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Food, glorious, slow food

Lynn Kelly

EDWARDS – “Food, glorious food!” These famed lyrics belted out by adorable urchins in the “Oliver” musical are the family mantra around our household. Truly taking these words to heart, we simply love to eat. So when the Vail Daily reported that the gals from the Vail Symposium were teaming up with Colorado Mountain College to bring Slow Foods U.S.A. to the valley this past May, we were thrilled to check it out. Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time explaining the concept to anyone who will listen.Founded in 1986 by food-loving Italian Carlo Petrini after the McDonald’s franchise set-up shop in Rome’s beloved Piazza Spagna, Slow Food touts a mission with the desire “to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread the education of taste, and link the producers of excellent food to consumers with events and initiatives.” The organization is internationally active in 50 countries. With over 80,000 members worldwide, the options for involvement are endless. Since that first gathering in May, our local chapter, aka The Slow Food U.S.A. Vail Valley Convivium, has been on the fast-track – already completing the requirements to actually create a new convivium, breaking into three committees and winnowing our original list of 31 possible events down to two projects for each committee to focus on in 2005. Our three committees are education, social events and field trips. We have a fantastic blend of participants organizing everything from hosting a local day camp at The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch to a mushroom-hunting expedition to a full-moon harvest dinner party to the creation of a garden at Red Sandstone Elementary School to a tour and preserving session at an organic peach farm to creating a cookbook. Interest is keen. Members include renowned chefs, educators, gardeners, concerned parents and others. Everyone brings his or her unique experiences and abilities to the table, but the underlying theme is simply we love food – good food, slow food. The fun possibilities for all the committees were so yummy, it was hard for my husband, Joe, and I to decide which one to hang with first. Since the future of Kai’s world, our son, is foremost in our thoughts these days, we chose education. A beautiful thing is that the group as a whole lends itself to involvement in all the committees – as well as the events. We’ve already decided to journey over to a neighboring convivium’s event for a weekend of farm and vineyard touring in the North Fork Valley in August. If, in the “it takes a village to raise a child” tradition, our son learns some valuable lessons in regard to community, stewardship, hospitality as well as environmental awareness and preservation – fabulous. If we all learn a lot while enjoying fine company, accouterments and merriment while enhancing the family mantra – even better. In the meantime, cheers to “food … magical food, wonderful food, marvelous food, fabulous food … beautiful food … GLORIOUS FOOD!” Amen.The good people at the Vail Symposium are happy to answer any questions you might have about the Slow Food chapter at 476-0954 or you can log on to http://www.slowfoodusa.org for the larger picture. Our next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at the Ambulance District building in Edwards. All are welcome to come check it out.Lynn Kelly is a member of the Slow Food U.S.A. Vail Valley Convivium.Vail, Colorado


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