Martins Ritins is a pioneer of the international “Slow Food” movement in Latvia. In 1996, together with Dainis Abolins, who also shared his views, he founded the association “Slow Food Riga”. Today the association includes more than 70 members from all around Latvia. They are producers, entrepreneurs and farmers, young people and teachers, gourmets and supporters of the idea, housewives and diplomats – all those, to whom it is important, what we eat and how it has come to us. Association “Slow Food Riga” is involved in several international projects – Dream Canteen, 4Cities4Development, Terra Madre, etc.
The main principles of the association “Slow Food Riga” are to preserve, maintain and promote the further development of all what is given to us by traditionally grown products from Latvia. To ensure direct delivery from a farmer’s barn to a chef, to a buyer at "Slow Food" and farmers’ markets. Peasant, stockman and fisherman who grow and cater products for us receiving for their work adequate payment can devote their life to the traditional way of producing food and be eager to provide us with the best, seasonal and high quality foods.
To chefs supporting the philosophy of “Slow Food” traceability of the product is very important – food is bought directly from farmers without mediation of any dealers and middlemen. Consequently, mutual relations are not lost and we know everything about each product – what it is, where and under what conditions it has grown and who did it. This is product “from the ground to the table”. The restaurant guests, too, can get all information about food served to them in the restaurant “Vincents” – about cattle or poultry breed and vegetables, from which farm product came, when it is harvested and how long was its way to the plate. This is very personal approach to food and also very informative and useful for everyone who cares about what they eat. “We are what we eat.”
We cooperate with farmers for years and our co-development is a guarantee we provide to our guests; we visited all our suppliers and we may consider them our friends.