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

Support Fishermen’s Markets in San Diego and California – Support the Pacific-to-Plate Bill

Friendly neighborhood fishermen

Slow Food Urban San Diego is excited about the new proposed legislation that will help California fishers get their products to Californians. State Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation, “Pacific to Plate,” to clarify and streamline state laws to make it easier for San Diego’s Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, and other fishermen’s markets like it, to grow and thrive. See how you can support California’s fishermen’s markets and the Pacific-to-Plate bill below.

Slow Food Urban San Diego and Slow Food California Support this legislation. 

Three barriers in the current California laws and regulations affect fishermen’s markets in California:

  1. Current laws and regulations in California do not define fishermen’s markets so prevent them from easily obtaining permits to operation. 
  2. Current laws and regulations do not allow fishermen to clean fish for direct sale to consumers.
  3. Current laws allows direct fresh-caught fish sales to occur only from permanent, temporary, or mobile food facilities where permits are required for each participating fisherman or aquaculturist.

The proposed legislation:

  • Designates Fishermen’s Markets as “food facilities” in the California Retail Food Code.
  • Exempts evisceration of whole raw fresh-caught fish at a Fishermen’s Market from the definition of food preparation to allow fresh-caught fish to be cleaned by the fishermen for direct sales to the public.
  • Establishes a separate Fishermen’s Market chapter in state law, specifying the operational requirements (modeled after requirements for Certified Farmers’ Markets) to allow commercial fishermen and aquaculturists to organize under a single permit holder for the market.
  • Clarifies that food facilities that sell certain products such as whole fresh-caught fish can have an open front.

If you’d like to support this legislation, please send a letter of support (like the sample letter below) to Speaker Atkins. Send letters to CA Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. Some reasons to support Pacific to Plate AB 226:

  • Fishermen’s markets allow fishermen to sell local seafood direct to consumers – providing fresh seafood with a lower carbon footprint.
  • The Pacific-to-Plate legislation streamlines the permitting process, so that fishermen can sell direct to the public.
  • Fishermen’s markets provide a place for fishermen to collaborate and plan what they’ll fish – leading to more sustainable fishing practices, like fishing lightly across a wider variety of fish.
  • More fishermen’s markets means more fresh fish available at better prices to the consumer.
  • Fishermen’s markets, like farmers markets, connect the community to their food producers and the food producers to their community.
Send your letters to Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins by March 10, 2015:

Kids love fresh seafood!

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


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.


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


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


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.


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 by November 7th.  In-person interviews will be scheduled the second and third weekends in November.


Slow Food Urban San Diego Board of Directors