Food for Thought:
The Slow Food Orange County Newsletter
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As we enter a new year, we take a moment to reflect on the successful events of last year including the October Simultaneous Suppers, the November Pie Workshop and the December Tamale Workshop.  We also look towards upcoming events in 2010.

In This Issue
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
Our Next Event
March 2010
Event Venues Needed
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Join Our Mailing List!
Last Year's Successful Fund-raising Event
 October 17th's Simultaneous Suppers
 The second annual Simultaneous Suppers were held on Saturday, October 17th in five locations throughout Orange County.  In tradition with Slow Food's emphasis on the natural rhythms of agriculture, the dinners coincided with what is typically harvest season. Hosts did their best to feature locally sourced, in-season food.  A variety of store-bought items, delicacies and fine wines supplemented the bounty.


The dinners are Slow Food OC's biggest fundraising event.  This year 38 tickets were purchased and $1300 was raised for the chapter.  These funds are currently being used to support the Monkey Business Garden Project and to buy promotional materials that will help grow the chapter.  Below are just of few highlights from October's Simultaneous Suppers.


Simultaneous supepr 2009-RogerSlow Food Orange County's President Roger McErlane hosted 13 diners in his Laguna Beach home.  He served a bouillabaisse stew composed of fish and shellfish, most of which was obtained (at a very early hour) from Dory Fleet in Newport Beach.  Other items that graced Roger's table included mushroom polenta, green salad, rose ice cream, apple pie and gourmet chocolates (provided by Ilona Martin). Ian McErlane did his best to document the event, taking photos of revelers and snapping shots of Roger's creations before they were demolished (slowly, of course).


Alice WatersBig Canyon Country Club's executive chef, Thomas Ryan, hosted 12 guests in San Clemente.  His dinner began with butternut squash ravioli and an autumn greens salad with Point Reyes blue cheese and a champagne vinaigrette.  The main course featured Kobe style short ribs, caramelized onion mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.  A chocolate Irish car bomb rounded out dessert.  Throughout the dinner, Thomas explained the ingredients' origin for each course as shown in the photo (left).


Robyn Doan's dinner in Fountain Valley featured kid-friendly cuisine.  Health Coach Jen Ford's dinner in Huntington Beach focused on seasonal ingredients, catered to vegetarians and displayed a Portuguese flare.  Stacey Blaschke's dinner in San Juan Capistrano featured Julia Child's famous beef bourguignon.  No doubt, October 17th provided a memorable dining experience for the chefs, kitchen helpers and diners alike.  We can hardly wait until next year!
Robyn's kid-friendly cuisine: 
Simultaneous Supper 2009- RobynSimultaneous Supper 2009 - robyn 
Other highlights:
 Simultaneous Supper 2009-RogerSimultaneous Supper 2009-Jen
Left: Ilona Martin with her homemade apple pie at Roger's; Right: Peter Westenhofer pours champagne at Jen Ford's dinner.
November 15th Pie Workshop
Nov 2009 Pie workshopNovember's pie making workshop, led by newsletter editor Chrisi Hughey and assisted by Heather Stoltzfus, was a huge success.  Tickets sold out within days.  A full house of slow foodies (18 in total) took over the food science lab at Chapman University and filled the basement hallways with smells of the holidays.  Bakers worked in teams of two to prepare two pumpkin pies, three apple-caramel pies and three apple-cranberry pies.  Chrisi took the students through all of the steps, including how to prepare the crust and roll it out.  Everyone went home with a delicious pie and a rekindled interest in the art of pie making.
December 5th Tamale Class: Part I

Tamale workshop Dec 2009A Latin holiday tradition was celebrated at our Tamale Making Class on Saturday, Dec. 5th at Monkey Business CafĂ© in Fullerton.  Robyn Doan organized and led the class of 24 attendees-most of whom had never made tamales before.  In this class, Robyn aimed to demonstrate that tamale-making is a fun and creative process.   Long tables with work stations were set up that allowed attendees to construct tamales according to their own personalized taste.  Chicken, pork and sweet potato tamales were dressed with any combination of mole, cheesy salsa verde, red salsa and fresh roasted corn.  These Slow Food tamales were sampled on-site and taken home for the holidays.


Robyn thanks her volunteers and attendees for making the class a success.  She hopes to hold a second class in the near future.  In the meantime, you can make tamales at home with her chicken mole tamale recipe than may be found on the Slow Food OC website.  If you have any questions, Robyn may be contacted at


 Tamale workshop December 2009Tamale workshop December 2009Tamale workshop december 2009

Tickets on Sale (and going fast!)
February 20th Tortellini Workshop, 4-6:30 PM

TortilliniThis hands-on workshop, lead by Italian chef, will walk you through the process of making semolina pasta dough from scratch and then using that dough to make two tortellini dishes: one with butternut squash filling served with sage and butter sauce and a second dish with spinach and cheese filling, served with a classic red sauce. We will serve the results produced by the class at a light meal which will include salad and wine. 


All ingredients will be provided.  Participants are encouraged to bring a pasta machine (if they have one) and a large bowl. Workshop participants will work in teams of two.  Space is limited to 20 people (or 10 teams).  Act now!  Tickets for workshops sell out fast!  An e-mail blast will serve as a follow-up reminder and provide up-to-date information on this event.


Slow food members $35, non-members $45.

To purchase tickets from Brown Paper Tickets click here



16691 Phelps Lane

Huntington Beach CA 92649

March 7th, 4 pm: Potluck & Guest Lecturer talks about "Frankenfood" 
Frankenfood: Dispelling Myths presented by Dr. Anuradha Prakash, Chapman University
Monkey Business Cafe
301 East Amerige Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832

FrankenfoodIn Slow Food circles, genetically modified foods are generally looked down upon - and often for good reason.  Many of us are familiar with stories of corporations suing farmers over patented seeds and developing plants in order to sell the corresponding weed and pest deterrents.  Is it possible that there could also be benefits to GMOs?  Anuradha Prakash, Chair of the Food Science program at Chapman University, will explain the technology behind genetically modified food.  Come discuss the opportunities and challenges, including environmental and socio-political considerations that GM foods present.

Volunteers Needed to Host Future Potluck Events
Slow Food Orange County has lots of great upcoming events planned, but we don't always have a space for them!  Would you be willing to open your home for a potluck this year?  Holding our potlucks in different locations allows us to get to know new people and hold events in all parts of the county.  If you have a home that is comfortable for a large group (up to 50 people) and would like to have a bunch of like-minded people bring delicious food and conversation to your doorstep, please contact Heather Stoltzfus at  We depend on the participation of our members to keep our chapter going strong.

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.