The Slow Revolutionary

Who can resist the laid-back elegance of Carlo Petrini? The huge smile, the twinkling eye, the enthusiastic gestures as he talks — he's a seducer, the Don Juan of the food world. He has changed the way we think about eating.

In 1986, Petrini founded an association called Slow Food in Barolo, a town in the wine country of the Piedmont region. The organization grew out of a protest against the opening of a McDonald's in Rome, and dedicated itself to the protection of traditional foods and agricultural biodiversity. "The movement was almost like a game at first;...

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