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docsconz

Slow Food Boulder

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Moderator's Note: This thread has been divided to focus on Slow Food Denver. Some threads with mixed topics have been removed. Please feel free to re-post here regarding Slow Food Denver. Apologies for any inconvenience.

In Italy they list and give the seal of approval to restaurants that preserve the old way of doing things. Who would they give that seal of approval to here? And it is more creating a new way in Colorado--is there really an old way of doing things here that we want to preserve? I guess there is, but there is not a long history of people eating slow food in Colorado to preserve.

Fred,

I believe that this is a common misconception about Slow food. It is not simply about preserving the old way of doing things. It is much more organic than that. it really is more about a process than preservation as a nostalgic entity. It really focuses more on variety and technique and is anti-homogenization. As a result creativity is embraced. Even if there aren't a lot of cuisines native to Colorado, there are many that have been imported and can be fashioned into a particular Colorado cuisine over time.

I don't know the current state of Slow Food Boulder, but I was introduced to Slow Food by one of its earliest members, Peggy Markel. If she still has anything to do with it (which would likely only be periodic since she spends most of her time in Italy), I would be surprised if it is not a vibrant, useful organization.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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John, how does a local Slow Food convivium actually assist in achieving these goals? For restaurant dinners, which appear to be the primary organized event, the chef and the attendees have already bought in, no? If not, how did they get there? Does someone approach a Sysco-based chef and ask him to make a group dinner with local, artisinal products in hopes that he'll start using the products regularly? Does it work?

Fred's post made a lot of sense to me. In Italy, people are used to cooking regularly and buying from the local producers. The Slow Food folks are trying to maintain that. In the US, people are used to going to supermarkets and Olive Garden. You surely can't get the working couple buying dinners out of the Costco freezer section to start cooking grass-fed beef pot roast, but you can hope to persuade the person buying Tyson chicken to start buying FriendlyLocalFarm if it's next to it in the supermarket along with some good marketing materials. Similarly, you can hope to get a chef to use the local resources, but only if they are accessible and reliable and his regular customers are willing to pay for it. These are the issues that need to be addressed. How does a convivium help make that happen?

My apologies if this sounds combative, I don't mean it to be. I just want answers, dammit! :smile:

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I have removed the posts containing material not related to Slow Food for review. I will PM those posts to you who posted later so that you can re-post if you wish. Please PM me if you have any questions, rather than discussing here.

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Your link doesn't work for me, Tanabutler--this one seems to: Outstanding .The Colorado dinner is in Paonia, about a 4-5 hour drive from Denver/Boulder. It sounds intriguing, though.


Edited by fredbram (log)

Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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John, how does a local Slow Food convivium actually assist in achieving these goals? For restaurant dinners, which appear to be the primary organized event, the chef and the attendees have already bought in, no? If not, how did they get there? Does someone approach a Sysco-based chef and ask him to make a group dinner with local, artisinal products in hopes that he'll start using the products regularly? Does it work? 

Fred's post made a lot of sense to me. In Italy, people are used to cooking regularly and buying from the local producers. The Slow Food folks are trying to maintain that. In the US, people are used to going to supermarkets and Olive Garden. You surely can't get the working couple buying dinners out of the Costco freezer section to start cooking grass-fed beef pot roast, but you can hope to persuade the person buying Tyson chicken to start buying FriendlyLocalFarm if it's next to it in the supermarket along with some good marketing materials. Similarly, you can hope to get a chef to use the local resources, but only if they are accessible and reliable and his regular customers are willing to pay for it. These are the issues that need to be addressed. How does a convivium help make that happen?

My apologies if this sounds combative, I don't mean it to be. I just want answers, dammit!  :smile:

Mike,

These are all very good questions. It is not sufficient for a restaurant to want to do these things. It also needs an educated and aware audience. A Slow Food Convivium should be doing things to educate not just those who have already bought in, but the general public as well. There are several ways of doing this, including sponsoring events supporting those who "walk the walk" while at the same timepromoting the specific products and values espoused by the movement. The evnts don't have to be based on local products. They can be imported. I recently attended a very fun and tasty New Orleans crawfish boil in NYC under the auspices of Slow Food. It really is a question of raising awareness of the entire process. The convivium should not just be for chefs and restaurants. It is also for growers and producers and consumers. It should be encouraging quality artisanal food production and consumption for a number of reasons. First, they generally taste better and are usually healthier for the individual. In addition, is the strong belief that ultimately the tenets espoused are ultimately better for the environment and the global economy - the buzzword here is sustainability. It is up to the leadership of each convivium to accomplish this. Some are better than others. Some have better resources and more of a headstart than others.

Slow Food as an organization also produces a lot of literature that can be proffered. The best way though IMO is by word of mouth to likeminded people until it reaches a critical mass. It certainly is not an easy job, but what are the alternatives? I for one would hate to be eating the same thing all the time.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Yes, as you say John, what are the alternatives? If I'm going to be so darn critical, what would I suggest? (Blinking, blankish stare.)

This makes me think of the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. We have to get it from the mavens (gatherers of cool information) to the connectors and salespeople (spreaders of the information). I talk to my friends and dinner guests about the foods I buy and serve, but I'm no salesperson. My going to a slow dinner isn't going to help. We need to get to the salespeople who will get the general public to care. So keep holding dinners and events, and maybe they'll start coming and it will tip. Meanwhile, this discussion helped me understand the issue a little better and will get me thinking about other ways to push that suit me. Thanks.

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My going to a slow dinner isn't going to help. We need to get to the salespeople who will get the general public to care. So keep holding dinners and events, and maybe they'll start coming and it will tip. Meanwhile, this discussion helped me understand the issue a little better and will get me thinking about other ways to push that suit me. Thanks.

Actually, going to a Slow Dinner will help by supporting the endeavor both financially and with your presence. Of course, the events themselves need to be fun and worthwhile. Even betterthan going yourself is to bring someone else along with you, especially one not already part of the movement. It really is a grass-roots effort requiring continued support from everyone who cares about it.

A really fun thing to do is to attend an International Slow Food Meeting. I attended the Slow Food Congress in Naples, Italy last fall with my son. It was a blast and very enlightening.

If you can come up with other ways better suited to you, that is fine too, although they are not necessarily mutually exclusive.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Even better than going yourself is to bring someone else along with you... A really fun thing to do is to attend an International Slow Food Meeting. I attended the Slow Food Congress in Naples, Italy last fall with my son. It was a blast and very enlightening.

Ah, I get it. You can take ME to Italy next year since you have already taken your son. Good idea!

You're right though, we can support the cause in many ways.


Edited by mike k (log)

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