When I drove to Bommer Canyon in Irvine last Saturday to interview Chef Ryan Adams of Sorrento Grille, prior to the Slow Foods 2nd Annual Bommer Canyon BBQ, I did it because I was curious about the Slow Food organization whose principles mesh perfectly with what I advocate here: cooking at home and sharing meals with family and friends to connect in an increasingly hectic world. To slow down and actually connect with like-minded folks who consider good eating one of the important pleasures in life. Pretty simple, right? Well, I had no idea what an exhilarating evening of fine food, marvelous music, and wonderful people I would encounter in this pastoral oasis in the midst of bustling Orange County.
If you actively participate in, agree with, or try to do any of the following actions, then you’re a Slow Foodie, too!
- Eat locally and sustainably
- Eat fresh, seasonal foods
- Shop at farmers’ markets
- Enjoy food with your family and friends
- Eat together at home
Chef Ryan generously donated his time and expertise to create a bright, fresh menu inspired by old-fashioned fair food, beginning with the summery Watermelon and Cucumber Salad above. Sponsors included Whole Foods, Mary’s Free-Range Chickens, and local suppliers that source Sorrento Grille in Laguna Beach. The wine for the evening was generously provided by Quivira Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma County and guest speaker was none other than food activist, Jill Richardson, author of Recipe for America.
Our everyday lives can be enriched by taking time to slow down and enjoy life with family and friends. Living the slow life with food as the focus is as rewarding as it is easy, and it can be done daily by each one of us. Here are just a few pleasures you can enjoy:
- Visit a local farmers’ market
- Start a kitchen garden
- Make pasta from scratch one night
- Invite a friend over to share a meal
- Squeeze your own lemonade from the fresh fruit
- Create a new food memory for a child! Bake with your child or teach them to plant seeds for a meal.
- Trace your food sources
- Linger over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese
- Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in your area
- Decide to eat lunch sitting down instead of standing up (or while driving)
- Visit a farm in your area
- Learn your local food history! Prepare an authentic regional dish or discover a food that is celebrated by your culture.
Slow Food Orange County is a local chapter of Slow Food U.S.A. which works to carry out the Slow Food mission on a local level. The Orange County convivium is a member-supported organization made up of a diverse group of food enthusiasts. Members include home and professional chefs, growers, wine connoisseurs, and lots of ordinary people who enjoy cooking and eating good quality food and wines.