Last week and the Swedish Residence in Tirana, a group of food enthusiasts, sustainability activists, bloggers, journalists, and nutritionists met for an “Eat Smart” event.
Organised by Denisa Allimani and supported by the Swedish Institute and the Embassy of Sweden in Tirana, guests enjoyed a series of talks and cooking demonstrations with a focus on sustainability.
First on the agenda was a demonstration of how to make gourmet meals from leftovers by Swedish chef Lars Ekberg. He showed guests how to make a three-course meal from fruit and veg near their use-by date, and how to create spectacular flavours from the simplest of ingredients.
The next stop was a series of talks by slow food activists Dhurata Thanasi, TV presenter and nutritionist Hilda Gorica, food blogger and TV presenter Mirela Andoni, and food waste startup organiser and activist Bers Gjashta
Topics included changes we can make every day in our eating and shopping habits, reducing waste, supporting local Albanian products and producers, and of course, the general joy of lovely food and drink.
Those in attendance then enjoyed samples of the food prepared during the demonstration and wine from the Tirana-based Allimani winery.
Swedish Ambassador Elsa Hastad received guests and also spoke about her love of eating fresh and local. She said that since she arrived in the embassy residence, they have banned red meat, grow their own vegetables and herbs, and cook using sustainable and organic ingredients. Hastad spoke of her happiness to see the broad-reaching scope and ambitions of the Albanian “pioneers of sustainability.”
The event also marked the start of the Eat Smart 7 Day Challenge. Over the course of a week, participants are asked to change their food habits in different ways. For example by going vegetarian for a day or ditching processed foods and cooking from scratch.
Note: The event took place before the rule on mandatory wearing of face masks was enforced.