Los Angeles

Event Announcement: Chef/Farmer Lunch and Orchard Tour in the Land of Pixie Tangerines

ojaipixielogo.jpgSlow Food Ojai/Ventura and Slow Food Los Angeles invite you to join us for a special chef/farmer lunch and orchard tour in Ojai on Sunday, February 25.

This is a rare opportunity to learn first-hand from growers and food professionals how local crops were affected by recent weather, and growers’ plans for recovery. Highlights of this event will include:

++ A report from local farmers and chefs who attended the Terra Madre Conference in Turin, Italy last October;
++ A special seasonal citrus-themed menu created by Ojai caterer Jeri Oshima, one of Slow Food Ojai’s representatives at the conference;
++ An update on the status of Ojai’s citrus and avocado crops after our devastating freeze and windstorm; and
++ A tour of current conditions at Churchill Orchards, a local citrus and avocado orchard.

When: Sunday, February 25, 2007, beginning at 12:30pm
Where: Lunch and presentations will be at Azu Restaurant in downtown Ojai, at 457 East Ojai Avenue. The farm tour will start around 2:00pm at Jim Churchill and Lisa Brenneis’ orchard in Ojai’s East End. < (Maps will be provided at the restaurant). Cost: $35.00 per person (includes tax and tip). Wine, beer, or other alcoholic beverages are extra.

To reserve: Email your reservation request to snailwrangler [at] slowfoodla [dot] com, including the total number in your party. To confirm your reservation, please send your check, payable to Slow Food Ojai, to:
Slow Food Ojai
10465 Ojai Santa Paula Road
Ojai, California 93023.

We must receive payment via check no later than February 16, and your check must be received before your reservation can be confirmed. Confirmed reservations are not refundable.

The Terra Madre Conference was launched as a companion project Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto convention two years ago. Ojai pixie tangerine growers and sustainable agriculture advocates Jim Churchill and Lisa Brenneis represented Ojai at the inaugural gathering in 2004. Many of you may shop at their booth at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market or may have seen recent Los Angeles Times articles on the citrus freeze, featuring Jim.

We’ll get a full report on the 2006 conference from delegates with a variety of fresh perspectives:

++ Jeri Oshima, whose Four Worlds Catering focuses its efforts on dishes made from the bounty of local farmers;
++ Larry Yee, director of Ventura’s UC Cooperative Extension office, where he manages the planning and coordination of sustainable agriculture research and education, youth education, and agricultural/food policy;
++ Legendary organic farmer B.D. Dautch of Ojai’s acclaimed Earthtrine farm, which produces over 100 different varieties of produce winter, spring, summer and fall – an anchor stand at the Sunday Ojai Farmers’ Market; and
++ Camarillo farmer Phil McGrath, whose attendance at Terra Madre was cosponsored by Slow Food Los Angeles. Phil is a fourth-generation farmer who sells his wide mix of organic vegetables and strawberries at local farmers’ markets and to local restaurants from Santa Barbara to Hollywood.
The focus of the 2006 Terra Madre conference was on strengthening local food communities by building bridges between farmers and other producers with chefs and other end-users, fostering a greater respect among members of the agriculture world in the importance of maintaining a healthy environment, and finding new outlets for small-scale producers who face crushing competition from industrial producers.

We recommend wearing comfortable footwear suitable for touring the orchard and fields at Churchill. For more information about Ojai Pixie Tangerines and the growers who bring them to market, visit their site.