Food for Thought: Special Edition
The Slow Food Orange County Newsletter
  September, 2009
Welcome to a special edition of "Food for Thought!"  In this month's newsletter, the Slow Food OC Steering committee presents the 2009-2010 Events Calendar.  Over the summer we have worked hard to plan events of interest to our members.  Upcoming events are highlighted below and described in more detail on the Events Calendar of our website.  So what are you waiting for?  Grab a calendar and get involved in Slow Food OC.  It's going to be a great year!
In This Issue
Featured Event
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
Member Highlight
SFOC Cookbook
What is Slow Food?

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 link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

For more information, visit their website.

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Featured Upcoming Event 
Saturday, October 17th, 6:00 or 6:30 PM
 Slow Food OC Hosts 5 Simultaneous Suppers
The second annual Simultaneous Suppers will be held on Saturday, October 17th in five homes throughout Orange County.  Each host, a dedicated Slow Food OC member, has designed a menu around in-season and locally-sourced ingredients to embody Slow Food principles.  Diners in all five locations will experience an elegant multi-course dinner that includes an appetizer, soup and/or salad, entrée, dessert and wine.  The cost of each dinner is $65 (tax-deductible).  Proceeds go towards support of Monkey Business Café and Hart Community Homes, a non-profit organization that assists in job training for foster care boys between the ages of 13 and 18.  The boys work at the Café to gain work experience and life skills.  Slow Food OC and Hart Community Homes are currently collaborating in the construction of a kitchen garden for Monkey Business Café.
Review the menus below and see which one tempts your taste buds.  Tickets may be purchased from Brown Bag Tickets using the links below (each dinner has its own link).  Alternatively, Brown Bag Tickets can be accessed through the Events Calendar on the Slow Food OC website.  We expect these dinners to sell out fast so act quickly. Seating is limited to 6-10 people and varies by location.

Stacey Blaschke, Host (8 guests maximum)
San Juan Capistrano, 6 PM
Fig and Toasted Almonds Baked Brie
 Fall Greens with Pomegranate and Walnuts
 Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon, Grass Fed Beef in Red Wine with Bacon, Onions and Mushrooms served on a Bed of Egg Noodles
 Tarte Tatin (Upside Down Apple Cake) with Creme Fraiche
Buy Tickets

Robyn Doan, Host (6 guests maximum)
Fountain Valley, 6:30 PM
Shrimp Rolls Duo, wild caught whole shrimp rolled in rice paper
 Crab Noodle Soup, fresh crab & herbs in rice vermicelli soup
Lemongrass Ribeye Skewers served with Herbed Basmati Rice
 Fall Pumpkin Creme Caramel
Buy Tickets
Chef Jen Ford, Host (10 guests maximum)
Huntington Beach, 6:30 PM
*Vegetarian option per request upon reservation
Fuyu Persimmon Salsa with Wild Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel
 Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Blue Cheese
 Caldo Verde*\ with All-Natural Chicken or Soy Chorizo
Pumpkin-Apple Harvest Cake
Buy Tickets
Roger McErlane, Host  (8 guests maximum)
Laguna Beach, 6 PM
Selected Cheeses, Olives, and Salami
 Roasted Course Ground Polenta topped with Braised Wild Mushrooms
 Butter Lettuce and Fennel Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil dressing
 Bouillabaisse Lobster, Crab, Fish, Clams in a Light Saffron Tomato Broth, served on Bed of Pasta
 French bread
 Apple Pie with Ice Cream
Buy Tickets

 Executive Chef Thomas Ryan, Host  (12 guests maximum)
Newport Coast, 6 PM
Vegetarian option per request upon reservation

Salumi Plate with Olives, Crusty French Bread & Spicy Mustard
 Roasted Pumpkin and Leek Ravioli
 Seared Diver Scallop, Truffle Sauce
Autumn Greens, Early Citrus, Dried Pears with Point Reyes Blue Cheese & Champagne Vinaigrette
Braised Kobe Style Short Ribs, Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes, Glazed Carrots Chocolate Irish Car Bomb
Buy Tickets
October 2009 Events:
October 17, 10AM to 3PM
Fullerton Reads Book Festival
Fullerton Main Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave.
book coverThe goal of "Fullerton Reads," said Maureen Gebelein, director of the Fullerton Public Library, is to "provide opportunities for people of all ages, cultures and ethnic backgrounds to come together to explore issues important to us all." The book selected as the focal point of the "Fullerton Reads" program is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. The book tells the story of how Kingsolver's family was changed by one year of eating only food produced either on their Southern Appalachian farm, or in the area. Capitalizing on the agrarian and conservation lifestyle championed in Kingsolver"s book, the Fullerton Reads Book Festival will feature programs about "Organic Food in Orange County," "Drought-Resistant Planting," "Saving the Planet with Your Fork," and more. A tour of drought-tolerant demonstration gardens planted at both Fullerton City Hall and the Fullerton Police Department will be included with the "Drought-Resistant Planting" program.
Slow Food Orange County will be hosting a table at this event and we are looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please email Outreach Chair Heather Stoltzfus at
October 17, evening
Simultaneous Suppers (see above for details)
November 2009 Events:
Pie Making Class
November 15th, 2PM to 5PM
Chapman University, Orange (directions provided upon reservation)
Nothing says "the holidays" like homemade pie. Join Chrisi Hughey, pie enthusiast and blogger at, on November 15th and learn how to make the perfect pie crust. Workshop participants will work in teams of two. Each team will bake an artisanal, holiday pie, such as pumpkin, sweet potato, apple-cranberry or pear pies. While the pies bake, Chrisi will lead a taste test to demonstrate how the choice of fat, butter vs. shortening, affects the overall flavor and flakiness of the crust. Participants will leave the workshop with confidence (I can make a pie crust!), recipes and pie. Please bring a take-home container. Workshop is limited to 16 participants.
Cost: $12 per person
Tickets will be sold on-line through Brown Bag (available soon)

berry minty pie
Pictured:  Chrisi's Berry Minty Pie won first at the Slow Food LA Pie Swap in July.  The recipe can be found on
December 2009 Events: 
Tamale Making Class
December 5th, 2PM to 6PM
Monkey Business Café, 301 E. Amerige, Fullerton
tamalesLearn how to make your own tamales! It's easy, simple, and fun. Join Chef Robyn Doan, of True Natural Foods, for an amazing tamale making experience. Fill your tamales with homemade mole sauce, locally grown vegetables and cheeses, natural meats, and peppers in the most tender, soft masa wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves steamed to perfection. Stay and enjoy our fresh made tamales with drinks, all included, and go home with a bag of tamales. Proceeds from this event will benefit Monkey Business, a nonprofit organization that supports and teaches independent living skills for foster care young adult boys.
Cost: $45 per person
Tickets will be sold on-line through Brown Bag (available soon)
January 2010 Events: 

General Membership Meeting and Potluck
January 24th 
Time and Location TBD
avocado salad fresh figs
white nectarine saladRoger's meatballsnectarine pie
Photos from our July and August Planning Potlucks.  There is nothing "potluck" about these meetings.  They are fine dining experiences!
February 2010 Events:
Tour of Vietnam
February 23 - March 5, 2010

Vietnam TourSlow Food OC offers an extraordinary opportunity to savor the joy of Vietnam. Our tour guide will be Haley Nguyen, restaurateur and cooking instructor. The locations are chosen after careful scouting and given the utmost consideration to the principal themes of the trip. All accommodations are at first rate hotels/resorts and meals are skillfully chosen to represent the best the local cultures have to offer. Haley will offer select travelers a rare glimpse into the past of Vietnam through history, poetry, music, dance, and of course food. Visitors will have their senses thrilled by all the sights and sounds of a society that has both survived and been recreated by a century of contact between an ancient civilization and the modern ways of the west. We'll visit museums, temples, and pagodas; experience an Imperial Banquet, and see the world-famous Water Puppet Show.  For more information, contact Haley Nguyen at 714-531-2030 or send an e-mail through the Xhan Bistro website.
Cost: Price per person: $3695
March 2010 Events:
Potluck and Guest Speaker, Dr. Anuradha Prakash, Director Food Science Program, Chapman University
March 7th
Time and Location TBA
April 2010 Events:
Carlsbad Aquafarm Tour - Members Only Event
April 17th, 2PM to 4PM
Carlsbad Aquafarm, 4600 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad 92008
Scallops have eyes. Blue ones. Offer a strand of kelp to an abalone, and it will grab it from your hand - reaching out from under its shell with its muscular foot. Many of us only see these creatures on our dinner plate, but at the Carlsbad Aquafarm they are very much alive.
Join Slow Food OC for a tour the Carlsbad Aquafarm located on the Aqua Hedionda Lagoon and discover the wonders of the lagoon. The 5-acre business has been sustainably raising oysters, mussels, abalone, brine shrimp and different species of algae since 1985. John Davis, Carlsbad Aquafarm's owner, calls it a "living reef [...when] you go out there, you come out of the water and you're alive with things." The aquafarm's products are sold nationwide to chefs, restaurants, and wholesalers; the aquafarm also raises seahorses, seaweed and octopuses for aquariums. After the tour, Chef Thomas Ryan will shuck oysters and prepare mussels for us to enjoy right from the farm.  It can't get much fresher than that!
Cost: $10 per person, price includes tour (2-3 PM) and shellfish tasting (3-4 PM) prepared by Chef Thomas Ryan
Tickets will be sold on-line through Brown Bag (available soon). Deadline to buy tickets is April 3rd.
May 2010 Events:
Cheesemaking Workshop by Heather Stoltzfus
 May 16th
Time, Location and Cost TBD
Cheesemaking Workshop 01Heather Stoltzfus, Slow Food Orange County board member and winner of "Best in Show" in the Orange County Fair Theme Competition "Say Cheese" in 2008, will demonstrate how easy and cost-effective it is to make soft cheeses at home. She will show us how to make mozzarella in thirty minutes, and also present techniques for making other soft cheeses such as fromage blanc. Most importantly, there will be plenty of time for tasting! 
 June 2010 Events:
2nd Annual Slow Food BBQ
June 26th
Bommer Canyon, Irvine
Time TBD 

May 2009 BBQ FoodSlow Food Orange County will hold its second annual BBQ in Bommer Canyon, in the City of Irvine, at One Bommer Canyon Road on Saturday, June 26th. The BBQ is an event for the whole family and will focus on awareness of good, clean and fair food.  Food will be prepared by Chef Thomas Ryan, Executive Chef of the Big Canyon Country Club and volunteers.  Additional events include a one-mile hike, raffle and a guest speaker.  Last year this event sold out!  Estimated cost: $45

Member Highlight:  Jen Ford, Health & Wellness Coach, Consultant and Educator 

Finding the right balance of career, family and personal time is hard.  I dare say that few of us get it right.  Jen Ford, a Slow Food member and host of a Simultaneous Supper, decided enough was enough.  She aimed to find balance in her life and, in the process, help others find balance, too.  Jen left the corporate world, trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (affiliated with Columbia University), and now works as a Health & Wellness Coach.  She provides coaching and education to help clients achieve balance and improve their overall quality of life.  Not surprisingly, Slow Food principles are at the center of Jen's instruction.  She offers farmer's market tours and monthly classes on how to prepare quick but healthy meals made from seasonal, whole foods obtained from local, sustainable sources.  Her next class (see details below) is inspired by her brother's recent excursion to South American and includes a Heirloom Tomato & Avocado Salad, Shrimp with Argentine Chimichurri, Peruvian Quinoa Pilaf and Baked Figs with Manchego.  If you are interested in the class or any of Jen's services, more information can be found at her website:

South American Inspired Cooking Class Hosted by Jen Ford
September 22, 6:30PM to 9:00PM
Huntington Beach, CA 92649 (directions provided upon reservation)
Cost: $45 per person - reservation required.
To reserve a spot contact Slow Food Member Jen Ford at or call
714.960.9082 (office) or 917.971.1941 (cell) 
Slow Food OC Cookbook
Slow Food Orange County Cookbook is Coming!
What did you bring to the last potluck?  Have you always dreamed of being published?  The steering committee has agreed to begin preliminary work on a Slow Food Orange County Cookbook that can be sold as a fundraising item for our chapter.  The cookbook should feature the best items from our potlucks, simultaneous suppers, barbeques and more.  If you have a great recipe showcasing local, sustainable food, please forward it to  Or, bring your recipe with you next time you share your dish at a Slow Food event!  We are counting on all of our members make this exciting project happen.

Become a Member

We invite you to join the Slow Food movement!  Slow Food OC is working hard to preserve and protect local foods and food traditions.  Our convivium plans events and programs in places across OrangeCounty-anywhere from community gardens, taste education dinners, and farm tours-join the network and become active in planning and participating in these diverse initiatives. 

Click here for Benefits of Membership. Send us an email if you have any questions.