Slow Food Nation
August 22, 2008
Sorry… this post won’t get a picture. Instead lots of words that could possibly be quite boring if you’re not familiar with slow food.
What is Slow Food? Until recently I couldn’t answer that myself, but one way or another this has been ringing in my ears the last few years.
While some of you may be familiar with Slow Food, never before has there been such an event celebrating American food. It will be in San Francisco over Labor day weekend. This event has gotten VERY BIG, VERY QUICKLY. Truly a powder keg.
Carlo Petrini is the president and founder of Slow Food International and has been touring the US this year. He wrote a book called Slow Food Nation which has received much praise.
At the beginning of 2008 I had a long lay over in L.A. and I briefly met up with Tony Konecny in Silverlake, who runs his very own NON 501c3 non profit. I met him about 5 years ago while he was chained to an IR-12 surrounded by a few thousand lbs of green coffee in a room not much bigger than a walk in closet up on capitol hill-SEA. He shares that he and friends in Napa are working on a food event in the fall and I should check it out. Also at some point Tony went down with Gabriel Boscana a.k.a. old man ritual to Huehue with an international group that was sponsored by slow foods in Italy. Italians have really taken a liking to coffee from Huehue in particular. It was the favorite coffee region in the world for the late Dr. Ernesto Illy, and many other companies in Italy that have promoted coffees from Huehue in a very prominent way for some reason. Well, I’m sure the reason is that they’ve got a phenomenal pallet for the finest flavors.
Then I bump into Andrew Barnet from Ecco Caffe in Copenhagen in June who asks me to consider coming to San Francisco in a few months for an event that would be a perfect match for us.
Meanwhile I begin to connect the dots remembering that an old friend that used to manage the dry mill we’ve used in Huehue is opening a whole new mill with brand new equipment, funded by some Italians that don’t have much history or experience in coffee but supportive of our local flavor. And I heard that last year one of the buyers was a roaster in a prison in Italy. Hmm.. Read more in this link from a slow food news letter from 2006
Then Tony emails again and says “you really should come, Andrew and I will be there, Ritual is on board and it’s going to be great.” Being a busy season in life and work, we’re tight on time and money these days so I had to pass, but I agreed to send some coffee to Barefoot to represent. Not a month later… another email “you should really come…. everyone is going to be there.” which doesn’t really mean everyone, it means we now have some bigger micro roasters on board to help us do our part of the event.
The next day Andy at Barefoot sent this email:
great news on the coffee shipment.
So here is my pitch to you for Slow Food Nation: It represents everything we are all trying to do in quality coffee. It will be a huge opportunity to get your story heard by the press, thousands of appreciative fans and US
It will be a blasty-blast
We will work hard to get some press coverage for you to get your story out there
We will pay for you to fly down here and you can stay in our apartment for the weekend. So the only cost would be food and misc. You would fly down on the 30th and fly back on the 2nd. so basically three days of fun and amazing coffee people. We will have a meet the producer event on the 30th and cup your coffees. we will be serving your coffee at Slow Food nation as well.
Barefoot Coffee Roasters
76 Sunol st San Jose, CA 95126
And the rest is……. going to be history. I’m sure this will be an event to remember. Hopefully an event to spark something new in the development of the coffee consumer market.
Whenever fine or quality foods are the center of attention, coffee is always an after thought at best. Next week it will be a part of the conversation. For those of you who are passionate about quality in coffee… For those of you who are purists… For those of you who can taste and appreciate terroir…. get you’re butt out there! Click here to see a list of some of the roasters present… If you’re interested in more details, I’m sure some of them will report on their website, or via press release.