ByJOANNA MAE T. EBORDA
“TIME is gold”
A famous quote that obviously took it’s toll on people’s minds. Well, except for those of Juan Tamad’s kind, almost everyone wants to rush things out. Everything has to be done quick, in the easiest way one could pick.
Now since taking a meal or a snack at least three times a day is becoming a necessity, people have learned to prefer “fast” food. Fastfood chains sprung out and became so popular worldwide, with people disregarding the low nutritional value it provides, in exchange for it’s predictable food and efficient service.
To counteract the ever increasing pervasiveness of fast food, “Slow Food” movement, a non-profit eco-gastronomic member-supported organization was constituted on 1989 in Paris, France.
Slow Food helps people rediscover the joys of eating and understand the importance of caring where their food comes from, who makes it and how it’s made. (slowfood.com) It also campaigns against the disappearance of local food traditions and it’s good, clean and healthy cooking process.
An admirer of the Slow Food movement is Jose Maria Eliseo “Joel” Cornejo Lee, of the Cebu Permaculture Initiatives (CPI).
“Fast food is practical and convenient when you are in a hurry. But it is not usually healthy, nor is it cheap. Though it could either be fashionable or desirable, you cannot eat that way all the time.
Otherwise, you’d get sick, or broke, which ever comes first.” says Joel Lee.
Managing one of their family owned small hotels, the Elicon House, located just across the San Carlos main, was paired up with Joel Lee’s very own “Elicon Cafe”, that encompasses not just the value of slow food, but of permaculture as well.
Permaculture, in its simplest terms is learning how to team up with nature and support her processes and systems, so that nature in return can support people’s life.
“At Elicon cafe, we strive to prepare delicious and well presented local food. We prepare a different menu set that always include a selection of vegetables. Aware that the major selling point of fast food chains is their strategic location coupled with good service, we seek to efficiently serve our selection of local fare in an interesting way, and at an affordable price.” says Joel Lee.
What makes Elicon Cafe a lot more unique is its nature inspired design, and the educational games, mostly board ones, that embodies the cafe’s motto “Dine and Learn”.
Serving as the air well that allows the “natural cooling” to work for the place, an 8m indoor waterfalls was constructed at elicon. Plants around it were placed to provide cooling by transpiration, in addition to a fine mist that works by evaporative cooling in conjunction with the air flow.
Elicon cafe is also wrapped in mosaics that were handmade by their very staff. Plants also surround the cafe contributing most the natural feel of the place.
Educational tours to Lee’s nearby Kamagayan Green Zone are also conducted in the cafe, for students and enthusiasts alike.
KGZ, is lizard-shaped garden, that has organically grown vegetables, herbs and spices, corn, fruit-bearing trees and plants, and tilapia. Some beekeeping and vermiculture is also done at the site.