DENVER (CBS4) – For the third year, Slow Food USA is hosting its food festival in Denver. This year’s theme is “Where Tradition Meets Innovation,” and the festival will feature cooking demonstrations, tastings, speaker discussions, block parties, and a Zero Waste Community Dinner to round out the weekend.

(credit Slow Food USA)

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Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization that started in 1989 as a reaction to fast, low quality food. The organization has chapters all over the world dedicated to promoting good, clean, fair foods. Ingredients are delicious, sourced in environmentally and socially responsible ways. There are 150 chapters in the United States, including one in Denver.

Chef Pierre Thaim will be hosting a couple of events at the festival, including a tasting of fonio, a traditional Senegalese grain that he’s working to bring to the world.

Chef Regina Escalante Bush (credit CBS)

Chef Regina Escalante Bush will be making tacos that she hopes will expand people’s palettes.

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“I want them to really taste what Mexico is about. My restaurant is called Merci. I do a mix of everything, but I’m extremely proud of my roots and of Mexico,” Escalante Bush told CBS4.

The Slow Food Nations Festival brings together leaders in all aspects of the food chain. Workshops and discussions will focus on topics like regenerative agriculture and sustainable seafood, indigenous food and culture, food waste, and biodiversity.

(credit Slow Food USA)

“Being chefs, we have a responsibility to really communicate and talk about what we’re doing to our customers, and our staff. I’m really proud today to have more than 30 people working at our restaurants that are there for more than just a job, they’re there because they’re really inspired by our values and what we do,” Escalante Bush explained.

LINK: For a Slow Food Nations Festival Schedule of Events

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The Slow Food Nations Festival kicks off Friday, July 19th with the Colorado Fare Block Party. There are events from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.