Slow Food Columbus

Shake the Hand That Feeds You IV

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When people ask what we do at Slow Food Columbus, one of the things I like to mention is our annual Shake the Hand That Feeds You dinner at Dick Jensen’s Flying J organic farm in Johnstown. The meal embodies the Slow Food ideal along many key dimensions:

  • Community.  New people often come expecting the sort of sit-down meal they’d get at a restaurant. They soon find themselves picking kale, helping to roast a pig, or making ice cream—and loving it. They cool off with a beer or a glass of wine that’s been provided by a local business here in the community… and may even have a chance to chat with the owners themselves.
  • Quality.  Chef Caskey and his team from Skillet Rustic Urban Food orchestrate an amazing meal made up of ingredients that couldn’t be fresher—on the vine in the early afternoon, on the plate by dinnertime, all of it held to strict organic standards. We don’t have menus for the event for one simple reason: the chef decided what to make when he arrived.
  • Inclusiveness.  Thanks to the generosity of Skillet, which closed for a busy weekend without asking for a cent, and of our community partners, and of all of the members and friends who chipped in, we were able to offer the dinner at a price that was competitive even with ordinary restaurant dinners—$40 per person for members—let alone with other farm-to-table dinners (we’re looking at you, Outstanding in the Field). Kids came too—the farm’s donkey in particular seemed to love playing with them.
It’s the sort of event that intimately mingles people and food, and in so doing emphatically brings out the best in both.  We are always honored to set it in motion and witness it as it unfolds.  And we’re happy to share it with you here, through the eyes of some of the participants.

Picking kale (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

Peaches (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

Cooking (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

Handmade (photo by Molly Kurth)

Farm to glass (photo by Molly Kurth)

Ice cream (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

Donkey (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

Now-legendary cheese and tongue sandwich (photo by Molly Kurth)

In line (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

Dinner (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

At the table (photo by Brittany Stigler and Mitchell Fuller)

We are immensely grateful to everyone who took part, in one way or another, in this event: to Dick Jensen and his interns at Flying J, for the use of his farm, for the donation of food and firewood, and for preparing the farm for us; to Skillet Rustic Urban Food, for sacrificing a weekend’s worth of business to make the dinner a possibility; to the indefatigable Warren Taylor of Snowville Creamery for his time, energy, milk, and all-around wonderfulness; to Chris at Integration Acres for supplying us with a whey-fed pig and cheese; to Lucky Penny Creamery for their goat feta; to Jeff Fish, for loaning us his China box and pig-roasting expertise (and hard labor!) on short notice; to Wine on High, Columbus Brewing Company, House WineUnited Estates Wines, and Middle West Spirits for providing the delicious drinks and to mixologist extraordinaire Nicolene Schwartz for crafting a signature cocktail for the event; to our devoted canners, Zach and Mary Briggs and Jenn Lause, who made the most attractive and delicious centerpieces ever to grace a table; and to the Ely Bros. for sending along the delightful Brittany and Mitch to take awesome photos.

Each of you helped us give people a dinner they’ll always remember, and we appreciate it immensely.  You’re the best.



  • Andy

    A great recap with great photos that does justice to an evening of great food, drink, and conviviality.

    Did I mention it was great?

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  • http://gravatar.com/andyshawband chris

    when is the next one? where do we sign up?? sounds amazing!

    • Bear

      They happen once a year, in the summer (because that’s how long it takes us to recover!)… glad you like the sound of it!