Slow Food Nation starts tomorrow!
That's right, the nation's largest ever gathering of food lovers will be taking place right here in San Francisco. My only regret is that Contigo won't be open in time to play host. On the plus side, I'll be able to join in the revelry.
I've signed up for two symposiums at the Herbst Theater on Friday ("Re-Localizing Food," featuring Michael Pollan and Dan Barber, and "A New, Fair Food System," moderated by Eric Schlosser), the Taste Pavillions on Saturday evening, and several Taste Workshops on Saturday and Sunday.
Looking over my tickets, I realized half of the tastings I chose to attend center around pork! Oink! I suspect you pork-lovers out there may find satisfaction at Contigo.
These pork tastings aren't just for fun. They're work (sigh, I do love my career choice). They will allow me to connect with future suppliers to Contigo's kitchen. I'm looking forward to meeting Herb Eckhouse, the maker of Iowa's La Quercia prosciutto; country ham maker Sam Edwards of Surry, Virginia, maker of the "surry-ano" ham based on Spanish jamón serrano; and Eliza MacLean, who has helped preserve Georgia's heritage breed Ossabaw Island Hog, which is a direct descendant of Spanish ibérico pigs.
I'm also attending tastings focusing on chocolate, pickle making, and a taste of the Southwest, where I hope to connect with a breeder of churro lambs, which are closely related to the incomparable Spanish churra lamb.
I know many people in the local food community have issues with Slow Food and, in particular, with Slow Food Nation. I'm not going to address those topics here. For me, Slow Food Nation is a way to connect with others who share my passions and a place to find inspiration. In fact, a visit to the gorgeous (and, yes, somewhat controversial) Victory Garden has already sparked an idea for Contigo.
Below are pictures from my visit to the Victory Garden three weeks ago. I can't wait to see how the vegetables have grown.
Hot tip for locals: while visiting the garden, grab a bite to eat at Slow on the Go, which will be located in the Civic Center next to the special farmers' market Friday through Sunday. Blue Bottle Coffee, Imperial Tea, Fatted Calf charcuterie (hopefully including their porchetta sandwich), Vik's Chaat, Primavera, Ici and Bi-Rite ice cream... need I say more?