“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
– JRR Tolkien
Today is Victoria’s Chef Survival Challenge! Billed as a cross between Iron Chef and Tough Mudder, it promises to be a downright hoot. http://chefsurvivalchallenge.com/index.html
The ties that draw back to community, that revolve around locally grown food are amazingly ritualistic and atavistic. Like dancing around a fire, it’s primal to delight in the offerings nature provides. We lived in Italy for 6 years in the hills of Tuscany and Florence. When we first arrived, we were curious about several signs regularly posted throughout the year like “Sagra del Chianina” “Sagra del porchetta”, “Sagra del vino chianti.” What on Earth were these Sagra all about? Sagra comes from the religious connotation of feast or celebration. It has been diluted to mean festival, feast. Sagra di Fungi Porcini was a common one. The Sagra brings community together in an informal celebration of local food.
We attended several of the Italian Sagra over the years. Sometimes a band would play, but mostly they are a stuff-your-face event. (In case you were wondering- No pie or porcini-eating contests – the Italians are much too elegant for that)
Chef Survival Challenge in Victoria is a tradition similar to the Sagra but more entertaining. There will be obstacle courses, a cooking competition by local top chefs, food foraging by said local top chefs who pick food that they cook. Local celebrities will attended. Andrew Weaver is scheduled to speak. I have been asked to sing This Earth is Mine! The vegetables fruits, berries and mushrooms from Madrona farm are sustainably grown; Nathalie is a passionate advocate for Bees and Biodiversity. This event is to support Nathalie’s Chamber’s Big Dream Farm Fund and Farmland Conservation. I can’t think of a worthier cause to support – whilst having fun – I’ve been looking forward to this for months!
I will report back after the next Style-Diet Shot.