Taitung County Government Presents Taitung Slow Food Festival
TAIPEI, Taiwan: The slow food movement has taken Taitung, Taiwan by storm. Over recent years, the concept of slow food has merged with the high-quality agricultural products of Taitung to form a series of events highlighting localization and sustainability. The recent completion of a chef tour provided an opportunity for Taitung and Japan to join hands promoting the concept of safe food and sustainability.
Situated on the east coast, Taitung is nestled between the sea and mountains. The Slow Food Festival has attracted worldwide recognition and has become a tandem that lets the world get a taste of Taitung. Drawing support from other counties, OIGEN from Japan, who specializes in ironware and boasts a 167-year history, cooperated with Taitung County Government to organize a chef tour and lecture.
This 2-day event brought the slow food movement to a worldwide level and was a gateway for an international exchange of culture, sustainability concepts, and delicious food. Taking place on December 4 and 5, this tour invited Chef Masayuki Okuda of the Slow Food Association International Headquarters and Chef Manabu Tsuchida from Yamagata San-Dan-Delo Restaurant in Tokyo to exchange with Chef Nick Yang of Changbin. Nick studied French cuisine and became the first Chinese manager of a Michelin 3-star restaurant in Marseilles. He returned to Changbin to open a French-style restaurant infused with local ingredients.
Showcasing creative cuisine with local ingredients and OIGEN's newly-released cast iron, the chefs toured agricultural areas and markets to source ingredients for the friendly cook-off that produced unique and creative dishes. The Japanese chefs fell in love with the plethora of local products - particularly Roselle. They noted that the climate in Taitung was perfect for producing amazing quality agriculture and that even without adding many spices, the food turned out scrumptious because of the quality fruits and vegetables utilized.
The county government first held the "Seasonal Food Festival" in 2015, which focused on presenting special agricultural products, creative cuisine, and tribal village tours. The transition to slow food focuses on providing a farm-to-table experience and promoting sustainable practices. Taitung’s slow pace of life fits with the spirit of the Japanese chefs and OIGEN.
This cook-off was a warm-up for the upcoming Taitung Slow Food Festival that kicked off on December 7 and 8 at Fantasy Tiehua. For more information, check out the official website.