Los Angeles

Reflections on Slow Food Nation

We had encouraged Slow Food Los Angeles members and friends to send us their comments on Slow Food Nation and many of you did–thank you! For those readers who did not attend, we’re sharing those comments with you, and will also be sharing links to other sites that have posted observations, photos, and additional information.

Today’s comments were submitted by Louise Woo of South Pasadena, who wrote:

Hi Slow Food LA!

We had the honor of attending Slow Food Nation, including a day at the Taste Marketplace at Fort Mason, the opening plenary panel on “The World Food Crisis” and two dinners benefitting The Institute for Fisheries Resources and The California Food and Justice Coalition.

It was an amazing three-day extravaganza and we (members from L.A., Palm Springs and Oakland) are already eager to find out when and where the next USA conference will be held.  I wish we could attend Terra Madre in Turin this year, but alas we’ll have to try for 2010 instead.

We loved the Taste Marketplace held at Fort Mason over the weekend and were mightily impressed by the cheese-makers, fishermen and poultry and pork farmers who brought samples of their product from all over the continental U.S..  

But I think the highlight of our weekend was the Friday night dinner at Hayes Street Grill, a benefit for The Institute for Fisheries Resources which featured two of the fisherman who caught the fish for our meal!

Capt. Mike McCorckle brought us some lovely California white sea bass and Capt. Josh Churchman brought in some indescribably tender black cod, both served up expertly by Chef Rob Zaborny and the Hayes Street staff.  Both captains gave a short talk, showing us pictures of their boats and explained some of the challenges faced by California fisherman today.

Afterwards, they made the rounds of guests’ tables and chatted with us about their work and lives.  It was very touching for us to have a conversation with two of the people who work so hard to bring us the food we barely think twice about.

Our second dinner, Saturday night at Marketbar in the Ferry Plaza, featured an astounding (count ’em) 13 course/dish tapas meal with locally-grown padrone peppers, melons, tomatoes, black olives, beats, arugula, corn, chard, yellow Romano beans, carrots and nectarines!   Every dish was delicious and they just kept coming and coming and coming!

Thanks, Louise; and thanks to others who submitted comments. We’ll have more to share in the coming days…