Slow Food Los Angeles

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

11 July 2011
by snailwrangler
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Sunday Afternoon Pig Roast: Good Food Pre-Festival Event

Update: Special Pricing for Slow Food members: Event organizers have graciously extended a discount to Slow Food members for this weekend’s event. Enter the discount code GFFCSF when selecting your tickets on Eventbrite and a 50% discount will be applied!


In addition to the Good Food Film Series, the organizing committee of the Good Food Festival & Conference has developed several pre-Festival events to showcase the farmers and ranchers who make the market one of southern California’s treasures and to raise funds to support this September’s Festival & Conference.

At the first of these savory summer events, Craft chef de cuisine John Keenan & pastry chef Shannon Swindle will be roasting whole pigs and serving family-style sides & desserts. Guests will enjoy local beers & wines, listen to live bluegrass, and shop for produce from select farmers from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. The event will also include a live auction led by Peter Fetterman 
of the acclaimed Peter Fetterman Gallery at Bergamot Station.

Proceeds from the event will benefit this September’s Good Food Festival & Conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.

When: Sunday, July 31, 2011 from 3:00pm until 8:00pm
Where: Craft Restaurant, 10100 Constellation Boulevard, Los Angeles 90067
Cost: $150 per person but Slow Food members qualify for a 50% discount: Enter discount code GFFCSF when selecting your tickets on Eventbrite. Admission is free to children under 18 accompanied by adults; children’s tickets are required and also available on Eventbrite.

Tickets are available online through Eventbrite.

August events will be announced shortly, including a cocktail reception with Robert Kenner, director of Food, Inc., and Family Breakfast 101 on the terrace at Santa Monica Place.

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5 July 2011
by snailwrangler
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Food Movement Rising: Take Action!

Roots of Change, in partnership with Slow Food USA and a stellar list of organizations devoted to the promotion of a sustainable food system, has put out a video call to action:

We stand at a moment of opportunity. Today, more than ever, a growing network of citizens, businesses, and organizations are rethinking and challenging every aspect of our food – from the time it’s grown to the time it’s eaten. Help unite the movement and connect with one another to have meaningful and scalable impact.


More information about Roots of Change and their partners in this campaign is available on their website, including the ability to sign up for information from some or all of these allied organizations.

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26 June 2011
by snailwrangler
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Good Food Festival Film Series: July Event

The second event in this summer’s Good Food Festival Film Series will explore the issue of food waste through two films that are lively and thoughtful and take viewers from dumpsters in Los Angeles to the fields of rural France.

Starting the evening will be a screening of DIVE! (55 minutes), which explores the staggering amount of food waste in the United States: By some estimates, 96 billion pounds of food are thrown away each year. In 1996 the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that recovering a mere 5% of wasted food could feed 4 million people a day. Current estimates suggest that less than 2.5% is being recovered, and yet the message from many of the major food producers and the USDA is that we need to increase production.

Following DIVE! will be a panel discussion with Timothy Vatterott, the film’s producer, Rick Nahmias, and Felicia Friesema.

Rick Nahmias is the founder and executive director of Food Forward, a locally-based gleaning organization that coordinates volunteer teams who harvest locally grown food and distribute it to food pantries and organizations who serve those in need. Since beginning their work in 2009, Food Forward volunteers have picked and distributed over 441,000 pounds of fruit.

Felicia Friesema not only covers the southern California food landscape for the L.A. Weekly, but has also expanded her role as an exceptional community resource as a newly-minted Master Food Preserver.

Lisa Lucas Talbot, chapter leader of Slow Food Los Angeles and Slow Food USA’s regional governor for southern California, will moderate the discussion about what individuals and organizations in our community are doing–and can do better–to reduce food waste in our community.

The evening will conclude with a special presentation of The Gleaners and I, Agnès Varda’s 2001 documentary about the centuries-old tradition of gleaning in France. (82 minutes; in French with English subtitles.) The film is not only an exploration of how gleaning practices have evolved, but what a society’s attitude toward gleaning–and the gleaners–may reveal.

When: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 beginning at 7:30pm
Where: The Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica
Cost: Tickets range from $7.00 to $11.00 and are available online or at the Aero Theatre box office.

Future events in this series will be held on Wednesday, August 10, and Wednesday, September 14, at the Aero Theatre. Films in the series are being selected by the Good Food Festival Film Committee (Lisa Lucas Talbot, Laura Avery, Marguerite Kenner, Susan Haymer, and Corinne Bourdeau) with the generous assistance of the staff of the American Cinematheque.

The inaugural Good Food Festival & Conference, launched as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, will be held September 15 through 18 and will feature an extraordinary array of speakers, demonstrations, and events that will celebrate the bounty of our foodshed and consider the state of our food system.

We look forward to seeing Slow Food members and friends at the event on July 13! In the meantime, enjoy the trailer for DIVE!:

Dive! Trailer from Compeller Pictures on Vimeo.

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12 June 2011
by snailwrangler
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Organic Farmers v. Monsanto

Tom Willey is an organic farmer and has been a Slow Food chapter leader and the governor of Slow Food USA’s central California region. Tom and his wife, Denesse, have operated T&D Willey Farms since 1981, a seventy-five acre certified organic spread in Madera on which they grow a wide array of Mediterranean vegetables year round. Willey Farms’ produce is appreciated in specialty markets and fine restaurants up and down the west coast as well as on the tables of over 800 weekly CSA members in their own community. Tom passionately advocates for local food prominence through his writing, his speaking and radio appearances, and in his ongoing work with Slow Food Madera.

Tom is also one of the plaintiffs in a recently filed action against Monsanto that aims to end Monsanto’s aggressive practices to defend their patented seeds from actions they deem to be contrary to the terms under which they make such seeds available. Some of these practices include taking farmers to court even when Monsanto’s patented plant material on the defendant farmer’s property is likely due to pollen drift, which is beyond the farmer’s control.

Slow Food USA has published a Q&A with Tom about his motivation for joining the lawsuit and its goals, and more information about the action and related work is available on the Public Patent Foundation’s website.

Films including Food, Inc. have addressed this issue and Monsanto’s actions against farmers, seed cleaners, and others. The CBS news segment below provides a brief example of the type of practice the lawsuit seeks to end:

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12 June 2011
by snailwrangler
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Save the date for the next event in our film series!

The next event in the Good Food Festival & Conference film series will held Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. We’re bringing together two food-focused documentaries–a classic film and a provocative new one–and will again offer a local perspective through a panel discussion. More details coming soon!

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9 June 2011
by snailwrangler
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A Tale of Two Carrots

Whether you’re a regular shopper at one of the Santa Monica farmers’ markets or someone who’s never had the pleasure of visiting, we think you’ll enjoy this video love letter, which shares some of the reasons why they’re recognized as one of the best in the nation.

This video is one of three produced by the California Sustainability Alliance to highlight the City of Santa Monica’s leadership in sustainability matters. Enjoy!

More information–and additional videos–are available on the California Sustainability Alliance’s website.

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9 June 2011
by snailwrangler
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“We work like dogs, but we eat like kings.”

That subject line sums up the theme of yesterday evening’s event at the Aero Theatre, the first in the Good Food Festival & Conference Film Series that Slow Food Los Angeles is pleased to be coordinating with the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, FamilyFarmed.org, and the American Cinematheque.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the screening of Big River and The Greenhorns. Special thanks to Craig Ruggless of Winnetka Farms, Tara Kolla of Silver Lake Farms, and Romeo Coleman of Coleman Family Farm for sharing their experiences with us in the panel discussion.

The next event in the series will be Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at the Aero Theatre, when we’ll screen DIVE! and The Gleaners and I. Our panelists will be announced shortly, along with more information about the evening, but please save the date!

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26 May 2011
by snailwrangler
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Good Food Festival Film Series: Celebrating 30 Years of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market

We’re pleased to announce the first of several film screenings that will comprise the Good Food Festival Film Series, evenings of film and conversation about issues related to our food: How it’s grown, who grows it, and how we can make our food system better and fairer. This monthly series is presented by the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, FamilyFarmed.org, and Slow Food Los Angeles, and is part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.

The selected films will address issues in our country’s food system in engrossing and timely ways, and enlightening panel discussions will follow the screenings to give a local perspective on the larger issues presented by the films.

If local food is an important part of your life, or if you simply want to learn more about the movement toward more sustainable agriculture, be sure not to miss any of these exciting screenings.

We’re delighted that the first event will feature two films, Big River and The Greenhorns:

When: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 beginning at 7:30pm
Where: The Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica
Cost: Tickets range from $7.00 to $11.00 and are available online or at the Aero Theatre box office.

About the films:
In Big River, documentarians and former farmers Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney return to their native Iowa to learn about the environmental impact their previous agricultural practices had on other communities downstream. A sobering and informative documentary, Big River offers a clear-eyed look at how traditional farming may be contributing to unseen but significant effects on communities. (27 minutes; 2010)

In The Greenhorns, director Severine von Tscharner Fleming travels the United States meeting with young farmers who have followed a variety of paths. Some have grown up on farms and stayed, others have looked for outside opportunities and ultimately returned to their families’ farms and still others have chosen the profession without previous connection. Through a series of enlightening and engrossing interviews, the documentary’s subjects talk about the challenges they’ve faced, from daily financing and basic farm business matters to the devastating reality of rebuilding after a natural disaster. Never sugarcoated, The Greenhorns nonetheless offers an optimistic and exciting view of our country’s next generation of farmers. (50 minutes; 2011)

The discussion following the screenings will be moderated by Lisa Lucas Talbot, coleader of Slow Food Los Angeles and Slow Food USA regional governor for Southern California. Romeo Coleman (Coleman Family Farm), Tara Kolla (Silver Lake Farms), and Craig Ruggless (Winnetka Farms) will share their experiences on a range of topics that reflect the issues raised in the films.

Films in the series are being selected by the Good Food Festival Film Committee (Lisa Lucas Talbot, Laura Avery, Marguerite Kenner, Susan Haymer, and Corinne Bourdeau) with the generous assistance of the staff of the American Cinematheque.

Information about the July, August, and September events will be available soon; in the meantime, we hope to see many Slow Food Los Angeles members and friends at the Aero Theatre on June 8th, and have included trailers for both films below:

Big River:

The Greenhorns:

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6 May 2011
by snailwrangler
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Support the Hollywood Farmers’ Market: Storytelling for Change

Thanks to Sarah Newman for alerting us to this lovely video celebration of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market:

Support the Hollywood Farmers Market from Storytelling for Change on Vimeo.

[This video was produced by Dance Aoki and Morgan Locke. Story by Dance Aoki; performances by Dance Aoki and Jessica DeWinter; cinematography by Jason Cochard; sound and editing by Morgan Locke; music by The Petrojvic Blasting Company; styled by Pam Terry's closet. The makers offer special thanks to SEE-LA, the vendors, and the patrons who come to the market every Sunday.]

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19 April 2011
by snailwrangler
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Hollywood Farmers’ Market Fundraiser

The revocation of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market’s street closure permits could have devastating consequences for the market as a whole, as well as the other markets the HFM supports. Negotiations between the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, the Los Angeles Film School, and city representatives are continuing, but these negotiations and related activities have increased expenses for the market.

In order to help offset some of these costs, Chef Paul Osher of Bean & Thyme and Chef Jessica Koslow of SQIRL are hosting a fundraising dinner at the Farmer’s Kitchen.

When: Friday, April 29, 2011 from 7:30pm until 9:30pm
Where: The Farmer’s Kitchen at the corner of Selma Avenue and Morningside Court. Parking is available in the Sunset+Vine complex.
Cost: $75 payable at the door

Registration for the event is available through 6:00pm on the day of the event at the Farmer’s Kitchen signup page.

Chef Osher will prepare numerous small plates featuring his local, seasonal, farmers’ market-driven cuisine, including such dishes as house made beef cheek pastrami and chicken wing confit. Chef Koslow, whose jams are already making a splash in the LA scene, will provide several small desserts to finish the meal.

The Farmer’s Kitchen will provide appetizers and seasonal mocktails and there will also be a silent auction.

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19 April 2011
by snailwrangler
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Slow Food L.A. at Artisanal L.A.

Many thanks to all those who stopped by our booth at Artisanal L.A. this weekend to talk about school food, community and school gardens, possibilities for upcoming events… We had an exhausting but very productive two days, and we’re already in the process of following up on many of the great suggestions and ideas we picked up from our conversations.

Thanks are also due to

  • Magical Blooms (soon to open in Santa Monica Place) for helping to make our booth more welcoming with their flowers;
  • Craig and Gary of Winnetka Farms for plants and advice on growing several spectacular Italian vegetable varities;
  • Christian Page and his colleagues at Daily Dose, opening later this month in downtown L.A., for their out-of-this-world veggie sandwiches (Elina Shatkin talked with them about their philosophy and plans];
  • Mud Baron for introducing us to a few of the inspiring students from Santee High’s Bistro Mundo culinary arts program (more on that soon);
  • and to Shawna Dawson and her Artisanal LA/Sauce LA team who coordinated the event and who made it possible for us and other community organizations to participate.
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