In Conversation with Carlo Petrini at la Birreria
Born in 1949 in the small town of Bra, northern Italy, Carlo Petrini is a journalist, author and advocate for a sustainable food system and has been working since the 1980’s to promote eco-gastronomy. On December 9, 1989 in Paris, the Slow Food Manifesto was signed by over twenty delegations from around the world, and Petrini was elected president, an office he still holds today.
Thanks to his far-sighted vision, Petrini has played a decisive role in the development of Slow Food, inventing and promoting its projects, which have now acquired great international visibility. Among his many achievements is the creation of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo (near Bra), the first academic institution to offer an interdisciplinary approach to food studies. He was also behind the creation of Terra Madre, a network of over 2,000 food communities that brings together small-scale farmers, fishers, artisans, chefs, young people, academics and experts from more than 150 countries. Carlo Petrini travels around the world taking part in conferences, meeting communities of the Terra Madre network, holding lectures in renowned universities including Ivy League institutions, and has been invited to take part in discussions on food sustainability and agriculture within EU institutions and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
As a journalist he regularly contributes to La Repubblica, one of Italy’s largest daily newspapers, discussing themes such as sustainable development, culture, gastronomy, and the relationship between food and the environment. Prior to La Repubblica, Petrini wrote for the national newspapers Il Manifesto and La Stampa. All revenue from journalistic activities is reinvested in Slow Food.
Carlo Petrini is also the author of various books: The Case for Taste (2001); Slow Food Revolution (2005); Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should be Good, Clean and Fair (2007, translated into English, French, Spanish, German, Polish, Portuguese, Japanese and Korean from the Italian original); Terra Madre (2011, translated into English, French and German). In his latest book, “Cibo e libertà. Slow Food: storie di gastronomia per la liberazione” (2013), currently available only in Italian, Petrini recounts a series of gastronomic stories collected during his long experience as a traveler, which demonstrate how food can become an instrument for liberation from hunger, malnutrition and the nowadays omnipresent phenomenon of the “homogenization of thought”.
Petrini's contribution to the discussion on the sustainability of food and agriculture in relationship to gastronomy has been acknowledged by the academic world. In 2003, the Istituto Universitario Suor Orsola Benincasa of Naples conferred on him an honorary degree in Cultural Anthropology, and in May 2006 he received an honorary degree in Human Letters from the University of New Hampshire (USA) for his achievements as a ‘revolutionary precursor [and] founder of the University of Gastronomic Sciences’. Petrini’s work was further recognized by the University of Palermo in 2008, when he was awarded an honorary degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies.
Carlo Petrini’s outstanding contributions in the field of the environment and sustainable development have also been recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme, which named him Co-Winner of the 2013 Champion of the Earth Award for “Inspiration and Action”.
His skills as a communicator and the originality and importance of his message, implemented through Slow Food projects around the world, have aroused the interest of international opinion leaders and media. In 2004 he was named a 'European Hero' by Time magazine, and in January 2008 he was the only Italian to appear in the list of ‘50 People Who Could Save the World’ drawn up by the prestigious British newspaper The Guardian.
At EatalyNY Birreria
Wed, Apr 22, 8:45AM - 10:15AM
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