slow food nation day one

Wow. Today was my first day as one of the official video-bloggers for Slow Food Nation. My friend Carla B. from Local Forage and I are doing real-time reporting from this three-day festival (billed as "The Largest Celebration of American Food in History".) I've been on my feet for the last 15+ hours and I'm thoroughly beat, but also amped up from all the amazing things I saw/learned/did today. (Which basically includes everything I'm most interested in–organic gardening/farming, artisanal foods, heritage/heirloom practices, food politics, and design all rolled into one. Heaven on earth!)

Food for Thought

We started the day at an inspiring panel discussion on the World Food Crisis where four of the foremost authorities on the subject (Vandana Shiva, Carlo Petrini, Raj Patel, and Corby Kummer) discussed how the industrial food production system has left communities worldwide in the grip of hunger and dire food shortages. The panel was moderated by Michael Pollan.


After that we spent most of the day eating and interviewing our way through San Francisco's Civic Center which was transformed into an urban garden/farmer's market/outdoor food bazaar. It would be hard to pick a favorite from all the delicious food we sampled and interesting people we met, but our first videoblog from the day was about Heritage Pork.

Taste Pavilions

We ended the day at the press-only preview of the Taste Pavilions at Fort Mason Center. Since I had already thought I'd died and gone to heaven at the Civic Center Marketplace, I'm not sure how to describe the nirvana that followed here. Some of the best Bay Area architects created 15 unique and visionary  freestanding food environments where visitors can sample and learn about the finest sustainably-produced food in the country.

I'm sure I'll be posting a lot more about this in the next few days (when hopefully I'm less exhausted) but in the meantime here's an image from the charcuterie tonight. Fra'Mani mortadella on fresh baked rye bread, topped with sauerkraut–a combination of flavors I would never have thought to put together but it was so good it really almost brought tears to my eyes (and don't even ask how many of these I ate!)

Looking forward to more tomorrow!

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