Slow Food Los Angeles

Good, clean and fair food access for all of L.A.

8 January 2013
by Felicia Friesema

News from the Home Office: Slow Food USA Appoints Richard McCarthy as Executive Director

Slow Food USA sent out this press release this morning:

rmccSlow Food USA Appoints Richard McCarthy As Executive Director

BROOKLYN, NY (January 8, 2013) – Slow Food USA announced today that Richard
McCarthy will join the organization as Executive Director. McCarthy has been a Slow
Food USA member since 2001 and brings 17 years of executive leadership experience in
the non-profit sector. He will begin on January 22, 2013.

“Richard’s deep understanding of both food producers and consumers and his proven
success in creating more joy and justice in communities around the US and the world is a
perfect fit for Slow Food,” said Katherine Deumling, Board Chair of Slow Food USA. “I
am thrilled that he’s joining our team and excited to see where his creativity and passion
take Slow Food USA in this next chapter.”

“I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead the organization that has inspired me for
so many years to grow community through purposeful food programs,” said Richard
McCarthy. “In that sweet spot of tradition meeting innovation, Slow Food USA provides
us all with the promise of a future where producers and consumers join hands for good,
clean and fair food for all.”

McCarthy is currently the Executive Director of Market Umbrella
(, an internationally recognized non-profit mentor organization
for markets, community building and sustainable economic development. Since he
founded the organization in 1995, it has steadily grown and now serves 1,250 markets
around the world. At the core of Market Umbrella is the Crescent City Farmers Market he
co-founded in New Orleans. Under his leadership, it became one of the first farmers
markets in the Deep South to accept public assistance benefit cards, resulting in a 400%
increase in the use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as
food stamps) at the market.

“I am most delighted Richard will serve Slow Food USA as executive director,” said
Carlo Petrini, founder and president of Slow Food International. “He possesses a deep
commitment to protecting our universal right to food and pleasure and is a proven
advocate for the people who grow and prepare our food. The United States has a
tremendous role – and responsibility – to play in leading the fight for good, clean and fair
food, and we must continue to build momentum to realize the world we believe in.”


19 December 2012
by Felicia Friesema

Slow Food Volunteer Opp: Glean Team at Food Forward

Food Forward’s Mary Baldwin is seeking vols for their new Farmers Market Recovery Program. This is so very Slow Food and is a phenomenal way to directly participate in advancing good food access in L.A. See her post below:

The glean team
Santa Monica’s glean team

The Farmers Market Recovery Program is an initiative by Food Forward to administer a volunteer-­-based, reliable, systematized collection of produce from farmers at the end of markets that would otherwise go to waste, 100% of which will then be donated to agencies serving those in need. We are currently at the Santa Monica Wednesday Market, Studio City Sunday Market and Hollywood Sunday Market.

Since initiated 4 months ago in August 2012, we have already collected over 51,000 pounds of food!

How we do it

It isn’t rocket science. We arrive at the market and issue collection boxes to the farmers. The farmers fill the boxes with their excess produce. At the end of the market, we collect the boxes and distribute them to our receiving agencies.

Of course, for things to go so smoothly there’s quite a bit of preparation involved, but by the time we’re at the market we’ve received the support of the Market Manager, vetted receiving agencies that serve meals to local people in need, developed relationships with farmers, and built handtrucks from itty bitty little pieces.

What’s next?

We are looking for reliable Gleaners to join in our efforts to relieve hunger in the LA area! This is a great opportunity for students in need of community service hours or internship credit, recent college grads trying to get involved in the Los Angeles food community, or folks already involved in their community but looking for a deeper experience at the Market.

Hours: 3 hours a week, twice monthly, for 6 months (or more!)

If you are interested in joining this Farmers Market Recovery program, say hello at


14 December 2012
by Felicia Friesema

Young Folks Urban Farmers Dinner, 12-17-12, at Good Girl Dinette


Imagine growing and foraging food, creating partnerships with farmers and local communities, knowing your resources, and inspiring your meals with taste, culture, health, and love. Experience Young Folks Urban Farmers.

YFUF Food Alchemy invites you to a family supper at Good Girl Dinette. Please open your heart and prepare your tummy for a joyous evening of edible delights and the warmth of our community.

Music. Dinner. BYOB. Handmade goods for purchase. Tickets available here.

Dec 17, 2012 7:30pm
Good Girl Dinette
Seating is limited

Fresh goat cheese and pickled root vegetables
Cannellini rosemary spread with garlic kale
Baby greens, broccoli florets, pistachios, avocado, and pomegranate with a balsamic tarragon vinaigrette.
Roasted winter squash, sage, and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Apple crisp with cardamom roasted pepitas and vanilla-lavender whipped cream


12 December 2012
by Felicia Friesema

Guest Post: Terre Madre Delegate Rick Nahmias

Slow Food Los Angeles is highlighting the Terra Madre experiences, ideas and perspectives from our L.A.-based delegates in the coming weeks. This week’s post is by Food Forward Founder and talented photographer Rick Nahmias. Rick’s passion for food parity and gleaning for good has grown Food Forward from a local garage charity into a multi-county volunteer organization that has picked and donated over one million pounds of fruit. And that’s just in two years. Below is a set of selections from a much larger post that he wrote, which you can find on Food Forward’s blog.


Last May, I received word I had been selected to be a US delegate for Terra Madre and the Salon del Gusto, a.k.a. The Slow Food Conference, which just wrapped up in Torino, Italy a couple of weeks ago. These two events – held for the first time together under one roof – are a massive international food justice/food policy conference and the largest international food and wine exposition in the world. For those not familiar with Slow Food, one of its best and often repeated mantras at Torino which also helps describe their ethos was: buy food without a bar code. Slow Food’s grown to an international movement, with hundreds of chapters found on every continent, all trying to push back at the McDonalds-Monsanto-Walmart-ification of our world’s food system through grassroots engagement.

Continue Reading →


8 November 2012
by Felicia Friesema

Guest Post: Terra Madre Delegate Ernest Miller

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Slow Food Los Angeles will be highlighting the Terra Madre experiences, ideas and perspectives from our L.A.-based delegates in the coming weeks. First up, Farmer’s Kitchen Executive Chef and Master Food Preserver Ernest Miller. Anyone who has met Ernest will not fail to notice his energetic advocacy and passion for local food, farmers market produce and, of course, safe home food preservation. He is the lead instructor of the Master Food Preserver program for the University of California Cooperative Extension in L.A. County and speaks regularly both here and across the country on food access and safety issues.

I’ve been back nearly a week from Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto and I’m still digesting, figuratively, everything I saw, heard and, of course, tasted.

This was the first year that Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto were held simultaneously; it was all but overwhelming. From workshop and lecture to food fair and back again, it was a dizzying combination of intellectual
stimulation and gustatory exaltation.

Continue Reading →


31 October 2012
by Felicia Friesema

Slow Food Ark of Taste: Japanese Hoshigaki


Thomas Keller’s restaurant, The French Laundry, just posted an Instagram photo of what initially appeared to be pretty, light orange lanterns, acorn-shaped and hung at different heights from a simple piece of twine. Then we remembered what time of year this is.

Those lanterns are actually freshly peeled Hachiya persimmons, hung to dry so that they may become Hoshigaki — persimmons that are dried whole over several weeks through a combination of hanging and delicate hand-massaging, until the sugars form a dusting that looks like frost.

Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste program wrote about them a while ago (we’re super curious about what Keller intends to do with them) and included names of purveyors who carried this quality-crafted and rarely available Japanese delicacy. For our L.A. members — look to Penryn Orchards at the Santa Monica Farmers Market for a taste of this elusive treat.

We found this very helpful and comprehensive video on how to make your own Hoshigaki. Start now and have them ready in time for the new year — it’s one of the traditional holiday treats.


31 October 2012
by Felicia Friesema

A word (or several) from your new co-leader


My lemon tree is a mess.

It’s a compact, verdant thing. Pruned over the years into a tidy, almost topiary like ball in part due to its location at the end of our deck. We live on a tall hillside overlooking the Arroyo and Highland Park and the lemon tree, planted by well-meaning previous owners, is smack dab in the middle of one of the most beautiful views in Northeast Los Angeles. I’m loathe to remove it – it produces giant and aromatic Eurekas like it’s trying to win an award – but we also love the view.

We have opted to prune, tightly and without mercy. And then prune some more. And again. Despite this near militaristically maintained haircut, it still it dumps pounds of lemons into my lap year round. And we maintain our view.

This year’s prunings have lacked regularity and purpose. It has been a busy year – a short summary is available on my personal blog, Urban Schmurban, if you’re curious. My assumption was that the lemon tree would rejoice, finally free to spread and extend itself while forcing me to visit neighbors with bags of lemons in hand and helpful lemony recipes at the ready. “At last,” it would sigh to me. “Now I can truly reach my potential!”

The truth was mockingly opposite. Instead of putting energy into fruit, the tree has sent out leggy and anemic looking branches, all flowerless and in some cases a less healthy looking green. My pounds of lemons dwindled into a few insipid fruits. Lesson learned – good health and harvests require my sincere attention and seemingly cruel, but very beneficial sculpting and pruning.

And so the metaphor revealed itself.

The Los Angeles Chapter of Slow Food is undergoing a similar transformation under the careful attention of Lisa Lucas Talbot and myself. Since its founding, we watched the membership grow and thrive and we’ve produced and supported community building events and initiatives. Under the charter leadership of Evan Kleiman and then followed by the co-leadership of Lisa, Judi Bikel and others, Slow Food LA has fostered thoughtful discussion and potent action to grow and preserve the slow food movement in our communities. As a Master Food Preserver and the farmers market columnist for the LA Weekly, I was asked to participate in Slow Food sponsored panel discussions about local farmers markets, fair food access and food waste. And it was following that involvement that Lisa approached me and asked if I would help her form the new leadership team for the next chapter in Slow Food LA’s book.

This metaphorical pruning is a thoughtful and purposeful process and doesn’t equate to losing the best of our history and knowledge. Lisa will still have an active role in Slow Food’s regional leadership as its Governor and still provides insightful perspectives on how Slow Food LA can play an active and more involved role throughout Los Angeles. Together we’ll sculpt the foundation that will allow Slow Food LA to bloom and build community. I am sincerely honored to be a part of this process and appreciate the support I’ve received from everyone in the Slow Food community.

“As the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap of the tree into one or two vigorous limbs, so should you stop off your miscellaneous activity and concentrate your force on one or a few points.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It begins.

(Since you’re here, please take a moment to like our new Facebook page.)


29 October 2012
by Felicia Friesema

Slow Food Los Angeles is now on Facebook


Long overdue?  We are Slow Food, after all.  Blogs are important, yes.  They provide detailed information, insight and a more comprehensive way of getting the word out.  The question we’re asking has become, “how do people get here?”

More and more we aggregate our information via social media portals.  In some cases, almost exclusively.  Not having a Twitter account (which we do have BTW) or a Facebook page can be a liability.  So now we have a Facebook page.  Go like us, assuming you do.

The Slow Food Los Angeles Facebook page will be how we communicate food news both large and small that is relevant to our mission.  Engage with your fellow members. Discuss important issues.  Mobilize.  Learn.  Enjoy.  And occasionally, eat.


29 October 2012
by Felicia Friesema

Good Food Festival & Conference

Slow Food Los Angeles members,

Last year’s Good Food Festival — the first of its kind in L.A. — is back in 2012 with a thought provoking call to action.  At we approach this year’s elections, Californians are once again in a position to shape the future of our food.  This coming Saturday at LACMA, the Good Food Festival & Conference will be highlighting those election issues — namely Proposition 37 — plus a host of other topics including fair food access, jobs in food, and building community –  a topic near and dear to Slow Food’s heart.

Since the Saturday event is being hosted at LACMA, it’s natural to dovetail with some food art.  Tours of art and food in LACMA’s collection include: 10:30–11:30 am, “Trade and the Changing Palette of the Dutch” and “The European Table Transformed” and at 1:30 and 3:30 pm, “Dining Out in Nineteenth-Century France” and “The Age of Elegance.”  Tours are limited to thirty participants and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours meet on the Los Angeles Times Central Court.

And the important part — Slow Food LA members get a discount. Go to the Good Food Festival ticket website and click on tickets in the upper right hand corner.  Select your tickets and then enter the promotional code “slowfoodla” just above the order button.

The conference schedule is as follows:

12 pm: Building Community with Food

Will Allen, Growing Power, author of The Good Food Revolution
Laura Avery, Santa Monica Farmers Market
Meg Glasser, Food Forward
Evan Kleiman, host of Good Food
Kelly Meyer, The American Heart Association Teaching Gardens

2:30 pm: Good Food = Good Jobs

Paula Daniels, Senior Advisor to the mayor of Los Angeles, specializing in food & water policy
Steve Murray, farmer, Murray Family Farms
Michael O’Gorman, Executive Director of Farmer-Veteran Coalition
Jim Slama, President,

4:30 pm: Is GMO Labeling Coming to California?

Ann Gentry, founder of Real Food Daily
Andrew Kimbrell
, Executive Director of Center for Food Safety
Ernest Miller, lead instructor, Master Food Preserver L.A. County
Dave Murphy, Food Democracy Now!
Arran Stephens, CEO and founder of Nature’s Path

Bing Theater l Conference: 12–6 pm l One-hour tours: 10:30–11:30 am and thirty-minute tours at 1:30 and 3:30 pm | Tickets: $45 general admission; $35 museum members, seniors 62+, and students with ID  l Tickets 323 857-6010 or purchase online.

For more information about the entire festival, please visit< ?xml:namespace prefix ="" o />

The Good Food Festival & Conference is produced by, in cooperation with the Santa Monica Farmers Market and with support from the City of Santa Monica and the City of Pasadena.


9 October 2012
by snailwrangler
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On The Point: GMOs, Food Waste, and Food as Entertainment

Lisa Lucas Talbot, Slow Food USA’s regional governor for southern California (and outgoing coleader of Slow Food Los Angeles), appeared on The Point with Robert Kenner (director of Food, Inc. and founder of and Martha Rose Shulman (creator of the New York Times’s “Recipes for Health” column) to discuss GMOs and the upcoming vote on Prop 37 in California, the high cost of food waste, and the influence of food t.v. on our eating habits. Watch the episode below:


8 August 2012
by snailwrangler
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Fix Food and Robert Kenner revisit Carole Morison (and her chickens)

Carole Morison, the chicken farmer who was featured in Food, Inc. and who discussed her concerns about the intensive methods of industrial chicken farming, shares her new approach with Robert Kenner in the latest video from Fix Food:

For more information, visit Fix Food and Carole’s blog, Food for Thought.