Lee, a consultant and executive chef for Wendell’s in Denver, said the Escoffier students were an integral part of the kitchen’s efficiency and that he was very impressed with the way the Escoffier volunteers handled the pressure.
“I worked with a large number of Escoffier students at various stages of their education program over the course of three grueling days in the Slow Foods 2018 commissary kitchen,” Lee said. “I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years and in that time I’ve worked with many students pre and post-graduation. The Escoffier students were among the most competent, well trained group I have had the privilege to work with.”
The festival is hosted by Slow Food, a global, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting locally-grown agriculture and educating on how the food you eat affects the environment and saving dwindling local, regional, national and worldwide food cultures. Since its beginnings in 1989, Slow Food has grown into a worldwide movement involving millions of people to guarantee everyone has access to ethically grown food.
One of the key draws of the festival is their numerous workshops, seminars and chef demonstrations promoting local, seasonal and sustainable food. Students and graduates had the opportunity to assist and attend several of these events, furthering their education on farm-to-table fare.
Dana Glick, a current student at Escoffier, stated that the most rewarding part of the experience was “the community [and] being part of something bigger.”
The Escoffier culinary school’s relationship with farm-to-table food and sustainable agriculture has long been a core value in its curriculum. Many culinary students are able to participate in a unique Farm to Table® Experience that allows them to work hand-in-hand with local organic farmers and artisans, gaining firsthand knowledge imperative to success in today’s kitchens.