Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:33 PM
You have mentioned Evan Kleiman several times on these threads. (I will check out her books--thanks for the recs.) I think she is still the head of Slow Food LA.
Could you tell us a little about your views on Slow Food, and if you think it has particular relevance in California?
Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:41 PM
all of that said, I think that anyone who loves traditionally made foods should find a way to make it to their Salone del Gusto at least once in their lives. It is simply amazing, even for a fairly jaded veteran of food conferences. Picture a convention center the size of 3 or 4 football fields packed with people selling tastes of really terrific foods. It's like the Fancy Foods Show, only with real food. Instead of 5 chutneys (or was it salsas this year ... they seem to alternate), there'll be a half-dozen stands for Parmigiano-Reggiano, offering tastes of aged cheese at different stages, of cheese from hillsides vs. valleys, of cheese made from mucca rossa (the old breed of cows) ... I walked in the first night and found five producers of lardo. Right around the corner someone was carving a porchetta. Down a little further was one of the best gelaterias in Rome. Then there was the guy making fresh cannoli filled with sheeps milk ricotta.
This is just my taste, but I'd rather spend a weekend eating that kind of stuff than one spent on three-star restaurants.
Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:50 PM
The Salon sounds amazing! Do you ever do any of their local outings? Hard to imagine that they would rival the event you describe.
Posted 14 October 2003 - 05:03 PM
Posted 15 October 2003 - 12:07 AM
Posted 15 October 2003 - 04:53 AM
Slow Food is the sort of thing that can happen when large parts of a country have been poor enough for their traditional foods to continue to be made in a time-consuming labor-intensive way, while other parts of the country suddenly become prosperous enough to support such producers on a large scale. Knowing Carlo Petrini, the "political positions" which you question were, rightly or wrongly, the underlying motivation of the entire movement. Without them, it would have become merely a fancy food warehouse dedicated to making lots of money.
I endorse Slow Food as long as it sticks to the support of traditional or artisanal foods and the philosophy that time at the table should be spent enjoyably. I do think that at times they veer off into political positions that are at best naive and at worst simply more chauvinist protectionism.
P.S. Thanks, Russ for being, as usual, so generous with your time.
Edit: spelling correction.
Edited by John Whiting, 15 October 2003 - 04:57 AM.