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August 30, 2008

Slow Food Taste Pavilions: Preview Night


Tonight was the press-only preview of the Slow Food Nation Taste Pavilions. I just got home and I wanted to get a quick post out.

For those of you out of the area or not on the Slow Food bandwagon, Slow Food Nation is a three-day festival that has been billed as "The Largest Celebration of American Food in History". It's essentially a campaign to change the way America produces and eats food. Its programs at Civic Center Plaza and Fort Mason will demonstrate how everyday choices affect our well being, our culture, and the health of the planet. The peeps behind Slow Food Nation hope to inspire a new activism with food at its core.

Programs include:

  • a Food for Thought lecture series with speakers such as Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry, Alice Waters, and Eric Schlosser
  • a lush Victory Garden in front of San Francisco’s City Hall (free access)
  • a Taste Pavilion with curated booths devoted to everything from charcuterie to chocolate
  • Slow On the Go booths at the Victory Garden with local restaurants, markets, and artisan purveyors selling Slow "fast food” (free access)
  • farmer's market (free access)
  • speeches and musical and dance performances (free)
  • rock concerts including artists Gnarls Barkley, Phil Lesh, New Pornographers
  • films

There is a lot of discussion on the internets about the $65 ticket price for the Taste Pavilions. For a sample of the brouhaha, see the comments on Michael Bauers blog post from yesterday. For those that are on the fence* or are having buyers' remorse, I wanted to share that I felt $65 was well worth it. Top Bay Area architects have transformed 50,000 square feet of the Herbst Pavilion into a beautiful, engaging environment in which to sample the delicacies. While this isn't an accessible price point for all people, (and I hope that sustainably-produced food will evolve to be more affordable), I do feel that the value was there. $65 is the least of what you would pay in a restaurant for the quality and quantity of food that is being offered. On top of the terrific vittles and drink, you are receiving an educational and interactive experience with some of the finest purveyors in the country. The Pavilions are a food lover's wet dream, IMHO.

Read Chron blog post about preview night

*Tickets for the workshops and the Taste Pavilions, BTW, are sold out online for both days. I don't know if they are releasing any tickets at the door.


Thanks for the tips Borelli, we'll be there Saturday night.

Check out Pinnacle Organic Produce from Hollister and Paul Hains organic walnuts, eggs, chickens from Tres Pinos!!!

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