Thursday, June 5, 2008

Slow Food Nation ... chow you can live with

If you left your heart in San Francisco, and will be going back for it Labor Day weekend, then you'll be in time for a kumbayah food event.

Slow Food Nation, the largest celebration of American food in history, will take place in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 29-Sept. 1). Slow Food Nation will bring together tens of thousands to experience an extraordinary range of activities highlighting the connection between plate and planet. The majority of Slow Food Nation’s events will be free and open to the public; certain events are ticketed.

Tickets went on sale Wednesday.

At the peak of harvest season, and on the eve of a Presidential election, Slow Food Nation will bring together local citizens and visitors, farmers and food artisans, political leaders, environmental advocates and health-care experts, community educators and artists.

Participants will savor food from across the U.S. at Taste, a 50,000 square foot pavilion; meet farmers and producers at a marketplace surrounding a 10,000 square foot newly-planted urban garden in the heart of the City; learn from speakers; and engage in political discourse to shape a more sustainable food system. Only in California would the words "discourse" and "food" play in the same sentence.

Slow Food Nation will also feature a music festival, workshops, films, dinners, hikes and journeys.

"Slow Food Nation will catalyze a huge shift in how Americans perceive and prioritize food. Through the four-day event, we hope to build momentum and demand for an American food system that is safer, healthier and more socially just," said Anya Fernald, executive director of Slow Food Nation. "Our founder, Alice Waters, has set the stage for a delicious revolution through decades of leadership and advocacy and our parent organization, Slow Food U.S.A., has built a wide membership base across America. By creating a framework for a deeper environmental and community-based connection to our food and farmers, Slow Food Nation will help participants learn how everyday choices affect our well-being, our culture and the health of the planet."


Saturday, Aug. 30; 11 am – 3 pm; 5 pm – 9 pm
Sunday, Aug. 31, 11 am – 3 pm; 6 pm – 9 pm
Fort Mason/Festival Pavilion
Tickets: $45 – $65

Taste is Slow Food Nation’s grand celebration of good, clean and fair food from across the United States. In-depth taste workshops and hands-on experiences with quality, process and distinguishing flavor factors will connect visitors with the origins and true value of our food. Each of the 15 uniquely designed pavilions showcases a different food through on-site demonstrations and tastes. Featured foods include: Beer, Bread, Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Fish, Honey & Preserves, Ice Cream, Native Foods, Olive Oil, Pickles & Chutney, Spirits, Tea and Wine. The Green Kitchen takes place here, where acclaimed chefs will demonstrate techniques for making simple, everyday dishes sustainable.

Food for Thought Speaker Series
Friday, Aug. 29, 9 am – 4:30 pm and Saturday, Aug. 30, 11:30 am – 10 pm
Civic Center/Herbst Theater and Milton Marks Auditorium
Tickets: $5 - $25

Featuring leading thinkers, community organizers, journalists and activists discussing current food issues, from policy and planning to education and climate change. Speakers include: Wendell Berry, Marion Nestle, Carlo Petrini, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Vandana Shiva and Alice Waters.

Friday, Aug. 29 - Sunday, Aug. 31; 9 am – 4 pm
Civic Center Plaza
Tickets: Free

The Market showcases 60 California farmers and artisans growing and producing good, clean and fair food. Visitors can purchase directly from the producer and learn the significance of regionality, diversity and artisanality in the Bay Area’s food system. Next to the Market, “Slow on the Go” demonstrates how “fast” slow food can be. Visitors can purchase affordable street food from San Francisco’s diverse ethnic community, prepared with fully sustainable, source-verified ingredients.

Slow Food Nation Victory Garden
Friday, Aug. 29 – Sunday, Aug. 31; 9 am – 4 pm
Civic Center Plaza
Tickets: Free

In collaboration with Victory Gardens 2008, Slow Food Nation will herald the era of self-sufficiency through the creation of an ornamental edible garden in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center. Planted on the same site as 60 years ago during World War II, the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden demonstrates the potential of a truly local agriculture practice and brings together and promotes Bay Area urban gardening organizations, while producing high quality food for those in need. The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden will be introduced to the public on Saturday, July 12 in a ceremony with Mayor Gavin Newsom and Slow Food Nation Founder Alice Waters.

Slow Food Rocks
Saturday, Aug. 30; 11 am – 7 pm and Sunday, Aug. 31; 11 am – 5:30 pm
Fort Mason/Great Meadow
Tickets on sale June 10

Featuring: Gnarls Barkley; G Love & Special Sauce; the John Butler Trio; Medeski Martin & Wood; New Pornographers and Ozomatli. Additional major headliners to be announced soon. A two-day outdoor music festival featuring the biggest names in rock, folk, hip-hop, soul, jazz and world music. Produced by the Festival Network, this is one of only three public events permitted on the Great Meadow the entire year.

Petition Launch for a New Vision for Agriculture and Food Policy for the 21st Century
Thursday, Aug. 28; 4 – 5 pm
Civic Center/Slow Food Nation Victory Garden
Tickets: Free

Hosted in conjunction with Roots of Change (ROC), Slow Food Nation will introduce a Vision Statement for Agricultural and Food Policy for the 21st Century drafted by notable activists, practitioners, producers and eaters across the country. The Vision Statement will be a call to action to frame future food and agricultural policies, including the next Farm Bill, to benefit all Americans.

In case you're wondering who's behind this event:
Slow Food Nation is sponsored by Whole Foods Market, Rodale Inc., Saveur magazine, Sunset magazine, Anolon cookware, Medlock Ames winery, Organic Valley Farms, Jack London Market, Urban Village Farmers’ Market Association, Bon App├ętit Management Company, Cain Vineyard and Winery. Media sponsors include 7 X 7 magazine,,, Edible Communities magazines, Mother Jones magazine, Wine & Spirits magazine,, Meatpaper magazine and many more partners to be announced. Slow Food Nation is presented by arrangement with the Fort Mason Foundation and thanks to the generous support of the City and County of San Francisco and the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Slow Food Nation is a subsidiary non-profit of Slow Food USA and part of the international Slow Food movement. It was created to organize the first-ever American collaborative gathering to unite the growing sustainable food movement and introduce thousands of people to food that is good, clean and fair through enjoyable, accessible and educational activities. Slow Food Nation is dedicated to creating a framework for deeper environmental connection to our food and aims to inspire and empower Americans to build a food system that is sustainable, healthy and delicious.

The Slow Food movement was founded in Rome in 1989 and flourishes in 131 countries around the globe. Currently supported by 83,000 members worldwide (16,000 members in the U.S.), Slow Food’s ethos (another great word) is defined by the belief that food is a common language and a universal right, and an appreciation for slowing down and savoring the convivial traditions of the table.

Established in 2000, non-profit Slow Food USA has grown to 200 local chapters in 47 states. Its members include culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, farmers and food producers, educators and students. Slow Food USA envisions a world in which all people can eat delicious food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet.


kmf said...

Hey, thanks for mentioning this part:

"It was created to organize the first-ever American collaborative gathering to unite the growing sustainable food movement and introduce thousands of people to food that is good, clean and fair through enjoyable, accessible and educational activities."

The most important aspect is collaboration. In case your interested, I just posted something about why on last week. See it at:

And thanks again.


Kurt M Friese
Slow Food USA