Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International


Terroir and Terra Madre

In October 2014, slow foodies from the world over gathered at Slow Food International’s biennial events in Turin, Italy, Salone del Gusto, the world’s largest food and wine exposition, and Terra Madre, a world meeting of food communities. Attendees affectionately call them the Olympics of Food. The concurrent events are dedicated to the celebration and sharing of artisanal, sustainable food and the small-scale producers that safeguard local traditions and high quality products. Good, Clean and Fair food from around the world.

Several San Diegan slow foodies attended as U.S. delegates. Aundrea Dominguez, a San Diego farmer and Slow Food Urban San Diego Ark of Taste Chair, attended in 2014 for the first time and shared her thoughts on the experience with us.

Peppers and Aundrea's arm. Photo by A. Dominguez

Why did you want to go?

Prior to this last year when I became more actively involved in Slow Food, I had not heard of Terra Madre, though once I knew about it, I had no doubt I would go. Besides the obvious reasons (great food and sights) my main reason for going this year was the theme, Ark of Taste. As a culinary gardener/farmer, preserving biodiversity is a hugely important part of what I do, which is also why I was drawn to that particular seat on the SFUSD board. I also wanted to use the opportunity to save and swap seeds, which I did.

Did you focus on any particular aspect of TM? If so, what?

Ark of Taste. Between the three days, I spent probably about 6-8 hours throughout the display, reading about the foods and where they were from, and speaking with the folks who farm/prepare, and eat them. It was so eye opening for me. It’s one thing to read a list of food and an entirely different experience to walk through the physical catalog and have a tactile and sensory relationship with it.

Ark of Taste apples. Photo by A. Dominguez.

What is one thing you learned?

I learned many small and specific things about terroir. Language was less of a barrier than you would expect when food is the topic at hand. Several farmers and I spoke about soil and why their tomatoes have such specific flavors that cannot be duplicated. One farmer, whose family has owned their land for eight generations, farms on soil with volcanic rock that has been breaking down slowly over about the last 100 years. Minerality like that cannot be replicated by amending soil, the flavors it imparts are inherent. I find that incredible. Having eaten mostly American-grown produce, or that which has been imported from South America, it was such a jolt to eat something I was familiar with but from a place on the other side of the world. It’s so different that there is almost no comparing the two.

Cheese, cheese and more cheese at Salone del Gusto. Photo by A. Dominguez.

What was your most memorable experience?

I was fortunate to have snagged a front row seat at the panel with Carlo Petrini, Alice Waters and Jamie Oliver and it was a really encouraging experience to share space in a room of like-minded folks who respect good, clean, and fair food. It was a major highlight. But I also had an unbelievable time at this New Orleans pop-up dinner. I helped cook red beans and rice, and gumbo z’herbes, neither of which I’d ever made before. I was cooking with people from New Orleans, Baja, Chicago, etc. A week before, I hadn’t known any of these folks but, we were all there cooking, learning, and embodying the values we were there to support.

The Mexican restaurant, Revolucion, location of New Orleans pop-up dinner in Turin, Italy. Photo by A. Domninguez.

Would you go back? Why?

In a heartbeat, and I plan to continue attending. It was the highlight of my year, and it was so reassuring. Farming is notoriously difficult and often thankless, but Terra Madre plugged me into a community that reveres artisans and farmers for answering their calling. Most of the farmers I spoke with got into it because it was a family business but, they also love it because they are productive and intimately connected to something exceptional, and I want to be part of that.

What would you recommend to anyone that goes in 2016?

I’ll be very practical about this answer…I would recommend that they do their research on vendors and do the Salone del Gusto on the very first day, and the very last day. Also, wear good walking shoes, and have a backpack for goodies, not a shoulder bag. A first-timer should be prepared to spend the entire first day just visiting vendors, tasting, making notes, deciding what they want to buy and buying only the things they cannot live without first. Backpacks get heavy fast. The last day is great because you can score major deals on yummy goods.

I would also suggest having business cards with your basic contact info, because you’ll be making lots of friends.

Get an AirBnb close by, and portable Wifi if you can.

Bring your A-game and sleep on the flight home.

Above all else, I would recommend being open to whatever presents itself at Salone and Terra Madre. There were many unexpected surprises for me, and not a single time was I disappointed.

Salone del Gusto, cured meats and DJ? Why not? Photo by J. Felmley.

GET INVOLVED! 2015 Board of Directors Elections

Apply by November 7th to info@slowfoodurbansandiego.org

 

Slow Food Urban San Diego is seeking qualified and passionate volunteers for our 2015/2016 term. Terms, unless otherwise noted, are two years with the option to re-apply for a second term. The following positions are up for re-elections:

 

Co-Chair, Adult Education

The Education Committee Co-Chair for Adult Education works with Education Co-Chair for Youth/Family to hold monthly Education Committee meetings, striving to engage and include Slow Food Urban San Diego’s Membership as much as possible.  The Adult Education Committee Chair is expected to organize two classes annually geared towards adult taste and cooking education.

Chair, Food Justice

The Food Justice Chair holds monthly committee meetings and organizes Slow Bucks, a program which provides free local produce to low-income seniors.  The Food Justice Chair is also the liaison to the Slow Food California Policy Committee, which meets monthly via conference call.

Good Food Community Fair Chair

The Good Food Community Fair Chair is responsible for producing our annual event, The Good Food Community Fair, in conjunction with Food Day in October.  This position also leads other events as determined by the Board.

Secretary

The secretary takes minutes during board meetings and administers annual elections.

Communications

The Communications Chair holds monthly committee meetings and oversees the newsletter, blog, website and social media.

Treasurer

The Treasurer maintains the books for the organization, handles expense reimbursements, accounts payable, and annual filings.  The treasurer is responsible for leading the budgeting process and providing financial guidance to the Board.   This position presents a Treasurer’s report at monthly board meetings.  A working knowledge of Quickbooks is required but training by the outgoing treasurer will be provided if necessary.

Co-Chair, Membership

The Membership Co-Chair maintains and updates the membership list and reports membership status at each board meeting.  Membership co-chairs share the responsibility of organizing membership drives in accordance to Slow Food USA directives and take the lead in planning Slow Food Urban San Diego’s Annual Membership meeting. Membership Co-Chairs may develop and coordinate additional programs to build the Chapter membership.

Volunteer Coordinator

The Volunteer Coordinator handles the volunteer database, organizes volunteers for Slow Food and partner events and organizes one volunteer appreciation event annually.

Chair-elect/Vice Chair

The Chair-elect works with the Co-Chair to administrate the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors and maintain chapter standing.  Candidates must have served on the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board for a minimum of one year and agree to assume the Board Chair position in 2016 for a one-year term.

Chair

The Chair administrates the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors and maintains chapter standing.  Candidates must have served on the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board for a minimum of one year.  This is a one year term.

If you are interested in applying to the the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors, please email a brief bio and letter of interest indicating the position in which you are interested to info@slowfoodurbansandiego.org by November 7th.  In-person interviews will be scheduled the second and third weekends in November.

Sincerely,

Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors

Slow Food and Chipotle lauch new partnership supporting local school gardens

Slow Food USA today announced a new partnership with Chipotle Mexican Grill to create or support approximately 100 schools gardens in 10 metropolitan areas across the country. Through hands-on discovery and an innovative school curriculum, the organizations hope to cultivate a new generation of kids who care more about where food comes from and how it is prepared.

“This partnership will dramatically increase the impact that our National School Garden Program will have by extending our reach deeper into communities and offering greater access to gardens and food education to children across the country,” said Richard McCarthy, executive director of Slow Food USA.  “Chipotle is a company that is working to change fast food from the inside out, and we’re thrilled to be working with them to take our Garden Program to the next level.”

In the partnership’s first 15 months, Slow Food USA and Chipotle will work together to build or support school gardens in 10 metropolitan areas across the country, including Austin, Boston, Dallas, Denver, New York (Long Island and northern New Jersey), Louisville, Orange County, Phoenix, Miami and San Diego.

Slow Food Urban San Diego will provide a host of services to support the local school garden program, including customized curriculum, funding, labor, and other resources to match the needs of the individual schools and/or districts, with in-depth technical assistance from the Slow Food USA national staff. Chipotle will provide funding through micro grants, in-restaurant fundraisers and hands-on support.

“With this new partnership, we want to give children access to a hands-on learning experience at their schools, to teach them how food is grown, and the importance of cooking and healthy eating,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle.

Both Slow Food USA and Chipotle share a belief in making better food widely available. Slow Food USA is committed to good, clean and fair food for all, and Chipotle is changing the way people think about and eat fast food by using ingredients that are raised with respect for the land, the animals and the farmers. Separately, each organization has made significant strides in their respective areas, and together, they will work to improve the food culture in schools across the U.S.A.

ABOUT SLOW FOOD USA

Slow Food USA is part of the global Slow Food network of over 100,000 members in more than 150 countries.  Slow Food is the only grassroots organization working locally, nationally and internationally to link the pleasures of the table with a commitment to community and the environment. With our National School Garden Program, we are teaching the next generation how to grow, prepare and share food responsibly. For more information, visit SlowFoodUSA.org.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and Responsibly Raised™ with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,600 restaurants including six ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates one Pizzeria Locale. For more information, visit Chipotle.com