During the second part of this year’s Area Talks event, we raised a very important topic with our guests. Eric Vildgaard (Jordnær, Denmark), Leonor Espinosa (Leo, Colombia), Alexandra Forbes (GQ Brasil), Dabiz Muñoz (DiverXO, Spain), and Małgosia Minta (Vogue, Poland) honored us with their presence. The moderator was the irreplaceable Rafael Tonon (Eater, Brazil). We touched on the difficult topic of political correctness.
From meat produced without suffering to “sustainable” practices, the restaurant industry is fast embracing politically correct speech. But what does it mean? What are the challenges of politically correct speech? What’s the deal with this political correctness? So, to quote psychologists, the answer would be “it depends on the situation”. As Małgosia Minta stated, political correctness depends on many things, it is different in different situations. It is not a natural thing. Political correctness and incorrectness as a concept is constantly evolving – as rightly noticed by Alexandra Forbes. Political incorrectness has a completely different meaning today than, say, 10 years ago. Is it hypocritical that the culinary industry is changing under the influence of global trends? We don’t think so. The world is constantly changing and people are changing. Chefs, too. And “what are the real benefits of a politically correct approach?” asked Rafael Tonon. I see at least an effort for more significant equity, or an attempt to embrace other minorities. As our speakers noted, many issues were not of much significance to us as people in the past. Are they important now? Maybe it’s not only about political correctness?
David Munoz stated that the most important thing is not the opinion itself, but the way we express it. In today’s world, the distance between people has decreased significantly through social media. This is not always a good phenomenon, as we are no longer politically correct and often uncultured. For David, the most important thing is to speak in a way that does not hurt people. While discussing this topic, one could not ignore the discussion on sustainable development. What is it for our interlocutors? For Erica Kragh Vildgaard, sustainable development also means good living and working conditions. We should not always look globally; sometimes it is worth taking a look at our immediate surroundings.
Leonor Espinosa’s wonderful appeal also took place during the interview. “Let’s involve women in the kitchen!” she said. There are still too many barriers for women who want it. We agree very much with that. Women are just as great in the kitchen as men … And on this real and politically correct note, we would like to invite you to next year’s Area Talks!