European Food Summit - Good food is more than just a matter of good taste

Good food is more than just a matter of good taste

Ljubljana, 19. 5. 2022

Food is the key to a better tomorrow, where every individual plays their own role. So, it's time we bring more the table. The European Food Summit, one of the most influential culinary events, will take place from 5 to 7 November 2022. The EFS will feature the stories of a wide range of intellectuals and remarkable individuals who are changing the way food is produced and consumed while encouraging progressive thinking and action for a better and more sustainable future. This time, their true stories will challenge the mechanisms and culture of the "food and hospitality business".

20% of food produced in the EU is wasted

In the EU, one of the richest communities in the world, 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually, while 38.5 million Europeans cannot afford a quality meal every second day. This results in social, environmental and economic damage, which makes the EU's responsibility to combat these issues all the greater.

The fact is that the food system has a major impact on the environment, human health and food safety. That is why, as part of its “Farm to Fork” strategy, the European Commission has carefully designed the main objectives to provide for a sustainable food system by 2030, i.e., a holistic framework encompassing the entire food chain. This means that, in the future, we will need to change the way we produce, buy and consume food if we want to impact (social, environmental and economic) sustainability. As a result, we will also improve opportunities for all players in the food chain by creating a fairer playing field and opening up new business opportunities.

Martin Jezeršek, CEO of Jezeršek Catering and organiser of the European Food Summit, explains, "The European Food Summit aims to inspire individuals and organisations throughout Europe to seize the future with their own hands and work together in order to change certain habits and practices related to nutrition. In order to further enhance the quality of the event, we have strengthened the organising team. That is why we have invited Danish researcher Afton Halloran to co-curate the European Food Summit who, as the event curator, is certain to contribute to the Summit's unparalleled content on food systems of the future. "

FOOD for a better TOMORROW

This year, the European Food Summit will place greater emphasis on the sustainability of food systems. Many of the challenges faced by our food system – like climate change and non-communicable diseases – are well known. Nevertheless, it is easy to feel paralyzed when we consider the urgency of improving the social, environmental and economic sustainability of our food systems. Luckily, in Europe and across the world, there are great minds dreaming up new ways of designing a more desirable future for food and society. They will be brought together at this year’s Summit by anindependent consultant and PhD, Afton Halloran, who has many years’ experience in the field of sustainable food systems.

At this year’s Summit, Afton Halloran, who will without a doubt be remembered for her fascinating presentation at the first European Food Summit, when she spoke on the then infamous topic that edible insects in sustainable food systems are the best opportunity to solve the most important global challenges, will take on the role of curator. She shared with us the focus of this year's event, "At this year's Summit, we will discuss topics like agrobiodiversity, the future of protein and urban food systems. We will also dive into the topic of sustainable and healthy diets as well as so called 'blue foods' or food from the seas and oceans."

The Summit curator and European Food Summit's board of experts member is once again the most influential man in the world of gastronomy, Andrea Petrini. Together with other members, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's Ambassador for gastronomy tourism and chef, Ana Roš (Hiša Franko, 2 Michelin stars), and the Director of Jezeršek Catering, Martin Jezeršek, he will once again expose Slovenia to internationally-renowned chefs and other compelling guest speakers from different fields of expertise. They will share with the Summit participants the stories based on truth, both in words and in consistent action, "Food is not what it always says it is. It might occasionally feed you up and fill up your floppy belly. But, at the end of the day, it’s just another feed. Another stimulus, another source of information (and of misinformation) in the cultural battlefield. Do not believe it if you hear that it is the new Messiah, that it can save the world, it can just make your life a bit less miserable. Beware of the so-called “food and hospitality business”. Industry it is, a machine, a spinning wheel marketing singularities and differences mostly for its benefit.

So, what if, at the European Food Summit, we try for once to swim against the tide, we think aloud, we whisper when everybody shouts. And throw in a few grains of sand. Just to slow down the machine. To put it to a halt, and point out the conformism, the opportunism, the lobbying, the fake storytelling, the gimmicks, the stale flavours of the gastronomical correctness, the flashy and empty poppiness of the pop culture, and the decaying languages of the mainstream. All those marketable profiles that are nowadays the basis of this never-ending culinary show-off. Cheer up and welcome to the third edition of the EFS. Unless we get it toooootally wrong, it’s gonna be much more fun than just binge-watching your ordinary Top Chef on TV,” Andrea Petrini was provocative in his thinking.

We need to cook up our own future

An event is only as substantial as the people behind it. This is further substantiated by the fact that the European Food Summit is attracting more and more interest from domestic and international chefs and speakers, as well as journalists and visitors.

In order to raise Slovenia’s profile as one of Europe's key gastronomic regions and Ljubljana as a unique gastronomic capital, as well as other towns and cities throughout Slovenia to establish them as an important nexus at the heart of Europe, the European Food Summit continues to be supported by partners Slovenian Tourist Board and Ljubljana Tourism. This year, as a new partner, the public agency SPIRIT Slovenia has joined the event which also strives to portray Slovenia as an exclusive boutique destination where unique entrepreneurial success stories are written based on the values of creating a better future for all of us – nature, people and the community.

We are certain that, in November, the European Food Summit will once again offer a varied three-day programme, featuring appearances by foreign experts from various fields as well as top Slovenian chefs, winemakers and unique local producers who will share with us their true stories written by life.

It's time to put everything on the table!