Monday, November 1, 2010

Terra Madre: Notes from the Field

From Gianna Banducci in Turin:

For the Africans, the future of Africa belongs to them. For the Americans, the greatest opportunity to make change is positioned before us. The theme underlying both these and numerous other forums at Slow Food’s Terra Madre: it is our responsibility. The change that we so ardently chase can be a reality through each individual. Once the conversations and debates cease, we cannot only rely on international organizations or governments. We must commit to the one action that will never evade us: the control of our own endeavors. Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto convened with this vein flowing throughout the crowds.
Friends and family, producers and consumers, visionaries and organizers reunited in Turin, Italy for the 2010 installment of Slow Food’s acclaimed events from October 21st through the 25th. It was a five-day convergence of colors, scents, textures, and languages surrounding the global food system. A blur of flags representative of the countries in attendance and Carlo Petrini’s booming voice initiated the conference on Thursday. After, it was in the hands of the delegates to guide the spirit of the discussions.
Visitors congregated around topics ranging from small-scale production to women’s rights to youth mobilization for the future. Firsthand testimonials were both a reminder and encouragement for the problems faced, the work accomplished, and the tasks yet to be completed. Two groups noticeably rallying their efforts around prospective initiatives were the delegates from Africa and members of the Youth Food Movement. In the Africa Regional Meeting, the assembly identified that the continent must exploit the advantages of its local economy, food sovereignty, and diversity to retake control of its food. At another place and time, international youth members joined together at the tables of an Eat-in to acquaint themselves with the flanks of activists that will be leading future food campaigns.
Although the appetites of many were satiated by dialogue during the five days in Italy, there was no lack of food on-site. Salone del Gusto embraced the connection of food and place in the taste workshops, marketplace, and the street food fair. It was a cultural affair that allowed for the purchase of barley from Iceland, a sampling of bass from Slovenia, or an education on the vanilla bean from Mexico. Over 200,000 visitors attended the Salone, interacting with producers offering their knowledge and fare at booths. Having immersed themselves further in the food system that provides for them, guests departed as co-producers linked to those dedicated to our subsistence.
As Terra Madre drew to a close, attendees dispersed with a heightened awareness and renewed commitment. With fields awaiting cultivation and issues demanding advocacy, people recognized the work that must be retaken in order to enact preceding discussions from the conference. Africa returned to its campaign for 1,000 school gardens by 2011, the Youth Food Movement to its launch of country-specific groups, and America to its fight against damaging food policy and legislation. The arduous journey to an enhanced food system remains, but the family of Terra Madre was ready to recommence individual actions, remembering that they have the support of comrades worldwide to fuel their progress.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Growing Healthy Youth Dinner for School Gardens

Our dinner to support Slow Food Delta Diablo's Growing Healthy Youth gardens is almost sold out. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, do so now. We only have 4 seats left!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Growing Healthy Youth Dinner for School Gardens

Invites You to a Fundraiser for

A School Garden Education Program

Join us for a three course dinner prepared by Chef Lesley Stiles

Chef Stiles, of Creative Catering, is a sustainability and school garden advocate. She has worked in the food industry for 25 years building a dedicated following in Contra Costa County during her years as owner of Haute Stuff Restaurant in Martinez. She collaborates with many area Farmers’ Markets and is committed to using the finest organically and sustainably raised products available.

Saturday November 6, 2010

At the home of
John Harrigan and Stephanie Jacob
315 Soule Ave.
Pleasant Hill, CA

6:30pm Cocktails and Hors D’oerves
7:30 Dinner

$50.00 per person
wine service included

Reserve your seats online at Brown Paper Tickets at
make checks payable to Slow Food Delta Diablo and mail ASAP to:
Kristie Knoll: Slow Food Delta Diablo
12510 Byron Highway
Brentwood, CA 94513

Please reserve your tickets early as we can only accommodate 20 guests

Slow Food Delta Diablo is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization. The charitable donation value is the ticket is $25.

GROWING HEALTHY YOUTH, a School Garden Education Program, was founded in 2005 by Lesley Stiles and Stephanie Jacob with the creation of the Troy Spencer Memorial Organic Garden. Three more gardens followed: the Kaiser College Park Organic Garden, the Kaiser Diablo Community Day School Organic Garden and the Bridge Organic Garden. Kaiser Permanente and the PTSA organizations at Pleasant Hill Middle School and College Park High School have been generous sponsors since 2005. Other community partners have included Contra Costa County Farmers’ Markets, Allied Waste Inc., the Pleasant Hill Community Foundation and Orchard Nursery.

In 2008, Slow Food Delta Diablo became a valued partner, securing an Analon Cookware grant to further cooking and tasting programs at the schools, and matching grants at local nurseries. In 2010, the National Fragile X Foundation became our fiscal partner in tandem with Kaiser Permanente.

At each school site, students tend the gardens. They plant, maintain and harvest three seasonal plantings. In addition, various science, art, and foods classes use the gardens for lessons. At College Park High School the Biology classes have undertaken a composting partnership with the cafeteria to compost kitchen waste. The produce harvested from each garden feeds the students; incorporated into cafeteria lunches and cooking demonstrations and tastings offered in classrooms and school-wide. Recipes are posted online and available to students to foster family involvement.

At three of our schools, we serve high risk populations. Diablo Community Day School is the program for expelled students throughout central Contra Costa County. Gardening time is a privilege earned and teaches impulse control, pride of ownership and marketable skills in addition to the nutritional benefits so sorely needed. At College Park High School and the Bridge Transition Program, our garden stewards are special education students and their participation has greatly expanded their horizons.

Growing Healthy Youth and Slow Food Delta Diablo feel strongly that school gardens are vital. UC Berkeley just published the results of a three year study comparing students exposed to garden education programs with those who were not involved. The students involved in gardens made healthier lunchtime food choices. And that is only the beginning.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Underground Dinner

Join Chef Peter Jackson and the canvasunderground crew for a very special "Farm To Fork" dinner at Knoll Farm featuring Rick and Kristie's awesome produce. One of the pioneers of organic and biodynamic farming in the Bay Area, Knoll Farms counts many of he Bay Area's top restaurants (Oliveto, Chez Panisse, Nopa to name a few) as their customers.

The Knoll's will be giving us a tour of the farm, and to really get into the spirit of season, you're encouraged to come in your favorite Halloween costume!
Hand Stretched Pizzas From the Stone Oven

Roasted Early Girl Tomato Soup
Mezzo Secco, Garlic Croutons, Basil Puree

Stuffed Red and Yellow Gypsy Peppers
Fresh Goat Cheese, Boucherie Bacon, Wilted Chicories

Braised Local Pastured Beef
Swiss Chard, Cherry Tomatoes, Creamy Polenta, Rosemary

Persimmon and Apple Crisp
Hand Churned Vanilla Ice Cream

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Successful Gleaning Day

Slow Food Delta Diablo with a small but mighty group of volunteers had a fun and successful day of gleaning in East County. We started the day with a breakfast of zucchini muffins, coffee, tea and yogurt before heading east.Our first stop was Knoll Farms where Rick and Kristie had already harvested boxes of produce for us. We loaded 10 boxes of figs, 4 big boxes of Mediterranean cucumbers and 4 big boxes of zucchini into the little red truck.
Once done, we headed to Tess' Garden owned by Barbara Frantz. We harvested 4 big boxes of table grapes, testing them as we harvested to make sure they were delicious. They were.

Soon we were off to the Brentwood Farmers' Market. We were greeted warmly by Greg, the manager. We shopped for our farmers' market lunch while we introduced ourselves to farmers and let them know we were collecting produce for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. The farmers were extremely generous and we filled the back of Jan's station wagon with boxes and bags
of strawberries, nectarines, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, daikon, cabbages, summer squash and much more.

We weren't sure if we would be able to fit more produce in our vehicles when we got to the Pittsburg Farmers' Market. We met the market manager, Heather, and proceeded to pick up donations from many of the vendors there. We left with bok choy, bitter melon, more tomatoes and loaves of bread. All told, the generous farmers of Contra Costa County and the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association donated 777 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties.

Upon our return to Walnut Creek, we enjoyed a well deserved farmers' market lunch with delicious tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, corn, bread and fruit. Later in the day, 24 boxes of fruit from Frog Hollow Farm was dropped off for Monday delivery to the food bank. We think we will reach a half ton with this donation.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Slow Food Delta Diablo’s Day of Gleaning and Cleaning

September 25, Slow Food Delta Diablo is partnering with Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, the Contra Costa and Solano Food Bank, College Park High School and Brentwood farmers in a day of community action. Called “Gleaning and Cleaning” this day is one of many nationwide actions sponsored by Slow Food USA. Volunteers are being sought to assist Slow Food members in gleaning food from farmers’ markets and local farms or to prepare a Slow Food in Schools garden for the upcoming school year.

Fresh produce from the gleaning will be donated to the Contra Costa and Solano Food Bank, local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. The four markets in the county we will be visiting are: Brentwood, Clayton, Pittsburg and Pinole. Farms we will visit are all located in Brentwood. Volunteers are asked to contact Gail Wadsworth for details and to get on a gleaning team.

Slow Food in Schools garden cleaning will be from 9 am to about 2. We are going to be weeding, replanting the strawberry beds, spreading compost in all the beds, spreading mulch and just generally cleaning up so we can get the special day classes ahead of the game and start them on their winter seed starts in the green house as well as getting winter crops in the ground. We ask helpers to bring wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, gloves, sun hats, sun screens and water. College Park high School is located at 201 Viking Drive in Pleasant Hill across the street from DVC. If you would like to assist in this project, contact Lesley Stiles.



Gail Wadsworth



Lesley Stiles

925 323 3230

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dig In!

Dig in September 25th with Slow Food Delta Diablo. We will be working in school gardens in Pleasant Hill and gleaning food from farms and farmers' markets for the food bank. Contact Gail to volunteer and for more details.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Farm 2 Fork

Farm to Fork 2010
Knoll Farms: An Invitation from Nibblers Eatery & Wine Bar

Rick and Kristie Knoll were organic before it was trendy and brought a sense of place to their farming when most of us couldn't begin to pronounce terroir properly. So to combine theory and practice, they called their place Knoll Farms Home of Tairwa produce and proceeded to produce some of the best farm candy we've ever seen.

From greens to figs, apricots to apples, herbs to tomatoes, they have a little bit of everything (and a great harvest calendar so you know what you can get when, too!)

Based in Brentwood, their 10-acre farm provides bountiful harvest destined for restaurants throughout the bay area, for the Ferry Building Farmers Market in SF and for the lucky members of their CSA!

We are thrilled to host them for our last Farm to Fork dinner of 2010 and bring you a menu filled with their delightful late summer options.

In addition, Knoll Farms and Nibblers Eatery are holding this dinner as a benefit for our local Delta/Diablo Slow Food chapter.

So, in honor of slow food, we are offering this five-course meal for $48.00 per person (optional wine pairing and cheese courses available) with net proceeds going to our local chapter of Slow Food.

If you sign up for membership in Slow Food that evening,
we will offer a discount on your meal of $10 per person.

September 15, 2010
Start time 6:30pm

Nibblers Eatery & Wine Bar
1922 Oak Park Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
reservations: (925) 944-0402 or

best directions on our website at
This event is being offered to several mailing lists, so please make your reservations soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Delicious Hospital Food

The tour, panel discussion and dinner at John Muir Medical Center was fantastic. Guests entered the dining room to a lovely setting of appetizers and wine. Pupusa appetizers were made by Gloria Duran, a hospital intern. Delicious! We enjoyed them with some refreshing white wine from local winemakers Tom and Becky Bloomfield.

Following a brief social hour, Alison Negrin took interested visitors on a tour of the hospital kitchen. We not only got to see the meals being prepared for patients but also got to hear about the hospital food policy and Alison's personal philosophy of food.

The tour ended and everyone returned to the dining room. A distinguished panel discussed the challenges and rewards of working to revolutionize hospital food. At the conclusion of the discussion, guests were all invited to dine on the menu posted below. Beans from Dwelley Farm were a welcome addition. Discussion around the tables was lively and everyone was thinking about their next hospital visit and wishing the food would be as good, clean and fair as the food at John Muir Medical Center.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oh My, Look at this Menu!

Slow Hospital Food

John Muir Medical Center
Concord Campus
August 13, 2010

Gloria Duran’s Salvadorian-style vegetarian tamales
Artisanal cheese platter with marcona almonds Vegetable crudités with herb dip

Local Wine Tasting
Alhambra Vineyard
Bloomfield Winery

Buffet Dinner

Summer Harvest Vegetable Salad
Hormone free flat iron steak with mustard sauce
Portabella mushroom ravioli with basil cream sauce
Cajun spiced salmon with tropical fruit salsa
Roasted new potatoes and butternut squash
Massa Organics brown rice
Vital Vittles rolls

Local seasonal fruit
Frog Hollow galette and ice cream

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Healthy Hospital Event

Good, Clean and Fair Food in Hospitals?
There is a food revolution going on in American hospitals. And, just like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, it has not always been easy or welcome. In the Bay Area, Kaiser Permanente is often viewed as the leader of the healthy food in hospitals movement but alongside this health care giant, another local hospital has been quietly working to change how patients eat. In 2002 John Muir Medical Center hired Alison Negrin as its Executive Chef. Alison is a member of Slow Food Delta Diablo and has been working on a revolution of her own.

Alison came to JMMC with a good pedigree. She cut her teeth at Chez Panisse. Soon after, she was hired as executive chef to open Bridges Restaurant in Danville and later opened Ginger Island in Berkeley. After many years of creating unique menus for upscale establishments, why would anyone give up a glamorous career as a star chef to work in food service in a hospital?

“It was a challenge that clicked with her sense of food as a healing force, and of the chef as a kind of shaman in a cook's jacket. A chance to redeem the cooking in a soulless high-rise packed with the weak and the vulnerable, where food had come to mean little more than mystery meat and Jell-O cups. Negrin, who'd taken blind leaps before, said yes.” In eight years she has transformed the food service at JMMC to one featuring healthy, delicious tasting meals. Alison is a pioneer in the healthy hospitals movement. She creates meals at JMMC featuring seasonal, locally sourced fresh foods. Good. Clean. Fair.

In addition to local sourcing Alison has been experimenting lately with less meat on the menu. JMMC was one of four hospitals that took part in a one-year pilot project to see if they could reduce costs and serve healthy meals by reducing meat on the menus. The food services bought less industrially-raised meat overall and used the savings to buy grass-fed beef and free-range poultry. Johns Hopkins University just released a study of the Bay Area pilot project. It found that the four hospitals were able to reduce meat purchases by more than 171,000 pounds, saving them $400,000 in their annual food budgets.

It only makes sense for hospitals around the country to make changes in their food service. Poor nutrition and the obesity crisis have led hospitals to reevaluate their own practices and many are choosing to model eating behavior for their patients using on-site food services. “Obesity is the outcome of a failed food system,” says Jamie Harvie, Director of the Institute for a Sustainable Future and coordinator of the Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) Campaign for the international coalition Health Care Without Harm. “Our food system is largely reliant on methods of production and distribution that negatively affect social and environmental health--and by extension, human health. These effects are no less important than nutrition. Hospitals can use their buying power to increase demand for sustainably grown food and thus have a system-wide positive effect on public health.” Health care is a powerful market force. Hospitals spend about $12 billion a year on food and beverages.

In 2008, Diablo Magazine wrote a feature article on Alison and the changes she has been making at JMMC. In it they interviewed David Loveall. Dave is “a bit of a hospital food expert, having lived through stays at a number of facilities. Unlike when he was hospitalized in San Francisco and had his family bring him meals from outside, he has nothing but praise for the food he was served at John Muir’s Walnut Creek campus. A seafood lover, he singles out the tilapia and ‘really delicious’ grilled salmon he ate during a prolonged stay in John Muir’s physical rehab unit earlier this year. ‘They cook it just right,’ chimes in his wife, Linda. Then there are great grains and lots of fruits and vegetables, the Lovealls say. ‘I think the food helped me get well faster,’ David says, echoing similar compliments from other patients.”

The prospect of large institutions like hospitals sourcing locally is exciting for local farmers. Although many are not yet able to meet the needs of such large buyers, the buzz is getting out and some farmers are responding. The idea of a local food economy is something Slow Food Delta Diablo supports. With members in Contra Costa County ranging from chefs to farmers to members of local CSAs, the chapter has made part of their mission educating people about local foods.

In 2004, Moira Beery and Mark Vallianatos wrote a research paper for the Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College entitled “Farm to Hospital. Promoting Health and Supporting Local Agriculture.” This research served as a blueprint for the current healthy hospital movement. Since that time, Kaiser Permanente has established over 40 farmers’ markets at their hospitals across the country while working to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into their patient meals and visitor cafes. Many other hospitals, like the John Muir Medical Center, are doing the same thing on a smaller, more local scale. Please join your Slow Food friends to learn about the healthy hospitals movement and how people in your community are addressing the challenges of feeding patients healthy fresh foods.

An Evening At The Hospital - 8/13/10

Join John Muir Health System Executive Chef Alison Negrin and colleagues
in a discussion of the successes and challenges of bringing healthy,
sustainable food to health care.

Panel includes:
Alison Negrin
Patty Campbell, lead clinical RD at John Muir Concord
Lucia Sayre, Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility
Temra Costa, author of Farmer Jane

Optional kitchen tours start at 5:30. Panel discussion starts at 6:15.
Following the panel, we will enjoy a delicious, healthy hospital meal
including sample patient and cafeteria items, local wine, and Frog Hollow Farm seasonal fruit pastries.

When: Friday, August 13, 2010, 5:30 pm

Where: John Muir Medical Center, Concord Campus
Pleasant Hill Room
2540 East St., Concord, CA

Cost: $20 Slow Food member / $25 non Slow Food member

Tickets, Further Info:

For your member discount at Brown Paper Tickets enter the code “slow” and save $5 on the price of admission.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Update from Italy

One of our members is in Italy attending the University of Gastronomy. The update below is very inspiring.

On my first day at L'Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche , I listened to Carlo Petrini speak in Italian about how our year in Italy would be transformational. Our pursuit of gastronomy would challenge us to adopt a holistic view and study in ways unfamiliar to us. In reflecting on the past two months, I can now appreciate more of what Carlo was communicating. After two study trips and a taste of the multidisciplinary curriculum, I understand that food can never follow a predictable pattern of life. Food, in its universal and multicultural nature, will always need to be examined through a unique lens that is customized to each new encounter. An ancient, underground olive oil mill in Puglia and a goat farm high in the mountains of Piedmont are two diverse expressions of food.

While they deviate in their nature of production, they are unified in their portrayal of food as a journey. Through this journey, history, science, society, and culture, among many other disciplines, are sculpted by the continual development and evolution of food.

In the same sense, I feel that I have all ready been shaped by the food and associated ways of life to which I have been exposed thus far. Classes have ranged from Wine Sensory Analysis and Organic Farming in the science realm to Food & Media and Food Sovereignty in the social sciences field. To complement this coursework, we have participated in two week long study trips in the regions of Puglia and Piedmont. The interactions and discussions with producers have been invaluable. We have spent time on the farms and in the factories of cheese artisans, winemakers, cured meat producers, and chocolatiers.

As summer vacation has now descended upon the university, there are even more opportunities for independent learning surrounding food. My next adventure will take me to the farm of Agricola Biologica Nico in Tuscany where I will be working for two weeks in August. When I return, I will be in the midst of preparing an article on the school gardens in the area of Bra where I live. Research will include visits to gardens at both the university and the local elementary school. In addition, I will be discovering more about Slow Food International’s initiative to establish 1,000 school gardens in Africa by 2011.

As the seasons change, new classes commence, and study trips ensue, I am more than eager to see where food will take me next.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Exciting event at John Muir Hospital

This is the flier for an event we are co-sponsoring next month at John Muir Medical Center. We would love for you all to come out and support the wonderful work our member Alison Negrin does as chef of the hospital food service. The panel will be very interesting and informative as should be the early tour. 

Click on image to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meet Slow Food SMC

Membership Recruitment Event

Slow Food SMC far surpassed expectations for its first campus recruitment event on May 12th. In conjunction with a campus social hour, students Ian Sharp and Lorena Sanchez set up a booth to spread the Slow Food philosophy and promote the chapter.

The extensive roster of students that signed up at the booth
will accompany the additional documents required by Slow Food USA to formalize the campus chapter.

Beyond providing information, students were treated to apples, Dixon strawberries, Knoll Farms green garlic, Bellwether Carmody cheese, Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam cheese, and table crackers.

From the supportive and enthusiastic responses of the students that visited the booth, the Slow Food SMC chapter will have much opportunity for future growth and collaboration.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fair Food: Field to Table

Fair Food: Field to Table is a multi-media project created by the California Institute for Rural Studies. Right now, there is a need to raise funds to reproduce DVDs of this fantastic project. CIRS has been giving copies away at no charge to whoever requests one but they are running out. Slow Food on Campus is using these DVDs in their Fair Food on Campus campaign. Help out by pledging a minimum of $15 to this great cause. It will advance the fair aspect of Slow Food USA's mission and will help a local California non-profit.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Slow Food St. Mary's

Students Lorena Sanchez and Ian Sharp, under the advisement of faculty member Professor Patrizia Longo, are founding the first Slow Food on Campus chapter at St. Mary's College of California. Ian and Lorena are currently in the midst of planning an informational event to generate student interest in Slow Food and grow membership. During an upcoming campus social hour in May, the founding students intend to set up a booth. From the booth, they will offer locally sourced foods for students to sample and Slow Food information. After attracting membership at this event, Ian and Lorena will then be able to submit the final documents required by Slow Food USA to become a recognized campus chapter. Although in its infancy, the campus chapter has a promising future ahead that includes film screenings, panel discussions, and food tastings.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Get to Know Your Head Table @ Pizza Antica

On Tuesday March 23, a group of Slow Food Delta Diablo members and leaders gathered at the cozy and sophisticated Pizza Antica in Lafayette.  No big agenda other than get to know each other over some delicious artisanal food.  I counted 23 happy diners of all ages enjoying wood-oven fired pizza and seasonal salads with a glass of beer or wine.  Personally, I had the blood orange limeade which was to die for. 

In attendance were local farmers, ranchers, CSA members, families, activists and even a few new faces.  We hope to have more of these low-key social events peppered in between our usual fare of farm tours and fundraising dinners. This is in an effort to build a greater sense of community among our group which is now somewhere in the vicinity of 75 members.  Kudos to Pizza Antica's manager Robert Sykes who graciously accomodated our boisterous group.  Thank you Robert!  And our own Gail Wadsworth for putting it all together including marking our tables with a cute stuffed snail. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Visit to St. Mary's College

Gianna Banducci and I just visited St. Mary's College in Moraga to speak to a class about Slow Food. The class was a food and politics class taught by Dr. Patrizia Longo, chair of the Politics Department. Dr. Longo is a long time supporter of Slow Food. She is from Venice, Italy, and is currently working on a project involving interviews with Slow Food leaders, having recently completed an interview with Carlo Petrini. I am interested in hearing more about this work.

Our aim in speaking to the class was to introduce them to the idea of starting up a Slow Food on Campus chapter. Dr. Longo has agreed to be the faculty sponsor of a campus chapter at St. Mary's.

St. Mary's College is committed to a sustainable campus. They operate a one acre organic garden which supplies produce to the student cafes. In November 2009, the president of the college announced the formation of a sustainability committee on campus.He stated: "This committee is charged with providing useful information to the President, Cabinet and campus community to inform decision-making that meets the environmental, social and economic needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

This seems like a natural partnership for Slow Food Delta Diablo. We invited all the students to our night at Pizza Antica March 23rd. For those of you who are involved with St. Mary's College we encourage you to pursue with us the goal of creating a Slow Food campus chapter.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Evening at Pizza Antica

Slow Food Delta Diablo would like to announce an evening at Pizza Antica!
3600 Mt. Diablo Blvd

This will be a very informal event for members and friends.
We would like people to join us, meet the head table, and enjoy a meal or drinks at Pizza Antica in Lafayette.

Everyone will be responsible for their own meals and tables are not being reserved.

Kids are welcome!

We plan to be there on Tuesday, March 23rd at 6:30 pm.
Look for us at the table marked with a red snail!
Gail, Kristie, Lesley, Josh, Susan, Lucy and Gianna
Robert Sykes
General Manager,Pizza Antica

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Annual Members Meeting

This year's Slow Food Delta Diablo annual member's meeting was once again held at Knoll Farms in Brentwood.  As Josh put it on our group's Facebook page "If ya weren't at the members meeting Sunday, you missed out!!! Wood oven pizzas, good company and lots of exciting plans for the year ahead!"

Time For Lunch

We discussed last year's highs and lows including our most successful events: the Pork on Your Fork event at Ennes Ranch and our Slow Food Time For Lunch Eat-In.

Time for lunch

Gail informed us that our third annual film screening at Los Medanos was attended by 60 students and featured the movies Fresh! and Homegrown.

Member's Meeting: Rick Knoll graced everyone
with his delicious homemade rosemary dough

Leslie Styles reported on our Slow Food in Schools Projects at Diablo Community Day School and College Park High School. We have two flourishing garden projects at these schools.  Read more about them here.

Member's built their own pizza's with potluck pizza toppings
and then fired them up in the Knoll's wood-burning oven.

New Head Table assignments were announced:
Gail Wadsworth: Leader
Kristie Knoll: Treasurer
Lucy Meinhardt: Membership
Gianna Banducci: Communications and Outreach
Lesley Stiles: Slow Food In Schools
Josh Hammack: Events
Susan Hammack: Graphic Design and Blog!

Event ideas for the coming year were also discussed including fundraisers, educational, and social events.  All members were sent a link to Survey Monkey to ask their input for this coming year.  Please let us know what you'd like to see our convivium do.  We covet your contribution!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Prize Dessert

The Slow Food Delta Diablo members' meeting was sparsely attended but those who braved the rain and came out to Knoll Farms had fun. The meeting itself generated some great ideas for events in 2010. Members should have all received a link to survey monkey. This survey gives you all an opportunity to express your thoughts on events for our chapter in 2010.

After the amazing pizzas, baked in the Knolls' woodfired oven, we all tried desserts prepared by members of the Head Table. Lesley made her famous brownies, Josh brought sweet toppings for dessert pizzas, Gail contributed cupcakes, Lucy a rich fruitcake with a Danish cream. The crowd favorite, however, was Gianna's grandmother's date bars. So, for all of us and especially for members who didn't come to the meeting, Gianna has agreed to share her grandmother's recipe with us all. I'm going to buy some dates at the farmers' market this weekend and make these!

Date Bars
by Nonna Pauline Banducci

Butter a 9 inch pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 cup flour to form a soft dough.

Pat the dough into the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Mix 2 eggs beaten, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 tbsp. flour, and 1 tsp. baking powder. Add 1 cup shredded coconut, 1/2 cup chopped dates, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. (Walnuts can be substituted.)

Spread this mixture evenly over the crust. Bake for 25 minutes until it is set in the center and lightly brown.
Cool and cut.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Annual Member's Meeting Sun Feb 21 1pm Knoll Farms

Come celebrate the start of a new year with Slow Food Delta Diablo! All current and lapsed convivium members are welcome. We look forward to discussing 2010 plans and ideas while dining on freshly-made pizza and salad. Please bring your preferred pizza toppings and drinks. 

For more information, or to RSVP please go to our E-VITE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 Calendars

Our convivium's own Lesley Stiles (caterer, blogger, and school garden coordinator) has put together gorgeous calendars benefiting local school garden projects. These calendars make fabulous gifts and will be a daily reminder to partake in each season's bounty of produce.

A fifteen-month guide
to what's seasonally fresh,
with sensuous recipes
by Lesley Stiles
and delicious watercolors
by David Johnson.


Also available
unbound, for

Monday, February 8, 2010

Greetings Slow Foodies! Looks like I have been bestowed the fabulous honor of updating our convivium's blog, so I wanted to begin by introducing myself. My name is Susan Sanelli Hammack. I am one of the founding members of Slow Food Delta Diablo. I am not a farmer or a chef, just another person who loves food that is good, clean, and fair. I'd love to know more about you, so feel free to comment or make suggestions for content.

Slowest regards,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A new year with new expectations

Slow Food Delta Diablo will be having its annual members' meeting this month. It will again be a pizza pot luck at Knoll Farms. Look for an evite coming from our newest Head Table member, Gianna Banducci. This is always a fun event and is a great opportunity for members to voice their opinions and lead the chapter. We hope to see you all there!