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02 January 2008

International Slow Food Organization opens Harrisburg chapter
Group’s inaugural dinner on Jan. 25 celebrates Pennsylvania artisan cheese

The International Slow Food organization has established a chapter in Harrisburg. The chapter will host three “meet the producer” dinners a year, with each dinner featuring a local product. The inaugural dinner features Pennsylvania farmstead and artisan cheese and is scheduled from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus.

The dinner will be a collaboration among artisan cheese makers using recipes created by top rated guest chefs and cooked by student chefs from HACC’s Benjamin Olewine III School of Culinary Arts. Non-Slow Food members are welcome to attend.

Slow Food believes that pleasure and quality in everyday life can be achieved by slowing down, respecting the convivial traditions of the table and celebrating the diversity of the earth's bounty.

“By connecting the field to the fork, we want to re-acquaint consumers to the joys of eating local and fresh food,” says chapter president Curtis Vreeland. "What could be more fun than sharing a passion for good food and wine with other people who feel the same way?"

The dinner

The inaugural “Meet the Producer” dinner will feature cheeses specially selected by the PA Farmstead & Artisan Cheese Alliance: Keswick Creamery (Newburg), Otterbein Acres (Newburg) and Three Belle Cheeses (Mifflinburg).

The three-course meal will be prepared by three guest chefs: Jason Viscount (Executive Chef, Bricco), Michael Finch (HACC Chef Instructor) and Jim Switzenberg (HACC Chef Instructor). Students from HACC’s Benjamin Olewine III School of Culinary Arts will assist with the meal’s preparation. Each course has been carefully paired with an appropriate wine selected by the PA Wine Society.

The three cheese makers will host a pre-dinner reception, serving a selection of their artisan products.

The Slow Food mission

Slow Food USA envisions a future food system that is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability and social justice - in essence, a food system that is good, clean and fair.

Members seek to catalyze a broad cultural shift away from the destructive effects of an industrial food system and fast life toward the regenerative cultural, social and economic benefits of a sustainable food system, regional food traditions, the pleasures of the table, and a slower and more harmonious rhythm of life.

The founding father of the Slow Food Movement, Carlo Petrini, recognized in 1986 that the industrialization of food was standardizing taste and leading to the annihilation of thousands of food varieties and flavors. Concerned that the world was quickly reaching a point of no return, he wanted to reach out to consumers and demonstrate to them that they have choices over fast food and supermarket homogenization.

He rallied his friends and began to speak out at every available opportunity and soon the movement was born and Slow Food was created. Today the organization is active in 50 countries and has a worldwide membership of over 80,000.

The Menu

Cheese maker’s Reception

Meet the cheese makers, learn about the art of cheese making and taste a sampling of their acclaimed cheeses that will be paired with Marquis de la Tour NV Rose sparkler (Loire) and Les Vinoles Saumur Champaigny 2005 Cabernet Franc (Loire).

Appetizer

Roasted Beet and Otterbein Sheep’s Milk Feta Salad finished with Candied Walnuts and Maple Blis, a maple syrup made from specially selected old growth organic maple trees, and aged for several months in 12- to 18-year old-bourbon barrels. The salad will be paired with Anselmi San Vincenzo 2006 garganese and chardonnay 2006 (Veneto).

Entree

PA Duck “Shepherd’s Pie”* served with Roasted Vegetables, Keswick Creamy Wallaby and Potato Purée and paired with Montpezat grenache and mourvedre 2003 (Languedoc).

Dessert

Three Belle Farms Chévre Cheesecake garnished with Persimmon glaze and Pomegranate seeds, drizzled with Pomegranate syrup and paired with Chaddsford Sunset Blush 2005 (PA).

Tickets are $60 per person.

For more information about the dinner or the Slow Food organization, contact Curtis Vreeland by phone at 717-695-2584 or via e-mail at 695-2584. On the Net: www.slowfoodusa.org

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