This evening marked our Slow Food Benefit: Local Pairings at Latitude 41 dinner, an extraordinary event in many ways. It brought together Chef Dave MacLennan, bartender Cris Dehlavi, and three stars of the “drink local” movement—Middle West Spirits, Brothers Drake Mead, and Rockmill Brewery. It also brought together nearly fifty guests, whose collective generosity dramatically increased our operating budget (membership fees all go to the national organization, and when it comes to most of our events, we put the “non” in “nonprofit”).
So, first and foremost, an immense and heartfelt “Thank you” to all involved. The generosity of spirit that everyone displayed at this event was humbling, heartwarming, and simply inspiring. The food and drinks were outstanding, and the company was first-rate from start to finish.
In fact, the pleasure of the meal was what unified these producers—indeed, what gave rise to our organization in the first place: though few now remember it, Slow Food was founded in Italy as “The International Movement for the Defense of and the Right to Pleasure.” That’s because its founders understood something very important: good, clean, and fair food tastes better, and the surest way to win the hearts and minds of consumers is to start with their taste buds. We could talk your ear off about good, clean, and fair food, believe us… but the most effective way for us to promote it is to hand you a fork or a glass, stand back, and watch your face light up with pleasure as you try it for yourself.
That’s the fundamental point that Middle West, Brothers Drake, Rockmill, and Latitude 41—not to mention Jeni’s and others—intuitively understand. That, more than anything else, is what brings them together. And that’s why, if you haven’t sampled their offerings, you’re depriving yourself of a real treat.