Planning Committee Meeting
961 Highland Street, Columbus
Sunday, January 18, 11 a.m.
Last year’s events were, in a word, inspirational. Our membership grew in ways that surprised our peers in other convivia, and we were thrilled at the can-do spirit that we found at all of our events. Our Flying J dinner was a heartwarming success largely because just about everyone chipped in in one way or another. By the end of the year, members were even planning and organizing events, and we had the pleasure of (mostly) just being along for the ride!
These are the people we want on our Planning Committee. If you could see yourself planning and organizing an event, come to our house for a light brunch and a discussion of the coming year.
Taste Workshop: American Artisanal Cheese
475 South 3rd St., Columbus
Tuesday, February 24, 7:00 p.m.
$20 member / $25 nonmember + processing fee
Get the idea of Kraft singles out of your head! America has a lot to offer when it comes to artisanal cheeses. And we’ll taste our way through some of the best. Join us at Katzinger’s Delicatessen for an education into American cheesemaking. The workshop will be co-taught by Arlene, a Slow Food Columbus member and soon to be cheese apprentice, and Wendy, a self-described cheesemonger and manager of Katzinger’s retail and specialty foods. They will lead us through Cheddar, Blue, Washed Rind, Natural Rind and Bloomy Rind cheeses. We’ll learn how ordinary milk—combined with just the right amount of science and magic—is transformed into the cheeses that have been loved and savored throughout history. To complement the cheeses, Arlene and Wendy chose a couple of beers from Columbus’ own Elevator brew pub. They will also have answers to many of our most difficult cheesy questions: Is the rind edible? How do I arrange a good cheese plate? Which cheeses should I use for cooking/baking? What is so “slow food” about cheese anyway?
Katzinger’s will be offering a 20% discount on all retail items (including cheese) purchased the night of the tasting. Space is limited to 30 people, so act now and make your reservations!
Slow Food Columbus Anniversary Dinner: Traditions of Sardinia
698 N. High St, Columbus
Monday, March 2, 7:00 p.m.
$55 member / $65 nonmember + tax, gratuity, & processing fee
To celebrate the first anniversary of the founding of a Slow Food convivium in Columbus, Slow Food member Kent Rigsby has offered to host a dinner for us at his consistently top-rated restaurant, Rigsby’s Kitchen. As an homage to Slow Food’s Italian roots, it will be a classic Italian five course wine dinner emphasizing the cuisine of Sardinia, consisting of antipasti, primi, secondi, formaggi, and dolce(handmade Seadas—a rare treat!) Each course will be paired with a different wine for a unique opportunity so try an array of dynamic flavors. Antonella Mancini, whose Sardinian wine will be one of the features of the evening, will be in attendance to discuss her wines. Come join us at Rigsby’s for an evening of taste, tradition and fun!
Note that seating is limited and, to avoid confusion, reservations can only be made via our online service; please do not contact Rigsby’s for reservations.
Morel Hunt at Flying J Farm
Flying J Farm
5329 Van Fossen Road, Johnstown
Saturday, April 25, 9 a.m.
No cost; members only
Slow Food member Dick Jensen of Flying J Farm in Johnstown will be leading a hunt for the elusive morel mushroom on his farm at noon on Saturday, April 25. By special invitation, members of Slow Food can arrive early and try their luck at tracking down the famously furtive fungus.
Bring a mesh bag (to redistribute the spores), and be prepared to donate half of your yield to Dick as a courtesy. Those who wish to do so may bring a dish and stay at the farm for a mushroom-themed potluck beginning at 4 p.m.; details can be found under the Events tab on the Flying J website.
And novices, take note: Nothing is as unworthy of your trust as a foodie in a forest full of morels. Don’t reveal your spots… and watch your back. You’ve been warned.
Watch a video on hunting morels
¡¡Cubano!! Slow Food Columbus Goes Cuban
McPeek Lodge 3447 Raccoon Valley Road, Granville
Saturday, May 2, 5:30-11 p.m.
$65 nonmember/$40 member/$25 children 12 and under
We know that you will enjoy our spring fundraiser: a traditional Cuban Pig Roast, cooked in a “China Box” with traditional Cuban accompaniments, all celebrated in the rustic environment of the McPeek Lodge in Granville, Ohio.
Slow Food Columbus has been planning for almost a year to recreate this traditional Cuban “Celebration of the Pig.” The China Box is so named because it was first introduced to Cuban culture by a Chinese traveler. It slowly cooks a whole pig marinated in Cuban flavors producing an extraordinarily juicy and savory dish that literally falls from the bone and all the charm of a whole pig roast from any culture. Columbus Barbeque guru and pig man extraordinaire Rick Malir fromCity BBQ will be offering his considerable skills to prepare a masterpiece.
We will start with ceviche, consisting of seafood provided by Angelo Edwards of The Fish Guys, and Cuban salsa and chips donated byJohn “CaJohn” Hard, both of the North Market. Our antibiotic-free, Ohio-raised guest of honor will be accompanied by four traditional Cuban sides, prepared and generously donated by Chef Kevin Caskey at Banana Bean Café, and another generous donation of the Cuban bread you love from Starliner Diner. The ceviche and sides will be made, in part, with produce donated by the Greener Grocer at the North Market. A special offering donated by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams should match the food and be the perfect finish.
So that you have just what you like to quench your thirst, we invite you to bring your favorite beverages and something from which to imbibe. We have compiled some suggested wine and beverage pairings, as well as a list of local suppliers, for your convenience.
Slow Food — Athens Summer Fiesta and Siesta
Athens, OH and environs
Saturday-Sunday, June 20-21
Pricing à la carte; $5 nonmember event fee
Join Slow Food Columbus as the Snails Slide South again for a full weekend in Athens.
We will meet up at the Athens Farmers Market at 10 a.m. on Saturday June 20th to sample the 40-plus Slow Food-friendly market vendors. Many of these folks sell their products to Columbus markets and restaurants now you can go local with these locavores. As a bonus, we will be visiting during the market’s Berry Bake-Off, so even more goodies with be available for hungry Slow Foodies. At 10:30 a.m., we will meet at the Market Information sign to speak with Sarah Conley-Ballew (in yellow vest), the head Manager of the Farmer’s Market .
Our next stop will be at 1:00 p.m. for the grand tour of Snowville Creamery. (Webmaster’s note: Look carefully at the text, folks… our web links are subtle, some people miss ‘em, and there are a lot here….)
At 3:30 p.m., we will arrive at Integration Acres to meet with Chris and learn about produce, pawpaws and goats.
At 7:00, we will return to Athens for dinner at Zoe. We will be dining on a five-course meal sourced from many of the vendors we saw in the morning. Tickets are limited to 26 people at $35 per person all-inclusive [reservations closed]; wineglasses will be provided for BYOB.
After dinner we will take a break to explore Athens at night. Some people might return to Columbus while others may stay in town. We have also been invited to camp out for free at the farm of Warren Taylor from Snowville Creamery. (Please let us know if you opt for this camping option).
On Sunday, we sleep in a bit, then at 10 a.m. we meet at Jana’s Soul Food Café for brunch made with bunch of local produce and products. Tickets are limited to 26 souls for this event as well, at $15.50 all-inclusive [reservations closed].
Around noon, we will carpool to Sassafras Farms for a tour. Our farm tour host asks that we carpool and limit the number of cars to 5 total, so we will try to partner up at Jana’s or another site in Athens before heading to the farm. Our host will be Ed Perkins, the dean of all things organic in Athens and former OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association) President.
Afterward, we head back to Athens. At 3:00, we wrap up the weekend in the Cantina at Casa Nueva. We will hear from Leslie Schaller about “Casa” past, present and future. Leslie also works for Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), which coordinates the Athens Food Ventures Center, which has fueled may successful food purveyors in the area.
Please contact Slow Food member Jim Ellison for information on lodging, field trips and additional places to eat.
Food and Ohio Wine Festival
The North Market
59 Spruce Street, Columbus
Saturday, July 11, 11-12 a.m.
When the North Market announced a festival organized around Ohio food and wine, we thought, “Those are two of our favorite things—we should definitely be there!” But since we’re not North Market vendors, we don’t have a stall, and since we don’t actually have anything to sell, we don’t really qualify for a table. “Perhaps you could cook something,” suggested Mary Martineau, the Market’s Director of Marketing and resident vintage Vespa goddess.
Why, yes. Yes, we can.
Drop by the Ohio Proud Kitchen at the North Market between 11 a.m. and noon on Saturday and sample a little bit of what we’ll have on offer. We’ll also be available to talk about Slow Food’s programs, the Columbus convivium, and what we have in store for the coming year.
Slow Food à la Cart
Chez Hall and Christofides, 382 W. 6th Ave., Columbus
Sunday, July 26, 6:30 p.m.
$15 member/$25 nonmember
Join Slow Food Columbus for two of our favorite mobile foods—pizza and crêpes!—made with good, clean and fair seasonal produce. Columbus’ wildman pizza artisan Bill Yerkes of Bono Pizza will team up with confectionary virtuoso Caroline Gross of Liberté Crêpes to craft the freshest seasonal produce from area farmers into dinner and dessert à la minute. Join us to savor these one-time-only recipes, with sangria and/or whatever beverage you choose to bring along (no breakable glass in the backyard, please), and to watch Ratatouilleunder the stars in the stunning backyard setting of Slow Food members Andrew Hall and Elena Christofides. The price of the ticket ($15 members, $25 nonmembers, including all ticket fees) will cover sangria, admission for one to the movie, one pizza, and one crêpe, after which pizzas and crêpes can be purchased à la cart(e).
Taste Education Field Trip: 2009 Pawpaw Festival
Lake Snowden, Albany, OH
Saturday, September 19; meet at 9:00 a.m. at Northstar Café in the Short North
Admission $5 per person; no additional cost
When it comes to pawpaws, the need for education is apparent. Most people have never even seen one, and when you do a Google image search you get photographs of pawpaws, papayas, some durian-like spiky fruit, and the occasional dog. (Seriously.)
Pawpaws are not papayas. They’re a surprisingly tropical-tasting fruit, sort of a cross between a banana and a mango, with flesh the consistency of custard when they’re fully ripe. Chilled, they were one of George Washington’s favorite desserts. They are also a Slow Food Ark of Taste product, meaning that they are endangered by the industrialization of food: because they bruise easily and ripen quickly, they are less appealing to the food industry than (say) the hardy Cavendish banana. But they have few natural predators, require no pesticides, grow locally… and they’re delicious.
Pawpaw season is upon us, and one of the very best places in the world to sample pawpaws is at the Pawpaw Festival in Lake Snowden, OH. There will be many varieties available to sample and compare. Pawpaw experts, including Slow Food Betsy Lydon Award winner Neal Peterson and Integration Acres’ Chris Chmiel, will be present. There will be other activities too, but the pawpaws are the main attraction.
Join us for breakfast at the Northstar Café in the Short North at 9:00 a.m., where we will compare notes on how long everyone wants to stay and then carpool or caravan down to the Festival, leaving at 10 and arriving before noon. We will stay until late afternoon, during which time we will cheer on fearless leader Colleen and Hungrywoolfauthor Bethia, who will be official pawpaw judges at the festival. Those interested in doing so will most likely linger afterward for dinner in nearby Athens. Anyone interested in camping overnight should contact Bethia using the link above.
Time for Lunch Eat-In
Shanahan Middle School
814 Shanahan Road, Lewis Center
Sunday, September 20, 2-4 p.m.
No cost; bring a dish
Slow Food USA is sponsoring a Time for Lunch campaign this fall. One goal of the campaign is to send a message to our community leaders that we care about improving the quality of food in school lunches. Another is to provide opportunities for people around the country who are passionate about getting better food into schools to get in touch with one another and build social networks for change.
As part of that campaign, Cynthia Walters of Shanahan Middle School, just northeast of Powell off of Route 23, is spearheading an “eat-in”—a group of people gathering to share a home-cooked meal—at her school on Sunday, September 20th, from 2-4 p.m. (welcome address at 2:15 p.m.) Slow Food USA and Slow Food Columbus would like to invite you to join us at this event.
The requirements are simple. The first thing that you need to do is RSVP on this webpage, using the link to the right (it doesn’t cost anything, but we do need to know how many people will be attending before the event starts, so it’s important that you sign up). The second thing that you need to do is bring a healthy, nutritious, home-cooked dish to share. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, though ideally it would reflect Slow Food’s emphasis on food that’s good, clean and fair.
Bring your family, bring your friends, bring a blanket or chairs to sit on the lawn if the weather’s nice, and bring your voice. It’s time that it was heard.
Locavore Dinner at the Winery at Otter Creek
The Winery at Otter Creek
5291 Bennington Chapel Road, Johnstown
Saturday, October 3, 4:00 p.m.; $75 members / $100 nonmembers
When we had our outdoor Locavore Dinner at Flying J Farm last year, with food fresh from the farm and Basi Italia’s Chef John Dornback at the grill, the main course hadn’t even been served before we started hearing people say that they were already happy with the event. By the time last year’s fall fundraiser was over, they were asking how we would top it this year. We were flattered, and thrilled that everyone had such a wonderful time.
It wasn’t until months later that they started asking, “No, really… howare you going to top that?” And we thought, Hmm… this is the kind of challenge we like.
Some of you have gotten hints of what we’ve come up with, but in case you haven’t, let us introduce this year’s venue: The Winery at Otter Creek.
The winery sits on a small lake in Johnstown, and owners Jeff and Christie Chrisman and Mike and Jackie Evans have offered to host our open-air dinner this year. The food will still come mainly from Flying J(they’re neighbors), and Chef John will still be preparing it—along with Chef Kent Rigsby of Rigsby’s Kitchen. Overnight camping will be available after the dinner.
As was the case last year, tickets for members will go on sale first, this Friday, September 18, at noon. Members should receive email from us by Thursday at 5 p.m. with the password to use to purchase tickets. Nonmember tickets for any remaining slots will become available at noon on Friday, September 25.
Ark of Taste Tasting at Hills Market
The Hills Market
7860 Olentangy River Road
Thursday, October 22, 7 p.m.
$5 members / $10 nonmembers
The Ark of Taste is Slow Food’s flagship biodiversity program. In some ways more local than local, it celebrates delicious foods that have long standing as part of a region’s food history, but that are currently in danger of being swept aside by the standardization produced by the industrial food system. The pawpaw is a good example: A delicious fruit with a tropical, banana-like flavor, it is delicate and ripens quickly, so despite the fact that it is native to Ohio, most Ohioans have never tasted one, and most markets don’t even carry them.
Not so the Hills Market, which not only carried pawpaws this year but sold out—thanks in no small part to the efforts Marketing Director and itinerant foodie Jill Moorhead. Jill also dropped us a line and asked whether we’d be interested in working with them on an Ark of Taste tasting. The short answer? Yes.
Ark products are hard to find in Ohio. (We’ve tried.) Jill and her team have assembled about twenty of them (!!), from shrub (a colonial beverage) to preserved Aunt Molly’s ground cherries from Wayward Seed Farm to Hawaiian Alaea sea salt. We’ll even have a glass of Charbono wine to go along with it.
They’ve worked hard to put these products together, and we’ve worked with them to make the event as accessible to everyone as possible. Seating will be limited at this event, so don’t wait to call Hills (614-846-3220) to make your reservation.
A Slow Taste of Tuscany
811 Highland Street, Columbus
Wednesday, November 18, 5–9 p.m.
$69 prix fixe + tax/gratuity includes signed copy of book ($39 + t/g without); $5 of each meal benefits The North Market
RSVP to Basi Italia at 614-294-7383 for reservations
Have you ever taken part in a dinner cooked simultaneously in some of the best restaurants in nineteen states (and two countries)? For one night in mid-November, you can.
On November 18, Columbus will be part of a North American dinner release, coordinated by Slow Food and Zagat’s, for Douglas Gayeton’sSlow: Life in a Tuscan Town. The full list of cities is here; Ohio diners are welcome to come to Basi Italia, where star Chef John Dornback, hero of our open-air fall locavore dinners, will show you what he can do in an honest-to-goodness kitchen by creating a special multi-course prix fixedinner for the occasion. The preliminary menu includes:
- Savory chestnut custard with rosemary and sea salt
- Crisp pancetta-wrapped radicchio with candied onion and balsamico
- Choice of Braised Ohio Millcreek chicken with chorizo, artichokes and fingerling potatoes or Wild boar ragu with potato gnocchi and goat cheese
- Arborio rice pudding with fig caramel
We hope you will join us in honoring the simple and superb pleasure of fresh food that has been prepared slowly and locally. Come relax in the warmth and comfort of Basi and be transported to Tuscany for an evening of conviviality and good cheer. $5 of the cost of each meal will be donated to the North Market.
Ohio Local Foods Roundtable and Reception
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 E. Main Street, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Thursday, November 12, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
$13 per person
Recent years have witnessed a dramatic increase in interest in the improvement of all levels of the American food system—improving access to good, clean, and fair food; promoting local agriculture; practicing sustainability; eradicating hunger; improving the quality of school meals and children’s health. Many of these goals are pursued, with different degrees of emphasis, by nonprofits and organizations like Simply Living, Local Matters, Slow Food, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, the American Community Gardening Association, and others.
Working separately, they accomplish remarkable things. Working together, they could accomplish even more.
That is why, on November 12, we at Slow Food Columbus are partnering with the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Sustainable Agriculture to create an event at which food-related organizations in the mid-Ohio region can explore common goals and leverage diverse strengths.
The Department’s roundtable will be a series of seminars on local food distribution and processing, making the case for local food systems, and building partnerships in local food policy and will conclude with updates from state and regional Food Policy Councils. The reception will be an informal wine-and-cheese affair at which guests will have the opportunity to talk about their own organization’s projects and how they might usefully benefit from collaboration.
For more information, drop us a line.
Slow Wine in the House
644 High Street, Worthington
Tuesday, December 15, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Our regular Slow Wine at the Vine events have brought a regular stream of both members and new people interested in Slow Food. For December, a combination of a desire not to intrude on Jonna’s busiest season and an interest in reaching out to those a bit farther north prompted us to contact Donnie Austin, the mind and palate behind House Wine in Worthington. If you haven’t visited Donnie’s shop, this would be an opportune time: we will chat with Donnie, sample wines from his formidable collection of Enomatics, and nosh on food à la carte from nearby Caffe Daniela.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to Slow Food, we hope to see you there!
Terra Madre Day Potluck
961 Highland Street, Columbus
Thursday, December 10, 7-9 p.m.
Members (and interested farmers) only please; free (signup required)
“Slow Food is launching Terra Madre Day around the world, to be held for the first time on December 10 this year. By taking this opportunity with passion and inclusiveness, we can achieve one of the largest collective occasions celebrating food diversity and good, clean and fair food production ever achieved on a global scale.”
—Carlo Petrini, President, Slow Food
Well, you heard the man….
Terra Madre is a network, created by Slow Food in 2004, with the goal of raising the profile of small-scale farmers and food producers and connecting them with cooks, academics, youths, and consumers. The long-term goal is to help give more structure to the growing community that makes up the good, clean, and fair food system. Today there are 2,000 Terra Madre food communities in 150 countries, including, at present, a half-dozen or so farms and farm communities in northern Ohio and one cook, Chef Matthew Harlan of Cleveland’s Lolita. Chef Jonathon Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern has even put together a terrific Terra Madre Day menu for his restaurant’s customers, which he tempted us with on a recent visit.
On the evening of December 10 we will gather here in Columbus at Slow Food Headquarters (translation: our house) for a potluck that will bring together Slow Food members, area farmers, and food producers to celebrate the spirit of Terra Madre and to spread the word about this unique community. Please join us; all that’s required is that you be a member of one of those groups and that you bring a dish that reflects some of the Terra Madre Pillars of Food Wisdom:
- Access to good, clean and fair food
- Agricultural and food biodiversity
- Small-scale food production
- Food sovereignty
- Language, cultural and traditional knowledge
- Environmentally responsible food production
- Fair and sustainable trade
We hope to see you there!