Bulking Up

You may think you’re living frugally in San Francisco if you pillage derelict Yellow Pages for Rainbow Grocery coupons and pack your own lunch before work each day, but that kind of economy is for lightweights. You don’t know thrift until you’ve woken before dawn to shop at the city’s wholesale produce warehouses to cut the middle-man markup from your grocery bills. Even then, you haven’t sealed the real deals until the lettuce-slingers know you well enough to inquire about your family vacation and hug you when you leave with your car buckling under the weight of damp brown cardboard boxes. That’s when you know you’re getting rock-bottom prices. Read more

OPENrestaurant, a Futurist Take on Dinner at SFMoMA

A conservative town San Francisco is not, but even the among the most open-minded veterans of Bay Area culture, a short intake of breath was heard on Saturday night when into the foyer of the SF Museum of Modern Art rolled a bicycle trailer hauling a whole, spit-roasted cow.

The bovine beast was the centerpiece of an evening with OPENrestaurant, a collective of young Bay Area chefs who stage performance installations that revolve around food, farming, and the politics of the two. This time the theme was futurism—specifically, the Futurist Cookbook, written in 1932 by pioneering Italian futurist, F.T. Marinetti. The event was part of SFMOMA’s exhibition honoring the centennial of the futurist movement, entitled Metal + Machine + Manifesto = Futurism’s First 100 Years. OPENrestaurant founders Sam White, Stacie Pierce and Jerome Waag brought together a formidable group of local chefs and designers to recreate the wild mechanical inventions and adapt the even wilder recipes from the famously radical book. Read more

Secret Suppers: Report from the West Coast

The underground restaurant scene has been gaining ground, so to speak, and while I’ve been hearing about many iterations of secret eateries all over the country (and the world), I had yet to check one out for myself until last week, when I bought two tickets to attend Wild Kitchen—an underground supper put on by San Francisco upstart ForageSF. Read more

A Slow Food Nation Perspective, on National Public Radio

One of our own Slow Food Nation bloggers (and chef extraordinaire), Aaron French, wrote a piece for northern California’s public radio station, KQED. His piece, which was written for KQED’s Perspectives series, aired this morning and can be heard here.

The transcript is below:

Over lunch, during a break in the Slow Food Nation festival in San Francisco, I experienced one of those moments of clarity. I started up a conversation with the owners of a vineyard in Santa Barbara County. In passing, they mentioned the endangered California Condors that are increasingly seen soaring above the ridge-line. Read more

Tonight! Slow Food Nation Considered, UC Berkeley, 7pm

On the heels of last weekend’s successful Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco, participants will discuss where the Slow Food Movement should go from here, especially with regard to the world food crisis. This panel will feature food activist and Vice President of Slow Food International Dr. Vandana Shiva, author and Knight Professor of Journalism Michael Pollan, author and scholar Dr. Raj Patel, and farmer and scholar Dr. Frederick Kirschenmann, moderated by author and Professor of Geography Richard Walker. Read more

Victory Garden to remain in place until November!

As the sun sets on the fourth and final day of Slow Food Nation, we’re thrilled to announce that the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden will remain in place on the lawn of San Francisco City Hall until November. The garden, which has been producing substantial amounts of fresh produce and supplied some of the food for this weekend’s events, has received tremendous support from Mayor Gavin Newsom and the city. Most everyone who has come down to witness the beauty and bounty of the garden has voiced their desires to see this project become a permanent symbol of San Francisco’s progressive position on food, farming, and social justice. Read more

Slow Food Nation Day 1: It’s On!

Today kicked off Slow Food Nation’s 4-day extravaganza of good, clean and fair food. We have ahead of us many hours of tasting, talking, learning, proposing new policies, and planning systems changes. It was a magnificent day and Civic Center plaza was absolutely electrified with the first batch of visitors who’ve come from far and wide to the bright and sunny (if a little hot) weather of late summer San Francisco. Fortunately the trees that line the garden offer plenty of shade. Read more

The Architecture and Design of Slow Food Nation

Though the central focus of Slow Food Nation is food and the people and places that enable us to eat—farms and farmers, artisans and bakers, urban gardens and policymakers—this year’s event also boasts incredible architecture and design from some of the best firms in the Bay Area. Thanks to the talents and dedication of this esteemed group, visitors to Slow Food Nation will enjoy delicious food and hear stimulating conversations inside beautiful, sustainable structures designed specifically for this event. Read more