SLOW FOOD WHIDBEY ISLAND ~ FIRST EVENT = SUCCESS!

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Mmmmm-GOOD!

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The main barn at Greenbank Farm was the setting for the first ever Slow Food Whidbey Island event.  Held from 2 to 4pm & open to the public, it was a fanfare of yummy food and wine, and a another Whidbey success!

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The slow food movement that has swept our nation recently intends to support and help small and large communities embrace food grown and prepared by their local citizens. members.  Slow Food USA states on their website: Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. There are 16 “chapters” in Washington state alone, with hundreds nation, and world-wide, with membership counting in the 100’s of thousands. In an effort to promote this slow food “idea” on Whidbey, local farmers, chefs, and foodie prone residents, planned the event at Greenbank with the intereste in forming a Whidbey chapter of the umbrella organization.   The intended chapter will be called Slow Food Whidbey Island.

To be an “official” chapter of Slow Food USArequires several steps and a team of founding members who commit to promoting locally grown foods, increase the membership and hold food related events open to the public, and chapter membership.

Planned specifically to meet some of the requirements in becoming an official chapter and introduce ever more island citizens to the slow food concept, the event was well attended and delicious. Dazzling guests with the best locally grown food, wine and local color the island has to offer, the event included information about slow food, local farmer’s, produce; restaurants, meat and shell-fish growers, a winery, a pie company and the myriad of other food related businesses that make their home on Whidbey.

So the question is: Should we have a Slow Food Whidbey?  Are a bunch of new foodie related events a good thing for island residents and visitors?  Seems the people who packed the barn today think so.  Coming from north and south, those who attended were all a’buzz over the event.  Clearly, it could have been twice the size, if they’d had twice the room.  Tickets sold out over the last several weeks, and only a small hand full were left to sell at the door.  For the 25.00 cost to attend, each guest received small tapas size servings from 7 farmer/grower/chef partnerships, coupled with tastings of 3 wines from a Whidbey winery.  All making up a meal.

Acting as MC for the event, founding member and acting president, Barbara Graham, informed guests, while they enjoyed their meals, about the new chapter’s inception, creation and hope for the future.  In a partnership with growers, chefs and other citizens, and the support of Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conrad, Barbara told guests there was a lot of support on the island for the effort to start a chapter.  She then introduced the local farmers/growers and chef’s who were participating, and other founding members who encouraged the guests to join with them in bolstering up this new chapter of Slow Food USA.

The chapter already has a mission; to preserve, strengthen and expand the local production, preparation and appreciation of food on Whidbey Island by fostering a sense of its importance in our lives and promoting access of our entire community to good, fair, clean food. Farmer’s, growers and chef’s spoke about their convictions that a slow food chapter is, indeed, a good for Whidbey.

And why not?  With La Connor, Anacortes and Skgit Valley, to our north and Seattle to our south, Whidbey is smack dab in the middle of “good food land” around here.  A lovely island; with great growing conditions, a long history of farming, a load of new and young farmers, an agriculture training center at Greenbank Farm; countless great chef’s; lots of historic barn’s, community center’s and recreation halls to hold events. Seems like a good fit.  Not to mention, our well outfitted state park’s; with their hefty BBQ’s anchored into the ground, picnic tables, scenic sites and sunsets!   It’s perfect right?

With plans for a full bore website, right now Slow Food Whidbey Island has a facebook page that states: This is truly one of the most delicious places in the world to live, surrounded by abundant waters and rimmed by the stunning Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. No matter where you turn Whidbey Island offers a truly marvelous array of food, some traditional and some new, but all worthy of celebrating and preserving.  And there you have it.  Good food in a good place, enjoyed by good people.    Slow Food Whidbey Island here you come.  

If Slow Food is about partnerships between farmers, chefs and cooks and community, it would appear Whidbey is a good fit for a chapter.

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For more information about Slow Food Whidbey Island

contact Barbara Graham barbinki@gmail.com or Vincent Nattress  vincentnattress@hotmail.com