Posts Tagged ‘Slow Food Miami’

A special Dinner in Paradise
to benefit Slow Food Miami
Edible School Gardens.

Saturday Feb. 11, 2012
5:00 pm – Reception
5:30 pm – Farm Tour
6:00 pm – Five Course Dinner

Featuring fresh local seafood and fresh harvest from the farm
prepared by Chef Kira Volz of Broadwings Catering, along with Chefs Christopher Siragusa and Rebecca Kleinman.

Purchase farm dinner tickets here.

If you prefer not to drive to the farm yourself, Park Ride and Sip on a luxury coach, while the Square One Organic Vodka mixologist prepares seasonal cocktails to sip on the way to the farm. $30 roundtrip ticket includes parking. Coach departs at 4:00 pm from St. Stephens parking lot in Coconut Grove.

Purchase Slow Love bus tickets here.

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Lebanese Feast

Friday November 18th
7:30 pm
Private Residence
in Coral Gables, FL

Ahlan wa sahlan. You come as family and leave with ease.

Conjure smells and tastes of old Beirut with a mouth-watering family style meal paired with great wines at a private home, all cooked with love from friend and Redland goat herder and cheese-maker, Hani Khouri.

Read about all the deliciousness in store for you in this Miami New Times article.

Menu is posted online.

Order tickets online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/207329

Exact location will be sent to guests after tickets are purchased. All proceeds to benefit Slow Food Miami Edible School Gardens.

For more information, call Renée at 888-580-4480 or  email at president@slowfoodmiami.org.

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Food Justice Film Series

On occasion of of National Food Day (October 24), Youth L.E.A.D. and O Cinema present What’s on Your Plate? a critically acclaimed documentary that follows two eleven year old multi-racial city kids over the course of one year as they explore their place in the food chain, and shows their point of view on the growing local food movement in New York.

The film will be shown on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at 1 pm.


O Cinema
90 NW 29th Street
Miami, FL 33127
(305) 571-9970

To purchase tickets go to: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2118208619

From 11 am to 4 pm, Urban Oasis Project will have a farmer’s market set up, and the vegan food truck Mac’N will also be there.

This screening is part of the Food Justice Film Series, which focuses on food justice and responsible eating through films, discussions, and food tastings given by local/organic producers. Sponsored by Slow Food Miami.

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Let them eat pie! The heart shaped strawberry tart took first place.

For the second year in a row, Slow Food Miami held its pie baking contest. This year there were a few changes. The event moved to the historic Barnacle House in Coconut Grove, and your ticket also got you a fried chicken dinner prepared by Sustain restaurant, with sides from Whole Foods. But the heart of the event stayed the same — to choose the best homemade pie made with local (Florida) or home grown ingredients.

Jan Anderson Treese and her grandson baked the blueberry-lemon curd-cookie crust pie.

Sixteen contestants rose to the challenge and brought unique, delicious pies filled with avocado, guava, and muscadine grape, to name a few. Jan Anderson Treese and her grandson made the lemon curd-blueberry-cookie-crust pie. “I used local eggs and lemons and butter,” she said, and sourced Florida grown blueberries. “My biggest thing is local food and fresh food. I’m a chef and I’ve preached that all my life.”

Even the judges were local. Food celebrities Lee Brian Schrager (founder of South Beach Wine & Food Festival), Hedy Goldsmith (executive pastry chef, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink), and Ariana Kumpis (president, Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami) had the really tough job of grading pies on appearance, filling, crust, and overall creativity. And of course, judges had to keep entries to the rule of using “a main ingredient that grows in Florida.”

Blueberry-lemon curd-cookie crust pie!

In last year’s competition, some entries had used non-local main ingredients (chocolate and apple don’t grow here), and there had been some grumbling as to why those pies weren’t disqualified. This year the pendulum swung in the other direction. There was a moment of controversy about the rhubarb pie, whether the filling was local or not, and should it be disqualified. But that contestant claimed she did manage to grow rhubarb in her garden. (Who knew that rhubarb can grow this far south?)

Controversy aside, two of the the three finalists used the ever beloved mango. Third place was mango ginger, and second was mango crumb. The winner was a strawberry tart with a heart shaped crust — definitely scoring points for appearance and creativity!

All the contestants posed for a group picture with their prizes.

Each contestant received a Breville pie maker, and the three top finalists won additional kitchen appliances. After the prizes were awarded, pies were sliced up so guests could get a taste. This is always the best part of the event, to sample pies and make your own decisions on which were best. Slices and slivers of the winning strawberry pie just flew, and by the time I ambled up for a taste, it was all gone, just crumbs left in the pan.

Avocado pie (foreground) and scorecards.

Slow Food Miami did a good job with this year’s competition, which is maturing and evolving. Including lunch was smart. It kept hungry guests from mobbing the pies. The raffle was also new this year. If you bought extra tickets, you got chances to win a food basket from Whole Foods, or one of several pie makers.

And to complete the circle of eating local, two local growers and one vendor — Bee Heaven Farm, G.R.O.W. and Seriously Organic — brought fruits and veggies, sprouts, eggs and honey.

Slow Food members did a lot of work to make this event better, and it showed. Looking forward to next year!

Elke Zabinski of Seriously Organic

Thi and Bill Squire of G.R.O.W.

Sampling monstera fruit at the Bee Heaven Farm Tent, with Sara Willoughby and Margie Pikarsky.

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Thighs and Pies

Slow Food Miami Annual Pie Contest

Saturday, September 10th at 12 noon

12:00 pm Enjoy a picnic lunch with Sustain Restaurant‘s famous fried chicken
Sides and sweets by Whole Foods Market

1:00 pm Pie winners announced
Followed by pie sale to benefit local school gardens

Tickets: $35 Adult — $15 Child (5-15) ages 5 and under free.
Purchase online here.

Lee Brian Schrager
Founder of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

Hedy Goldsmith
Executive pastry chef, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

Ariana Kumpis
President, Les Dames D’Escoffier Miami

Meet Your Farmers: Seriously Organic, Bee Heaven Farm, G.R.O.W.
Bring some cash to purchase fresh, local produce!

Entertainment: Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band

The Barnacle Historic State Park
3485 Main Highway
Coconut Grove FL 33133

Sponsored by Whole Foods Market 

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Vanishing of the Bees, an intriguing new documentary about Colony Collapse Disorder, is back in town for a FREE one-night screening.  

Date: Sunday August 21, 2011
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
10901 Old Cutler Road
Coral Gables FL 33156

Back in May, Vanishing of the Bees showed for only one night at the new, state of the art Coral Gables Cinematheque. And it was a good turnout — over 200 people packed the auditorium. Proceeds from that screening went to support Slow Food Miami’s school garden program.

Beekeeper John Herring and filmmaker Maryam Henein at the May screening.

The filmmaker, Maryam Henein, was present to introduce her film and answered questions after the showing. She was accompanied by John Herring, a beekeeper from Broward County, who brought a sample hive and various tools of his trade, who also answered questions about bees. Farmer Margie Pikarsky and interns Mike and Sadie from Bee Heaven Farm came with many boxes of local honey and wildflower bouquets for sale.

Vanishing of the Bees is a real-life mystery story which begins with two commercial beekeepers, David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes, who tell similar stories of how one day they came to check on their hives and found them inexplicably empty. They realized their problem wasn’t only with their hives, or happening in Southwest Florida where they were located. It was a growing, serious problem in 35 states and also in Europe. Bees were either vanishing, or their immune systems were succumbing to all kinds of pathogens. Populations were dying faster than they could be replaced, and nobody knew why. The film goes on a journey that follows David and Dave as they try to solve their mystery, and in the process they discover how they can keep their bees healthy and productive, and their beekeeping businesses alive.

Through the course of researching and making her film, Maryam became a passionate and tireless activist for the honeybee. Her love and concern is clearly apparent in the film, which weaved a magic spell around the audience that night. As the story unfolded, people were pulled in; and at one scene in the middle, you could almost hear a pin drop as facts built up and pointed to the most likely causes of bee die-offs. The camerawork is amazing, bringing you very close to slow-motion bees in mid-flight, and editing and animation are superb.

Support the bees

The film does end on a hopeful note, that it’s not too late for ordinary people to save the honeybee. “Colony Collapse Disorder is a wake up call,” Maryam said after the screening. “There’s a big abyss between the people who know and the people who don’t know. Every one of you is a worker bee” to get out the word and take action.

She mentioned several ways you can help the bees and support your own good health. The easiest thing to do is buy organic produce and local honey. (You can find both at local farmers markets.) Organic farmers are not allowed to use systemic pesticides or other dangerous chemicals that can harm bees. Most organic farms tend to have a happy mix of several kinds of plants that support bees, and most farms keep hives and sell local honey. 

Mike and Margie from Bee Heaven Farm with honey and wildflower bouquets for sale at the screening.

Another simple thing you can do is avoid buying “honey-flavored” breads, cereals and other products. They are sweetened with honey blends imported from China. “Funny honey” is diluted with lactose syrup, high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners. It is also tainted with strong antibiotics and lead residues. Corporate bakeries — and the film named General Mills and Pillsbury — buy imported honey because it is very cheap. (Real honey costs a lot more because U.S. beekeepers can’t produce enough to meet demand.) 

If you have the space, a fun thing you can do is plant a bee-friendly garden, with an assortment of plants that bloom throughout the year to attract pollinators. Choose low-maintenance native plants and wildflowers, keep fruit trees, or raise vegetables in your garden or in containers on your patio or balcony. Whatever you do, DO NOT use systemic pesticides! Those are the kind that are applied once a season or once a year as a soil drench, and “provide protection without spraying.” Plants suck those chemicals up through their roots, and all their cells and pollen itself become poisoned. Bees then gather tainted pollen, bring it back to their hive, and make themselves very sick from it, sick to the point of death. 

Support the film

Vanishing of the Bees is a completely independent production, and it took a long time and a lot of money to make it happen. From researching and writing the script to the final edit took about four years to make, and it cost half a million dollars. (Just the editing alone took a year and cost a good chunk of money.) Maryam raised funds a little bit at a time, from donations and sponsorships, and they went toward paying film expenses. When she wasn’t filming, she supported herself at times as a waitress, and admitted that for a while she was on food stamps and maxed out credit cards to survive. 

Maryam and her producers are making their money back with donations and DVD sales. Right now, they are running a promotion and selling the DVD on their web site for a reduced price of $14.99 for a personal viewing license. (They might also be selling the DVD at Sunday’s screening.) Maryam wants to get her DVD into schools. “Education is the beginning,” she said. “We are the generation waking up. The change is coming up in the generations behind us.” At the time of the May screening, she needed to raise about $12 thousand to develop a companion study guide. She is self-distributing her film, and is actively seeking venues for future screenings. The next Florida screening is in Tampa on August 29th.

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The choice is not local or organic but how, through your organic food purchases, you can incorporate supporting local agriculture, local communities and and local economies into an organic lifestyle. The more you were into local culture, the more important it is to support organics in your region.
– George Siemon, Organic Valley

Carolann and Ted Baldyga, Hani Khouri

As the locavore dinner unfolded I couldn’t help thinking that maybe this was the way previous generations ate in this area. Crab, wild pig, cobia, coconut for sure, and other foods were later introduced. Many tropical things, whether native or  introduced, don’t grow in more northern latitudes. Jaboticaba, bignay, betel leaf, callaloo, Red Ceylon peach, rangpur lime, Mysore raspberries  — you’re not going to find most of those at a supermarket in Miami — or New Jersey! (But you can find some things at farmers markets, or grow others in your back yard.)

James and Donna Patrick, Laura Veitia

Earth Dinner calls for us to honor the earth, the very dirt we stand on, by honoring our food. And by so doing, we honor our farmers — a stubborn, determined, independent tribe — who work very hard to feed us. In fact most of the growers who provided the ingredients for our dinner were present — Robert Barnum, Margie Pikarsky, Hani Khouri, George Figueroa, Teena Borek, and guests Thi and Bill Squire representing our local Slow Food Miami chapter.

Bill and Thi Squire

Robert and Margie’s Earth Dinner was only one of two in the entire state of Florida. I’m a bit surprised there weren’t more. A wide range of food grows in the spaces outside urban development, and agriculture is the state’s second largest source of revenue. City dwellers are quick to forget that they live among farmers, even as farmers are pushed back by relentless waves of development.

Robin and Carol Faber

Margie stood up and spoke at the close of dinner. “This dinner is about the importance of the local farmer. It’s important that we support the local foodshed and the richness of the local food here. This is the way to keep our country strong and our food safe. By keeping food regional, it’s easier to control food safety.”

Anthony Rodriguez, George Figueroa, Tina Trescone

Know where your food comes from, or how it was grown and processed. Connect the food with the place where you live, and you will be healthier and stronger for it. At last month’s Earth Dinner, the taste of this place was in the food and drink. It was unlike any dinner I’d eaten anywhere else. And it sure made for good experience and good memories! If I were to savor a perfectly ripe Mysore raspberry or take a sip of bignay wine, blindfolded, years from now, I would remember in a heartbeat this dinner and this particular abundant land — thanks to our local farmers!

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