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Slow Food in the Midwest

  • k

I'm writing a book about the Slow Food movememnt in the Midwest, to be published next year by UI Press. I need your help to find the great stories. I am looking for the people throughout the Midwest who are, in any small or large way, living the ideals of Slow Food. One of the people I will profile, for example, is Simone Delaty, who owns a farm in Wellman, Iowa. There she hosts French and Mediterranean dinners and other events where the kitchen and the table are the center of everyday life. This is the sort of story I seek.

These people do not need to be restaurant professionals, though they might be. They needn't be farmers or artisans either, though they may be that as well. I am interested in history, both that of the settlers and of the Native Americans who still live here in the Heartland. I seek people who are living life the Slow way despite the onslaught of the fast-paced modern world. They need not be actual members of the movement, just people who live the ideals (learn more about the ideals at www.slowfoodusa.org) You yourself might be one of these people.

Whether you have 1 name or 100, I would like to know about them.

Thanks!

Peace,
kmf

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  1. s
    shoo-bee-doo

    I was part of the beginnings of the Slow Food movement in the Twin Cities. You might want to contact Ron Huff, and the foursome (Robert, Leslie, Doug, and Kirsten) at the Cesares Wine Bar in Stillwater, MN. Dara Moskovitz just did a write-up in City Pages of this group

    One of our first events was to visit the Indian reservation up north where they parched the wild rice.

    I haven't been there recently, but the Twin Cities group has been active since 2000.

    1. c
      chilliestwilly

      There are several people involved in the slow food movement that are on the cleveland food & wine forum. You should post there:

      http://www.cleveland.com/forums/food/

      1. k
        Kurt M. Friese

        Thanks for the good leads so far, everyone!

        I should clarify, though, that I am on the Slow Food USA National Board of Governors for the Midwest region, and already know the specific convivia fairly well. I'm looking for the stories of the folks who, while they may or may not be members, are living the life.

        Keep up the good suggestions!

        Thanks again.

        Peace,
        kmf

        1. Kurt,

          A woman named Kerry Conan wrote an article in this month's Gourmet about Bossy's Best Beef. Kerry lives in Bonner Springs KS and the Vogelsberg ranch is also in Kansas. Here is a link to another article about her.

          http://herskansas.com/stories/062004/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: squirrel
            k
            Kurt M. Friese

            I'm so pleased to hear that Gourmet wrote about something between the Appalachians and the Rockies that wasn't Chicago! They do have a tendancy to be somewhat bi-coastal. Hopefully, with the former Slow Food USA Exec. Director (PAtrick MArtins) as a contibuting editor, that will begin to change!

            Thanks for the tip.

          2. The article linked below is about a girl I went to highschool with. You also might want to look up Mike Zahs in Washington, Iowa, who is an Iowa (and Washington County) historian. And my favorite teacher ever.

            Link: http://www.mennoniteusa.org/news/news...

            1. I think that if you use the recommendations you got from this website, it is important that you credit chowhound in your book. Just wanted to put that out there.
              Good luck.

              1. The KC STAR has an on-going series called "The Farmer's Art". A recent example is the attached link to a story about a Mennonite cheese maker in rural Kansas.

                Link: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansasc...

                1. Slim's in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood. Right on Hamilton Avenue. This guy is a quiet treasure in one of the city's most ecletic neighborhood's. He buys locally, the price-fixed menu changes weekly and the food is lovingly prepared. Any meal at Slim's is long and luxurious and accompanied by great homemade breads (irish soda-bread, corn bread, foccacia) as well as teeny ramikins of roasted goodness (oilves, garlic, peppers, etc.) The tables are long, communal and hand-made. They've been open for about a year - so they are relatively new. And they have been getting more media coverage recently. This place is great - you should definately check it out.

                  1. Cincinnati also has an active CSA - Turner Farm. I think more and more CSAs have been cropping up where there are people who feel a need to eat more organic foods and get in touch with where their food actually comes from. Plus - it just tastes so much better! I think there might be another CSA in the Cincinnati area - but I believe Turner Farm is the only one that is entirely organic.

                    1. I don't know much about any of these people, but they could qualify. Finding them could also be a trick.

                      Cress Spring Bakery in Blue Mounds WI, has a traditional brick oven and great bread. They sell at the Madison Farmers Market and to a local route. Anyone who bakes all organic, whole grain bread in a traditional brick oven is somewhat Slow.

                      There is a couple who just sells garlic at the Madison Farmers Market. They live in north central WI and drive down in an old black pickup to sell garlic at a dollar a bulb. Seems like a promising start.

                      And finally, the maker of the best Italian cheeses this side of Italy, Farmer John. Some say his parmesan is the best, but I'm partial to his Asiago. I found his cheese at the Madison Farmers Market but he wasn't there last year and maybe last two years(at least not when I was). Google brings up pretty much nothing. Thought he went out of business, but I found out he sells at the East Side Farmers Market which is sponsered by the Willy Street Co-Op in Madison.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: muD

                        After an absence of a year or so, Farmer John is back at the Dane County Farmer's Market. For some obscure reason, he's not selling his wonderful Italian cheeses (Parmesan, Asiago, and also Romano, Mozzarella, and Provonello) on the Square (he sells some varieties of Colby instead), but he does sell them every Tuesday at the East Side Market.

                        He's working on a website, but I haven't been able to find it. But he does have an entry in the website for the Dane County Farmer's Market, including phone, e-mail, and postal address: http://madfarmmkt.org/detailsv.asp?bu...

                        1. re: Mitch

                          Thank you. It's four hours each way from where I live and I was seriously considering taking a Tuesday off to go to the East Side Market. If he'll do mail order I can order once the fall hits and temps are cooler. Two more months and I can get down there again. I'm out of Hook's 7-year cheddar and blue cheese too. I should probably start putting money away. This could get expensive.

                      2. Was this book ever written? It seems very interesting! I realize this is many years later but I am part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter of Slow Food, which is one of the first university Slow Food chapters started by Genya Erling and this may have been good to include. Either way it seems like a good read if it ever was created?

                        Thanks!