Join Slow Food DC for Eat Local First DC, a Weeklong Celebration of Local Food – July 14-21

Slow Food DC is proud to be a part of Eat Local First DC, a weeklong celebration of local food, including our local farms, restaurants, chefs and independent retailers. There will be wide variety of events – like a garden tour, film screening, and food industry panel – in addition to happy hours and parties. Things kick off Saturday, 7/14, with a party at Acre 121 featuring local music from Listen Local First and local BBQ and beer.

The focus of this year’s Eat Local First DC will be on local farms and restaurants and the organizations and people that are making locally-grown food more accessible in DC. Throughout the week, you’ll be able to dine at restaurants participating in Farm-to-Table Restaurant Week. On Thursday, 7/19, Slow Food DC is hosting a happy hour for our Snail of Approval awards, which recognize local eateries and artisans for their commitment to quality, sustainable food and the preservation of food traditions and craftsmanship. The event is at Ripple, a 2011 honoree.

Slow Food DC is helping to organize a garden tour on Tuesday, 7/17 that will highlight the work of DC residents who have created sustainable and edible gardens in the historic heart of the city. Then on Saturday, 7/21, we’ll be out celebrating local food at the Farm-to-Street Party – look for our table. You’ll be able to enjoy delicious dishes made with local ingredients, drink local craft beer and wine, shop local retailers and take craft food classes. Listen Local First is providing music from local artists.

There will be a special focus this year on the emerging culinary entrepreneurs who are growing the local restaurant economy in DC. The Femivore Award winner will be decided at an event on Monday, 7/16. The award recognizes women in the local food movement and will provide $1,000 for the winner’s local food project. Additionally, there will be two all-star panels (details here and here) on the local food economy.

You can read about all the upcoming events on the Eat Local First DC website. We hope you’ll come!

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Don’t just scream for icecream: make it!

I first heard the word Presidium during my time at Slow Food International’s Terra Madre conference in 2010. I recall sampling Presidio goat cheese and brought my dad back some Presidio olives from the Salone del Gusto (which translates roughly to “The Tasting Hall”). Mmm mmm mmm.

Now, I concede that I am tragically unhip — always have been — and so suspect that I am probably the last person on the planet to have heard of the prestigious award. But in case you are new to it as well, the Presidia, according to Slow Food International, are “projects that involve food communities in safeguarding native breeds, plant varieties and food products (bread, cheese, cured meats, wines, etc.). Their objective is to save traditional, artisanal, quality foods, strengthening the organization of producers, raising the profile of geographic areas, preserving traditional techniques and knowledge and promoting environmentally and socially sustainable production models.” That’s pretty impressive. It’s kind of like the food version of a UNESCO historic site.

Well. Wouldn’t you know it, when I was in Florence last month for a friend’s wedding, I caught wind that there was a Presidia-certified gelateria called “Perche no?” somewhere in the city. Perche no, indeed. While my friends shuffled off to the Ufizzi — eh, I’d been there in college — I prowled the winding backstreets in search of creamy, Snail-worthy, dairy goodness. And I found it:

Yes, I cropped myself out of that picture. I mean, seriously, language barrier or not, what kind of friendly stranger taking the photo doesn’t tell me I have chocolate gelato all over my face? Anyhow, the important part is the delicious gelato. I daresay I had at least two cones of it each of the 10 days I lingered in Italy. Mmmm….

Suddenly find yourself hungry for delicious frozen dairy? Learn to make your own. SFDC is teaming up with Moorenko’s in nearby Silver Spring to offer an artisanal icecream making class later this month. Space is limited, and tickets are required. It’s not Presidio certified, but you know, it’s pretty darn good. Perche no?

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Ice Cream Tasting and Tour at Moorenko’s in Silver Spring, MD

Beat the heat with this hands-on ice cream event. The group will participate in crafting a unique flavor, which you’ll get to nominate with the purchase of your ticket. The most creative one will be selected and made during the event. You’ll learn about the artisanal ice cream process and how to discern the quality of ice cream. Best of all, you will get to take a pint home and our group’s flavor will be featured at the Silver Spring shop.

Moorenko’s Ice Cream was founded in 2002, inspired by ice cream that owner Susan Soorenko and her sons tasted on vacation. Determined to create ice cream that would stand apart from the rest, Soorenko attended Ice Cream University and has studied ice cream making in Italy and France. Moorenko’s ice creams and sorbets are ultra-premium, all natural, and built from the bottom up. The woman-owned company creates unique flavors for sophisticated palates as well as the all-time favorites.

Date: Sunday, July 15
Time: 2 – 4 PM
Location: 8810 Brookville Road, Silver Spring, 20910 MD

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here. Space is limited, and you must buy a ticket in advance.

Email kati@slowfooddc.org for more information.

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Snail of Approval Nominations closed

The nomination period for the 2012 Snail of Approval awards has ended. We’d like to thank everyone who nominated an eatery or producer.

Up next, Slow Food DC will be going over the nominees and finalizing the winners. Planning is also under way for a celebration where we recognize the winners of the 2012 Snail of Approval. If you’d like to help out either through volunteering or sponsorship, please let us know.

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Apparently LOTS of folks around here want to learn how sausage is made…

What’s that line about nobody wanting to see how laws or sausage get made? I beg to differ. Washingtonians are clearly excited to learn how to make their own sausages, as evidenced by the rapid selling out of spots for the workshop led by 2011 Snail of Approval winners last Sunday….

Luckily, I organized the event, so my spot was guaranteed. I joined White House Meats‘ dynamic duo to get a hands-on lesson on sausage-making here in the nation’s capitol. From the basics of cutting and grinding and stuffing, to the intricacies of seasoning and twisting sausages into links, Jon and Seth led 30 local food enthusiasts through all you need to know about making sausage.

We focused mostly on pork sausage, grinding, mixing, up and then cooking breakfast sausages, brats, and half-smokes in the kitchen at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. It was both an informative and delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon, to be sure.

Bummed that you missed this workshop? Want to learn about similar Slow Food DC events in the future? Then sign up for our newsletter so you find out before such workshops become a Washington Post or City Paper critic’s pick next time.

[Photos courtesy of Jeff Wilkes.]

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Tenth Annual Slow Food – Clyde’s Farm Dinner!

Save the date! Slow Food DC is proud to announce the tenth annual Slow Food – Clyde’s Farm Dinner, August 4th, 2012 at 5pm.

Slow Food DC and Clyde’s Restaurant Group join together to celebrate their 10th Annual Farm dinner, a once-a-year event that honors our local farmers and artisans. Hosted at Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm in Broadlands, Slow Food members and friends gather to sip wines and to stroll the property on a tour of Clyde’s raised-bed garden, where all their veggies grow. Then they sit down to a splendid four-course farm dinner with matching wines, prepared by Corporate Chef Brian Stickel and Willow Creek Farm’s Chef Nathan Thomas.

Continue reading

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Farm Tour with Nourishing Traditions Cookbook Author Sally Fallon Morell

Join journalist, chef and nutrition researcher Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions, for a tour of her historic farm, the P.A. Bowen Farmstead in Brandywine, MD.

She’ll lead us on a tour of the farm and discuss her passion for cheese making. Then we’ll talk with Sally over a delicious lunch of cheese, charcuterie and bread (bring a drink).

Sally Fallon Morell and her husband Geoffrey Morell hope that their farm can serve as a model for other farms, inspiring farmers — both established and new — to produce an abundance of naturally raised foods and bring prosperity to Southern Maryland and to farming communities throughout the U.S.

Date: Saturday, June 23
Time: 11 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: 15701 Dr Bowen Road, Brandywine, MD (about 50 miles from DC)

Tickets are $25 for SFDC members and $30 for non-members (includes lunch). Purchase through Eventbrite

Space is limited. Buy in advance. Email kati@slowfooddc.org for more info.

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Tour the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve and Have Lunch at Rocklands Farms

Join us for a tour of farms, historical sites and natural areas within the Montgomery County Agriculture Reserve, led by the Montgomery Countryside Alliance, and then have lunch al fresco at Rocklands Farm.

The Ag Reserve is the nation’s most successful farmland protection effort: 577 farms and 350 horticultural enterprises call the county home and agriculture is the second largest driver of the county economy. Many of the Ag Reserve’s farms have been in the same family for generations, and more recently new farmers have taken to the land to grow crops to meet the growing demand for local food. Montgomery Countryside Alliance has been working for the past decade to maintain the Ag Reserve as a working landscape in the face of huge development pressures and makes it easier for farmers to get started and expand their operations.

Snail of Approval winner Rocklands Farm will provide lunch by their stream, including their farm-raised burgers and a fresh salad.

Date: Saturday, June 9th
Time: 9:30 AM until 3:30 PM
Location: The tour will begin between 10 and 10:30 at the Poole’s General Store in Poolesville, MD and go from there.

Tickets are $15 (includes lunch). Space is limited. Buy in advance. Email sarah at slowfooddc.org for more info.





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Slow U: Sausage Making with White House Meats

This event is currently sold out. Please look for more Slow U events in the future!

Sausage

used under cc from flickr user chiefly

Learn the art of making sausage with the local, grass-fed meat aficionados at 2011 Snail of Approval winner White House Meats!

Date: Sunday, June 3, 2012
Time: 3:30-5:30pm
Location: St. Stephen’s, Corner of 16th & Newton Streets NW, DC (Columbia Heights Metro)

This Slow Food University class will start with a lecture and demo using pork sourced from Mt. Airy Farm and High View Farm, followed by hands-on sausage making. Come learn how to grind, season and stuff from the folks who know it best. We ask you bring a dish to complement our freshly made sausages for a good old fashioned Slow Food potluck.

2011 Snail of Approval winning White House Meats provides locally raised, natural, humane, and dry-aged meat from the Washington, DC area. “Straight from the farm to you.”

Tickets are sold out!

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SFDC Happy Hour at Sonoma

Wine

used under cc from flickr user henryrose

Please join us Thursday, May 24 for happy hour at 2012 Snail of Approval nominee Sonoma Wine Bar.

Learn more about a new nominee (and taste for yourself) and get a chance to ask questions about the Snail of Approval process. This is also a chance to come and socialize with other people who love good food and wine. Some light fare will be provided. Please let us know if you plan on joining us by emailing kathryn@slowfooddc.org

Date: Thursday, May 24
Time: 6 to 8pm
Location: Sonoma Restaurant & Wine Bar
223 Pennsylvania Ave SE (3 blocks from Capitol South Metro)
Cost: Drinks will be at happy hour prices and complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided

The Snail of Approval is our opportunity to recognize the food producers who contribute to our community through their daily commitment to quality of food and taste, the sustainability of its origins, and preserving authentic food traditions and craftsmanship. These are the ones who uphold the Slow Food motto of good, clean, and fair food.

The online nomination form will close June 30, so nominate your favorite restaurant, CSA, farmer, producer or artisan today! We look forward to sharing some great food and wine with you soon!

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