The Russian River chapter of Slow Food, a non-profit, eco-gastronomic organization that supports a bio-diverse sustainable food supply, local producers, heritage foodways, and rediscovery of the pleasures of the table, has one of the most bountiful environments to work with. From grapes to apples and fresh seafood to farm-raised meats and wine to dairy, Sonoma County has it all covered!
The concept of conviviality, the heart of the Slow Food movement, means taking pleasure in the processes of cooking, eating, and sharing meals with others. Since Slow Food is synonymous with Sonoma’s wine country, I was delighted to be one of the attendees partaking in the Slow Food Ark of Taste dinner, facilitated by Santa Rosa Junior College at Shone Farm.
The Ark of Taste is a list of endangered foods and food traditions that are selected by Slow Food around the world to be documented, preserved, and defended.
Louis Maldonado (Executive Chef of Spoonbar! and Pizzando in Healdsburg, Slow Food member, and recent finalist on Bravo TV’s Top Chef) was the chef for the dinner. Chef Louis prepared a menu that featured 11 Ark of Taste products from the US, Japan, and Italy.
Dinner was centered on an Ossabaw Island Hog from Black Sheep Farm and included five courses artfully presented and deliciously prepared. The dinner was one of the most amazing culinary experiences I can recall.
We did not pass up the opportunity, with the new friends we met at our table, to bid on the 100-mile dinner – a seasonal meal sourced from within 100 miles of Healdsburg – and make sure we were the winners! It was a terrific way to support Slow Food projects and look forward to another fabulous meal with friends.