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A Gastronomic congress with a tropical touch, plenty of cachaça and Latino enthusiasm: hosted at SENAC in Sao Paulo, the gastronomic capital city of Brazil, Semana Mesa SP is the yearly food event organized by the gourmet magazine Prazeres da Mesa with an entire issue dedicated.
This year’s theme was “Discovering the Americas”, involving chefs from Brazil, US and other Latin American Countries in 200 different activities while presenting their work. The focus was set on local produce, environmental ideas and culinary identity. The event presented two major topics: ‘Ao Vivo’ on products, wine and live cooking shows, and 'Mesa Tendencias’, on chefs with inspiring ideas, techniques and experiences, those who gave ‘food for thought’ opening doors for further discussion.
As always, the congress' aim is to inspire professionals and food lovers alike taking it a step beyond cooking demonstrations.
This is the list of ten topics people buzzed about at Semana Mesa SP 2012:
· Do not “act sustainable” to promote yourself.
. Be sincere.
· There is no good dish without an ethical product behind it.
· Food is the universal language spoken on our planet.
· We are no longer in a position to ignore the world's sustainability.
· Identity and authenticity are the driving force behind fabulous and timeless food.
· Chefs need to discover local resources and to support their local farmers and producers.
· Anyone who promotes a bad product promotes mediocrity.
·Chefs and producers need to work together to improve the quality of local produce.
· Chefs and food professionals have the power to help the planet – think outside the box.
Here are some memorable quotes:
“Food has the power to unite people, and is a common language spoken around the world. Our work can help our people, our country and also inspire the new generation. Chefs have the power to help society.”
“It is a great opportunity to cook with colleagues from other countries. It is a very enriching culinary and cultural experience.”
“Young chefs and food professionals have the possibility to change history by having a conscientious approach regarding environmental and ethical issues. We need to have a holistic approach to gastronomy.”
“We have to deal with different ingredients, and adapt to a new environment when cooking outside our country. To be out of its comfort zone is a challenge but also a very important experience for a chef. Brazil is a fascinating country full of beautiful contrasts.”
“We need to learn more about our products and explore their potential to create new possibilities.”
“Our regional products need a voice. We have a responsibility to promote them correctly, not only to exploit them for our benefit. Chefs and producers are partners. ”
“We can educate people while feeding them! We need to eat according to the seasons, and change our way of thinking. We cannot have everything. ”
“Our cuisine carries our culture. Inside a dish there are many stories, many lives, involved. We represent our regions through our product and flavours.”