November 14th, 2013 by Nina Macdonald
Hello Slow Food OC,
November is off to an enthusiastic start! Several members of our steering committee attended a Slow Food California Leadership meeting hosted by Slow Food Urban San Diego. These meetings always inspire enthusiasm and new ideas. Members from established chapters throughout the state, our newest California Region chapter from the Gold Country, and a chapter in formation from Fresno/Tulare attended the meeting. Several SFUSA staff members as well as Slow Food Mexico International Counselor Alphonso Rocha Robles attended the conference and offered presentations.
On Saturday, workshops were offered on Food Policy Advocacy, Ark of Taste committee training, Best Practices for Chapter development and Fund Raising. On Saturday night, we had the choice of attending a Dios De Los Muertos festival at a local farm or a locally grown supper hosted by Chef and Urban San Diego Chair Chelsey Coleman.
Sunday provided an opportunity to hear about developments at Slow Food USA, as well as indigenous food projects from Slow Food Mexico. The staff from the national office including Executive Director, Richard McCarthy, and Jovan Sage, Leadership Program Manager, are eagerly awaiting the return and release of the paper Slow Food magazine now offered as part of Slow Food membership. SFUSA is diligently working on creating a new computer system that will help chapters to connect more easily with local members. The current focus of Slow Food USA for 2013 and 2014 is on supporting membership, biodiversity through the Ark of Taste, and supporting chapters in work with school gardens. Board Chair Matt Jones from Denver and Richard McCarthy are also working on a new initiative called Slow Meat, which SFOC Co-Chair Ted will discuss in another article.
What was unique about this gathering was the ample time allowed for lengthy conversation between members. It was fun to share chapter stories, compare restaurant recommendations, and have time to get to know one another in a relaxed atmosphere. We formed several new California working groups including Snail of Appreciation/Approval, an international committee working with Mexico and Baja California, and a group interested in offering Master Food courses similar to those offered at Terra Madre. The So Cal chapters kept us well fed with locally prepared and grown goodies, and we finished with a luncheon hosted by Urban San Diego at Tender Greens. Our plans are to meet in March in Sacramento to check in and help one another in our regionalization efforts.
Slow Food OC