Passing the word about Slow Food

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by devotay, May 14, 2001.

  1. devotay

    devotay

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    Slow Food Iowa is our the local chapter (or "Convivium") of the Slow Food movement, an international organization dedicated to preserving and revitalizing the flavors of the world. The Italian association was founded in 1986 and its birth was celebrated in Barolo in the Langhe district in the province of Cuneo. The international movement was founded in Paris in 1989.

    The definition contained in its Manifesto conveys a very clear message: a movement for the protection of the right to taste.

    If Slow Food has grown into a large-scale international movement, with over 60,000 members in all five continents (of whom about half in Italy), it is precisely because the concept of 'pleasure' is a complex one encompassing many meanings and involving many aspects of our existence.

    Slow Food's main offices, situated in Bra (Cuneo), a small town in southern Piedmont, employ about 100 people. They are the hub of a close-knit network of local grassroots offices in Italy and abroad, the so-called convivia, which promote the movement by staging events, debates and other initiatives. Thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of their managers, collaborators and members, they provide continuous feedback to the central offices in Bra.
    Slow Food also boasts a publishing company, Slow Food editore, which specializes in tourism, food and wine. Its catalogue now contains about 40 titles and it also publishes Slow, 'a herald of taste and culture', in five languages: Italian, English, French, German and Spanish.

    Slow Food promotes scores of projects and activities, which range from Le Tavole Fraterne (or Friendship Tables), involving charity work in places where pleasure is hard to find, such as Brazil, the former Yugoslavia, and the areas of Italy hit by earthquakes, to efforts to revive our increasingly endangered biodiversity.

    The Ark of Taste is a first step in this direction. The aim of this massive project is to identify and catalogue products, dishes and animals that are in danger of disappearing (alas increasingly often). The operational offshoots of the project are the so-called Slow Food Presidia, through which the association provides economic support and a media back-up to groups and individuals pledged to saving an Ark product. To provide public recognition for all this work, the Slow Food Award has been introduced, the first edition of which was held in Bologna in October 2000.

    Slow Food Iowa has begun work on its first contribution to the Ark project, the original Red Delicious Apple. The Red Delicious (originally called the "Hawkeye" apple) is an Iowa native, and the original tree still stands, and still bares fruit, in Madison County. The original apple bares little resemblance to the hybridized, flavorless facsimile in grocery stores these days.
    If we wish to enjoy the pleasure that this world can give us, we have to give our all to strike the right balance of respect and exchange with nature and the environment. This is why we like to define ourselves as 'eco-gastronomes'. The fact is that our pleasure cannot be disconnected from the pleasure of others, but it is likewise connected to the equilibrium we manage to preserve (and in many cases revive) with the environment we live in.

    A lot of ground still has to be covered, and much of it will be uphill. But there are many of us and we all have strong legs! We began with the world of wine that has literally changed skin in Italy over the last 15 years; we continued with the complex universe of cheese, creating the semiannual "Cheese", an exhibition of all the world's very finest dairy produce. Now we also organize the Salone del Gusto (Hall of Taste), the third edition of which was held in October 2000, and I was fortunate enough to have attended. (To see my take on the Salone, visit http://www.devotay.com/Salone.htm.) These are the major large-scale events we stage to create public awareness. We also devote great energy to what we call Taste Education through taste workshops, tasting courses and the books and magazines we publish.
    Slow Food Iowa has begun work with many others on instituting "Edible Schoolyards" as part of the public school curriculum in Iowa. This is a long-term project that will require a great deal of effort on our part, but one which I feel is vitally important to the future of agriculture in Iowa.

    From awareness to well-being and back again! The journey is always a new, various and exciting one. Like in the responses man and mature have found together in the course of the centuries to meet a need - that of pleasure - that is much more complex than mere physical survival.

    I would be delighted to speak to anyone who is interested, and have an opportunity to spread the word about our organization. Please feel free to eMail me anytime. For even more information, visit the Slow Food website at http://www.slowfood.com

    or our local convivium site at http://www.devotay.com/SlowFoodIowa Main.htm
     
  2. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Hello and welcome to Cheftalk, Chef Kurt Michael Friese.

    I have heard of Slowfood thru food magazine, it may have been Saveur. I thought it was a great idea!

    :D
     
  3. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Wow, I just visited Devotay (too quickly). Very nice. I bookmarked you for later.

    Congrats!

    :rolleyes:

    [ May 14, 2001: Message edited by: Kimmie ]
     
  4. devotay

    devotay

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    Thanks, Kimmie. Glad you liked my site. Yes, Slow Food is a very cool idea. I'm sure there is a convivium up there. You should check it out.

    Also, we will soon be on CBS Sunday Morning, though they have yet to tell us when. I'll definitley post something here when I know.

    Peace.
    kmf
     
  5. kimmie

    kimmie

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    This is almost like "Hotmail", kmf!

    Would there be a link on www.slowfood.com ?

    Is the CBS broadcast this coming Sunday?

    I will be watching. Thanks for the info.


    ;)
     
  6. devotay

    devotay

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    Kimmie,

    I've been watching thew cbs news site. waiting for them to tell me when it'll be on.
    nothin'.

    I suspect Slowfood.com will say something about it when it comes up, but what the CBS people told us is that we may get 2 weeks notice or we may get 12 hours. They can set a time, but it is a news show, and when the next scandal breaks, ours is the kkind of segment that gets bumped. Rest assured, when I know something, I'll be shouting from the rooftops.

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  7. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Cool, kmf!

    I shall be on the lookout.

    Logging off now.

    Bye bye,

    :eek:
     
  8. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    HI Slow Food guy~
    I've talked to folks in Berkly about edible schoolyard,. HOW are you able to do it that far north????We considered it for St. Louis but our growing season is April-Nov. not exactly school monthes. Alice set it up to where there is a master gardener and a chef at the schools. I have a farmer at my market that used to teach with Alice and sell veg to her restaurant....we're lucky to have um.
    Glad you found us.
    I'll check out your site soon
     
  9. devotay

    devotay

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    Hello back at you Shroomgirl.

    The way we do it is partly having the gardens tended by summer school students and partly by working hard at raising money so that one at a time we get hothouses into high schools.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Alice Waters at the Salone Del Gusto last fall. Embarassingly, I think I kinda gushed like a schoolgirl at an N'SYNC concert. She and Chez Panisse were the reason I go into this business. I also spoke with her at length on the phone this spring about my big CBS thing. She spoke in her usual lilting yet passionate voice about how I must emphasize organic and local and so on. It was pretty cool. How often does anyone get to talk to one's hero?

    Thanks, I hope you visit the site soon, and I hope you consider joining Slow Food.

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  10. papa

    papa

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    Dear Friends:

    I have been a Slow Food member for the past two years.

    It has been a wonderful experience as I had the opportunity through my membership to meet some great people who share my passion for "true food" and support a cause for which I feel very passionate. I love receiving their publications that are very informative and very artfully designed.

    If you are passionate about good food, get in touch with your local Slow Food convivium in your State. We are always looking for Chefs and restaurants who subscribe to the same ideas we do to hold our events. You will find a lot of passionate foodies there.

    :)

    PS Hello Kurt! Keep up the good work! ;)
     
  11. devotay

    devotay

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    Papa! How nice to bump into you here. Hey everybody out there, Papa here is responsible for importing some of the best Olive Oil in the world into the States. Check his profile to find his website.

    Papa, did you manage to make it to Brooklyn for the big BBQ bash? Wish I could have been there, but Graduation weekend is the busiest of the year at my restaurant. I'm trying to convince them to bring the Bash out here to Hog Heaven next year.

    Those of you who would like to join Slow Food can find your local convivium leader at www.slowfood.com and can join online at (get ready, this is a long link) http://store.slowfood.com/store.taf?...AC3ECA3AE6E0BB

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  12. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Hello KMF,

    We are very happy to have papa on board. His website is very interesting and his knowledge on olive oil, well, lets face it, he's a pro.

    :)
     
  13. devotay

    devotay

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    Hello again, kimmie. Have you joined the movement yet? (Ooo, I feel so subversive). Your Convivium leader in Montreal is

    Paul Caccia
    401 rue De Rigaud - H2L 4P3 Montréal, Québec
    [email protected]

    By the by, any chance you Motreal folks would consider trading Vladamir Guerrero for say, Damon Buford? Just a thought.

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  14. mofo1

    mofo1

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    Kurt,
    I checked the slow food site to join (I love the idea) and was shocked to see it cost 60,000$ U.S. Is that right?? It can't be is it? I mean, uh, I support this and all, but, uh, Holy Cow!! Please tell me I did something wrong. Chris :eek:
     
  15. devotay

    devotay

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    Well, yeah, I guess it's a little pricey, but it is a write-off (all but $15 for the publications - which are awesome by the way). And I have found that I get alot out of it, not the least of which is automatic connections all over the world to the very best food. There is also the educational component, both in terms of teaching others and in terms of continuing my own learning.

    By the by, my regards to Galesburg. My mom was born there.

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  16. greg

    greg

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    Chris, you did something wrong. Actually, you just misread, is all. It's $60.00
     
  17. papa

    papa

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    Thank you guys!

    It feels great to be here!
     
  18. devotay

    devotay

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    Gee, Chris, I guess it's an easy mistake to make, since I misread it myself in your post. (thank God for Dyslexia, it always gives me an excuse) :)

    The correct amount is $60.00, that's all. Also, there is a $75 couples offering

    Peace,
    kmf
     
  19. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Hi Chef Kurt,

    Ooo, you are subversive. I'm considering it. Especially if it's $60 and not $60,000!!

    :rolleyes:
     
  20. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Just signed a grant letter in connection with our SLU dieticians and some farmers to teach Habitat for Humanity participants on how to cook food from their organic garden/coop CSA.
    There are $25,000 grants for school gardens available or were last Spring. You may wanna check into grants. I got 2 last year one through Mo Dept of Ag for market pr($2800) easy one...
    The other $5000 for inschool farmer-chef-dietician teaching nutrition and sustainable farming practices....
    You have several components in your program that set you up for major grant fundage....from several different sources.