Slow Food Columbus

2008 Events

2008 Events

“Local and Loving It” Inaugural Dinner

Cafe del Mondo
659 N. 4th Street, Columbus
March 20, 6:00 p.m.

Please celebrate with us as we meet and support local farmers and producers at our inaugural Slow Food Columbus event.  Bill and Bruna Brundige, Alex Thomas and the rest of the crew at Cafe del Mondo are hosts for the “Local and Loving It” dinner at 6 p.m. on March 20, 2008.

This is a family-run business started in 1997, selling mostly coffee and espresso machines from Italy.  Now their importing business, Frutta del Mondo, brings in fine Italian goods sold wholesale and retail.  They share the Slow Food mission of food that is good, clean and fair.

We have spent time planning with local producers to throw a great party, highlighting local Ohio and local foods.  The family-style dinner will have four courses, each one paired with an appropriate wine, as well as coffee, espresso,  and grappa to round out the evening.  John Wozny of Spectrum Farm and Craig Powell of Mount Victory Meats will be on hand for the evening to talk about their beef and pork, respectively, and Bob Hicks of Mid/West Fresh will discuss organic produce.

Space is limited.  We are accepting paid reservations only in order not to waste food and so that Cafe del Mondo is able to prepare for our visit efficiently.  For our inaugural event there will be a single price—$37 per person—for members and nonmembers alike.  You can use a credit card at our secure, PayPal-powered shopping cart, above.  We look forward to seeing you!

Cult Wineries Preview at the Refectory

1092 Bethel Road, Columbus
April 3, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Every once in a while, local businesses are good enough to pass along discounts to Slow Food members for events, and we’re happy to report that the Refectory has done so for one of their premier wine events this season!  They will be previewing nine wines from two prestigious California “upstarts,” Melville and Brewer-Clifton.  Chef Richard will produce an array of ten hors d’oeuvres to accompany the wines at this stand-up tasting.

The featured wines have not themselves been rated, but the wineries have excellent track records.  Melville’s 57 wines average a remarkable 91 (“outstanding”) on Robert Parker’s scale; their 2002 and 2004 Pinots, in particular, are well-received.  Brewer-Clifton’s 77 wines consist entirely of Pinots and Chardonnays and average an even more remarkable 92.

National sales manager Stephen James will be at the event to discuss the wines.  Reservations are limited and must be prepaid.  As a courtesy to Slow Food Columbus members and their guests, a special price of $59.95 is being offered—a discount of nearly 15%.  Simply call the Refectory at 614-451-9774 and ask for the Slow Food member rate.  (Still not a member?  We can fix that!  Just have your credit card handy and click here.)

United Estates Wine Dinner at Alana’s

2333 North High Street, Columbus
Sunday, April 27, 2008
6:30 p.m.

Please join us and meet a couple that brings les vins formidables to the US while we enjoy food pairings from Alana Shock at her lovely restaurant, Alana’s Food & Wine.  We will share a Sunday evening, a night she is usually closed, for a very special Slow Food Columbus Taste Education event with Patrick and Connie Allen of United Estates Wine Imports. We will enjoy six estate-bottled wines from the south of France, as well as a presentation about the wines we are tasting and the winemakers who have produced them.  The wine list and a preliminary menu are available now; Alana will finalize the courses to pair with the wines by ascertaining what is wonderful, local and/or organic just prior to the dinner.  This will be Slow Food at its best!

Seating is limited; prepaid reservations only, please.  The member price will be $57 plus tax, gratuity, and credit card processing fee (total $75); nonmembers will be required to make an additional, tax-deductible $10 contribution to Slow Food.  (Click here to become a member.)

Introduction to Coffee Micro-Roasting

Chez Braumoeller
Sunday, May 25, 10:00 a.m.-noon
$4 members / $6 nonmembers

If you’re a coffee lover, you’ve probably narrowed down a favorite type of coffee — maybe a favorite region, or country, or even a favorite bean.  And you might be wondering where to go from there.  Or you might be chafing at the expense of whole-bean roasted coffee.  Or perhaps you like a lighter (or darker) roast than most people drink, or you’d be interested in exploring the nuances in the flavors of some of your favorite beans as they go from a lighter to a darker roast.  Or maybe you simply like the idea of always having really, really fresh coffee in the morning.  Even if you have no desire to roast your own coffee, you might just be curious about the process of how beans are roasted.

If you fall into any of these categories, you may be interested in our coffee micro-roasting workshop.  We will explore roasting coffee in 1/3-pound batches in a small, programmable fluid-bed roaster designed for home use.  We will observe the roasting process and discuss the pros and cons of roasting your own beans, and we will sample three different roasts to compare their characteristics.  For details about the three coffees that we will compare, click on the bean icon to the right.

The workshop will be held at the home of Colleen, leader of Slow Food Columbus, and led by her husband Bear, a coffee lover of long standing who roasts the beans that they make into coffee every morning.  Because of the intimate venue attendance will be limited to no more than ten people; a reservation and a nominal fee ($4 per person for members, $6 for nonmembers) will be required at the door.

Read more about coffee and micro-roasting

French Country Meets Ohio Countryside

1092 Bethel Road, Columbus
Thursday, June 5, 6:30 p.m.
$58 members / $68 nonmembers

Did you know that the building in which The Refectory is housed was first used as a church when it was built in the mid-1800s?  And that due to the new, noisy Hocking Valley Railroad that was built in 1877, the minister had to stop speaking until the trains had gone by?  Finally, in 1918, two small schoolhouses and the land on which they were sitting were put up for auction.  Consequently, the building was moved to its current location next to these schoolhouses and later joined them to become the lovely restaurant that it is today.

Since 1980, The Refectory’s relaxed and quiet Slow Food pace have presented evenings of elegant dining to residents of the Columbus area.  At the heart of the dining experience are the culinary creations directed by Chef Richard Blondin, a native of Lyon, France, who studied under chefs Pierre Orsi and Paul Bocuse.  Chef Richard will help us celebrate the bounty of Ohio at the beginning of June for our next dinner, French Country Meets Ohio Countryside.  We will enjoy a six-course meal with wine pairings (some of which will come from Ohio, including the well-respected Ravenhurst Sparkling Wine) on the outdoor patio, weather permitting.  The meal is $58, all inclusive, for members and $68 for non-members.  Pre-paid reservations only, please.  Seating is limited.  Please join us!

Visit the Refectory’s website

Strawberry Picking at Circle S Farm

9015 London-Groveport Road, Grove City, OH
Saturday, June 14, 2008, 8:30 a.m.
Strawberry price: $1.29/lb.

Strawberries are in season, and Colleen will be leading a strawberry-picking expedition this Saturday to Circle S Farm in Grove City.  She will be at the North Market Farmers’ Market when they open at 8 a.m., wearing a Boston Red Sox cap, to do her shopping.  Anyone interested in joining her and carpooling or forming a caravan should drop her a line… or if you feel a spontaneous urge to pick strawberries, just meet her at the peanut stand at 8:30.

View Map

Mockingbird Meadows Tasting and Tour

16671 Burns Road, Marysville, OH
Sunday, July 13, 2008, 10:00 a.m.
$16 members/$21 nonmembers

Join us for a relaxing day with Dawn and Carson Combs as we tour their biodynamic honey and herb farm in Maryville, OH.  They have been nominated to represent their products at Slow Food Nation in San Francisco at the end of the summer!  (Learn more about this event at  After the tour, we will enjoy a refreshing picnic lunch all together.  (Bring picnic blankets in case we decide to chill out on the grass.)  We will have the opportunity to try their delicious herb-infused honeys.  Bear and I convinced Dawn to infuse honey with our fresh-roasted Ethiopian coffee beans.  We may be on to something!  She also crafts natural skin care and other herbal products and offers bulk herbs.

And for those of you who are game for a “Survivor” challenge, you could have an adventure in a Bee Suit!


10 a.m.:   Greet and gather in the barn for a beverage

10:30 or so:  Honey bee and herb farm tour

Noonish:  Picnic lunch.

See you there!!!!!

Visit Mockingbird Meadows on the web

View Map

Meet the Winemaker Dinner: Rich Parducci at Rosendales

793 North High Street (map)
Wednesday, August 13, 7:00 p.m.
$65 members/$75 nonmembers + tax, all-inclusive

Rich Parducci is one of the more interesting and knowledgeable of the younger generation of California winemakers.  As a fourth-generation winemaker and the grandson of the legendary John Parducci, Rich comes by it honestly.  When we heard that he would be visiting Ohio, we leapt at the opportunity to bend his ear on the subject of wine—over dinner, of course—and to sample some of the wines that he has produced for McNab Ridge.

To complement Rich’s wines, Columbus’ own Bocuse d’Or-USA finalist Chef Richard Rosendale of Rosendales will prepare a meal consisting of an amuse bouche, soup, an appetizer, an entree, and dessert, each designed to complement one or two of Rich’s wines, with McNab’s award-winning French Colombard starting off the evening as an apéritif.  Come join us for six wines and five courses and to welcome Rich to town.

The price includes everything but tax.  To make reservations, please call Rosendales directly at 614-298-1601 and have a credit card handy.  If you are a member of Slow Food, be sure to mention that fact to receive the member discount.

Visit Rosendales’ website

Read about Rich Parducci’s McNab Ridge wines

Slow Food Columbus Field Trip!

A Taste of Ohio’s Heritage at Adena Mansion & Gardens
847 Adena Road, Chillicothe, OH
Saturday, August 16, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
$20 members/$25 nonmembers

Adena was the 2000-acre estate of Thomas Worthington, sixth governor of Ohio and one of the state’s first Senators. The mansion house, a premier example of Georgian architecture, has been restored to look much as it did when the Worthingtons lived there.  Moreover, the Ohio Historical Society, which maintains Adena, went one step further by recreating the historical condition of the gardens, with heirloom plants from early 1800s Ohio.  Adena’s mission, accordingly, focuses on biodiversity and education: their heirloom plants are the focus of a popular sale every spring, and children learn gardening skills every year with master gardeners.  Some of us will arrive early (at 3:30) and start with a tour of the historic mansion, the gardens, and the heirloom plants.  (The tour costs an additional $7 per person; call 740-772-1500 to reserve spaces.  Mention that you’re with the Slow Food Columbus group.)

At 6:00, everyone will enjoy dinner and an heirloom tomato tasting!  We will sample over thirty heirloom tomato varieties, including Garden Peach, Great White, Black Krim, Green Pineapple, Pink Accordian, Sausage, Mortage Lifter and Mule Team—all fresh from the gardens of Adena.  We will also try samples of other great Ohio-made food products, like cheeses, mustards, BBQ sauces and more, compliments of A Taste of Ohio.  Summer favorites like hamburgers, pasta salad and beverages using Ohio products and Adena’s savory tomatoes and herbs will be served.  Vicki from Adena writes: “I will be discussing using herbs in beverages and other foods, providing recipes and historic information.  Other staff will be discussing heirloom tomato varieties and their characteristics.  And finally, our partners at Taste of Ohio will be speaking about Ohio-made condiments, cheeses and other products available throughout Ohio.”

Visit Adena’s website

Shake the Hand that Feeds You: Locavore Dinner at Flying J Farm

5329 Van Fossen Road, Johnstown, OH (map)
Saturday, Sept. 20, 4:00 p.m.; $75 members

Imagine a table set in a field, surrounded by a farm, rows of vegetables, a stream, and pastures where grass-fed cattle roam.  Now imagine sitting down at that table to a meal that had been raised, for the most part, on that very farm.  Freshness beyond belief; big big flavor and a little tiny carbon footprint.

That is the vision that inspired Slow Food’s “Shake the Hand that Feeds You: Locavore Dinner at Flying J Farm.”

The evening will start at 4:00 p.m., when Flying J’s owner and caretaker, Slow Food member Dick Jensen, will lead a walk around the farm to introduce you to the source of your dinner.  Flying J is the site of the annual Green Living Fayre and a model of sustainability, thanks to Dick’s efforts.

At 5:30, drinks will be served.  These will consist of cucumber- and lemon balm-infused vodka tonics as well as hard cider from nearby Windy Hill Apple Farm.  There will be a passed appetizer with the drinks.

By 7:00, dinner will commence.  The menu, designed and executed by Chef John Dornback of Basi Italia, will consist of a harvest tomato salad with local feta cheese and fresh oregano; bread from Eleni Christina bakery, made from Flying J’s flour; grilled farm vegetables with pesto; smashed and grilled potatoes with rosemary and onion; sweet corn succotash; and sliced roasted grass-fed ribeye with maple-chili jus, accompanied by appropriate Ohio wines.

For dessert, we will have baked peach-berry cobbler, paired with a Jeni Britton original: mascarpone ice cream with toasted Ohio walnuts, drizzled with Flying J’s own maple syrup.

Those who wish to bring their own tents, camp at the farm overnight, and have coffee and breakfast the next morning before heading home will be able to do so for a small additional fee; examine the different kinds of tickets that are available in order to select this option.

Tickets were made available to members first as a courtesy for this event and sold out before they became available to the general public.

Visit Flying J’s website

Taste Education Workshop: Single Malt Scotch

Wing’s Restaurant, 2801 E. Main St., Bexley (map)
Friday, Sept. 26, 8:00 p.m.
$30 members/$40 nonmembers, all-inclusive

Single malt Scotch whisky is one of the slowest foods there is: crafting it is time-consuming, local, and very traditional.  It is made from malted Scottish barley and local water, often taken directly from springs or burns and filtered through the ancient rock of the islands.  The malting, or germination, of the barley is stopped by exposure to heat, traditionally from a peat fire, which lends some Scotches their unusual smoky, peaty flavor.  The malt is then milled, mashed, fermented, and distilled in a pot still, and the resulting whisky is aged in oak barrels for many years, sometimes even for decades, to allow it to mellow and mature.  This process, or one like it, dates back to the late 1400s in Scotland, and Scottish regulations (and Scottish pride) ensure that traditional methods survive.

Join us to explore the international side of Slow Food at our single malt Scotch taste education workshop.  People are always surprised when we tell them that there’s an amazing selection of Scotch at a Chinese restaurant in Bexley—but it’s true!  Ken Yee, the son of Wing’s founder, fell in love with Scotch years ago and slowly started building what is now rumored to be the second-largest selection in the state of Ohio.

Talk with Ken about this unique artisanal spirit and sample six different single malt Scotches from around the islands.  Five will highlight the differences in tastes to be found across different regions, and two—a twelve-year and an eighteen-year from the same distillery—will illuminate the effects of aging on taste. Light snacks will be served; the price, which includes tax and tip, should serve to dispel the image of Scotch as a spirit for the privileged few.

Visit Wing’s website and Scotch list

Read about the Scotches we will taste

Taste Education Workshop: Coffee from Seed to Cup

Stauf’s Roastery, 705 Hadley Drive, Columbus
Sunday, Sept. 28, 11:00 a.m.
free for members/$15 nonmembers

The coffee world has experienced a renaissance since the turn of the millenium.  Specialty coffee companies have forged direct ties to farmers and have worked with them to improve the quality of their product, and roasters continually strive to understand how small changes in the roasting process accentuate key flavors in each of the hundreds of different single-origin beans available on the market.

Join Stauf’s/Cup o Joe President Mark Swanson and his team at their roastery to discuss this coffee revolution and to track the progress of the coffee bean as it travels from the seed of the coffee cherry “at origin” to the cup in your hand.  The seminar will involve an overview and slide show, a “cupping,” or coffee tasting, a discussion of roasting, brew strength, brew methods and storage, and a roasting demonstration.

Stauf’s has generously offered to make this seminar available free of charge to members of Slow Food Columbus; the fee for nonmembers will be $15, collected at the door.  All proceeds will be donated to the Slow Food Ark of Taste Presidium that promotes Huehuetenango coffee in Guatemala.  The seminar is now full, but we are taking names for the waiting list in case anyone is unable to make it at the last minute; click on the icon at right to add your name to that list.

Visit Stauf’s website

Come to LaTavola! Harvest Dinner with Wayward Seed Farm

Trattoria LaTavola, 6125 Riverside Drive, Dublin, OH
Sunday, Oct. 26, 6:00 p.m.
$65 member / $75 nonmember, all-inclusive

We’ve known about Wayward Seed Farm in Marysville since before we started up the Columbus chapter of Slow Food.  Their reputation for growing heirloom vegetables using organic methods makes them one of the most well-respected producers in central Ohio.

So when Wayward Seed called to invite our Slow Food chapter to dinner, we were thrilled.  And when we found out where the dinner was being held and got a look at the menu, we thought, “These guys know us pretty well!”

Please come join us and meet Adam Welly and Jaime Moore of Wayward Seed and Rick Lopez, a longtime supporter of local farmers and chef/owner of the award-winning Trattoria LaTavola in Dublin, at Rick’s restaurant.  Adam, Jaime, and Rick will team up to produce a seven-course harvest dinner featuring the bounty from Wayward Seed’s harvest, paired with appropriate wines.  The dinner will feature a variety of heirloom vegetables, including some that have been included in Slow Food’s flagship biodiversity program, the Ark of Taste.  Some of the proceeds from the dinner will go to Wayward Seed to allow them to continue and expand their unique programs.

Please contact LaTavola directly at 614.760.8700 to make reservations.

Visit Wayward Seed

Visit Trattoria LaTavola

Read more about the Ark of Taste

Snails Slide South: Tour of Athens

In and around Athens, Ohio
Sunday, November 2, 11:30 a.m.–dinner
$28.50 member / $33.50 nonmember; dinner not included

Join us Sunday, November 2nd to explore the vibrant slow food scene in gorgeous Athens, Ohio! We will spend a day meeting local restaurateurs, brewers, and farmers.  The day will start at 11:30 a.m. with brunch at one of the meccas of Athens’ slow food scene, the Village Bakery, and a tour with owners Christine and Bob.  Afterward, we will all trek to Green Edge Gardens in Amesville, a family-owned organic farm and important local farming resource, for a tour with owners Becky and Kip Rondy.  The day will end with a tour and beer tasting at Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery in Athens with brewer Brad Clark and an optional dinner at another restaurant embodying Slow Food ideals, Casa Nueva.

Click on the snail icon at top right to purchase tickets.  To allow time for event approval and logistical coordination, tickets will go on sale Wednesday, October 22, at noon.  Please note that space is very limited: due to limitations on the size of the tours, only 20 slots will be available.

Preview our destinations

Slow “Comfort” Food Potluck

Chez Braumoeller
Sunday, November 16, 5:30 p.m.
No cost; just bring a dish

Baby, it’s cold outside… but come to our house for some warmth and good food!  Slow Food Columbus members and friends of Slow Food Columbus are invited to gather at the home of chapter leader Colleen Braumoeller and her husband Bear for a comfort-food potluck, Slow Food style.  Bring your favorite comfort food, made with ingredients that are good, clean, and fair, and share in the conviviality of the table as we gear up for the holidays.

Due to the response to this event and to the size of our home we regret that we can take no more RSVPs at this time!  But rest assured, there will be more potlucks.

Drink Local Challenge / First Annual Ohio vs. Michigan Wine Clash!

Alana’s Food & Wine, 2333 North High Street, Columbus
Thursday, November 20
No preset menu

In the world of wine, November is associated with Beaujolais Nouveau Day.  Marketing has exploded this French local tradition into a carbon-spewing monster as a fleet of jets have rushed to get bottles to American shelves. It is time to take back the spirit of this event and celebrate our locality and its traditions. To be typically Midwestern and blunt:  you can get a better local wine than Beaujolais Nouveau and it is better for the environment.

The third Thursday of November also coincides with a special local tradition—the OSU/UM football game. Slow Food Columbus has captured the spirit of this rivalry with the first annual Ohio vs Michigan Wine Clash.  Earlier in the week, panels of local judges in Columbus and Ann Arbor will convene to compare the wines both states have to offer. The primary goal is to find wines to put on your table whose carbon footprint is low and whose quality is high—just in time for Thanksgiving. But like the game that Saturday, a winner shall triumph and be revealed at a dinner at Alana’s Food & Wine on November 20th.

On the night of Thursday November 20th, Alana’s will be offering the most noteworthy Ohio wine* by the glass and Slow Food members will receive a complimentary glass. Please join us to capture the local spirit of wine, autumn harvest and tradition. Contact Alana’s at (614) 294-6783 to make reservations.

* We regret that we can only offer Ohio wines, as there are no wines from Michigan available through Ohio’s distribution channels. This will not affect the outcome of the judging process, as all wines will be judged blindly and impartially. The glass of wine is compliments of the Benefactors of Slow Food Columbus.

Read more about Beaujolais Nouveau and the environment at Dr. Vino

Visit Alana’s on the web and view a sample menu

Meet the Author: Kurt Michael Friese

Dragonfly Neo-V Restaurant, 247 King Ave., Columbus
Tuesday, November 25, 6:30/7:30 p.m.
$39 + tax/tip; wine not included

When we started Slow Food Columbus, one of the first people we heard from was Chef Kurt Michael Friese, a Columbus native who is now on the board of Slow Food USA.  Kurt has been the chef and owner of Devotay in Iowa City and is recognized as one of the region’s leading supporters of local agriculture and sustainable cuisine.  So we were very excited when we heard that Kurt was coming back to Columbus to talk about his new book, A Cook’s Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland, an exploration of his thesis that great cuisines originate in their nation’s grain belts.  This was true of France, Italy, China, India, and Germany, Kurt argues, so he set out to explore what America’s heartland has to offer.

Come meet Kurt at Dragonfly Neo-v restaurant, featured in his book for their exemplary, regional plant-based cuisine, for either or both of two back-to-back events: a 6:30 p.m. reception where wine will be available at the bar, and a 7:30 p.m. three-course prix fixe dinner consisting of local Ohio products and luxury imports ($39 plus tax and gratuity for members and nonmembers alike; call 614.298.9986 or to make reservations with Dragonfly).  Kurt will be signing and selling copies of his book at the reception; Slow Food members will receive a discount on the book.

Visit Dragonfly Neo-V on the web

Read reviews and details of Kurt’s book on Amazon