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NESFAS organises evening of fine dining with Chef Antonini

SHILLONG: Around one hundred people gathered on the lawns of the North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) for an evening of fine dining with food prepared by Italian Chef Fabio Antonini, of Pianetta Terra, Amsterdam.
Antonini who is the co-founder of Slow Food Chef’s Alliance Project in the Netherlands, while speaking to newspersons on here on Tuesday, said that it was really a matter of concern to see  people across the globe getting detached from the traditional indigenous food habits which were far more nutritious and healthy.
“The fast food culture is slowly and steadily gaining popularity among a large section of Europeans. Unfortunately, in the last 20 to 30 years people have become    detached from the idea of healthy eating. One reason why people are pushed to adapt to the fast food culture is because of stress at the workplace and because we are all too busy in making money,” Antonioni said.
He however asserted that Slow Food Chef’s Alliance was engaging in a campaign to educate people on the need to stick to traditional food habits.
“We would like to see people stick to their food traditions. It is very important that people give priority to nutritious, clean and healthy foods,” said Antonini who co-runs Pianetta Terra Restaurant in Amsterdam, an eating place which specializes in organic food items.
He said that they do not want to compete with fast food but to give people a better choice with food that is clean (grown without pesticides) good meaning that it is nutritious and fair to both the consumers and producers.
“We just want to educate people that fast food is a kind of aggression. We will like to see people return to their indigenous food habits which are more nutritious and healthy,” the well known chef from Amsterdam said.
“Our main goal is to educate people that fast food is not the food which we used to cook at home. I personally feel that food should be an enjoyable experience. We should not cook just to feed our stomachs. It should contain all necessary ingredients which will contribute to our good health,” Antonini said.
Referring to his association with NESFAS, Antonini said his project Slow Food Chef’s Alliance was also working on the slow food campaign; so the idea is to bring synergy while working for the same causes.
“Our campaign is very similar. The only difference is that we are not engaged in promoting indigenous food like NESFAS,” he said.
On the fine-dine event which was the first of its kind in Meghalaya, the Chef said the event will put the limelight on local ingredients which will be presented in global flavours which was held at the NESFAS office lawns on Tuesday night.
Antonini said that they had cooking the various food items using local ingredients unique to this part of the globe.
“We are using paneer, locally available vegetables and local meat and everything which is locally grown here. We are giving a bit of Italian touch and flavours,” he said adding that there were many new ingredients which he had never come across.
Considering the dwindling attraction that city people have for traditional food ingredients, NESFAS, through this event seeks to demonstrate that local food can be flavoured and presented with style.
Assisting Antonini were noted chefs Joel Basumatary from Nagaland and Rahul Antao from Goa, both members of  NESFAS.

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