A Slow Food USA Convivium

The Feast of Five Senses Supports Utah’s Growing Food Community

The 2012 Slow Food Utah Feast of Five Senses will take place Sunday, September 16th. Every year, a remarkable team of Utah’s finest chefs come together to prepare an unforgettable and eminently local Feast. Donating time and talent, they showcase the best of Utah and beyond. It all started when Christi Paulson, Vanessa Chang and fellow Slow Food Utah board members wanted to raise funds to help support partner organization Wasatch Community Gardens. Squatters provided the space, several talented local chefs made a meal to remember.

We asked a lot of the chefs, food professionals, and their staffs who generously participated that year – they donated all time and materials to the event. So were pleasantly surprised when they wanted to do a repeat performance the next year.

The next feast supported a garden at Riley Elementary School in Salt Lake City. Riley is a Title I school where most children qualify for free and reduced lunch. For many struggling families, school meals are a crucial part of their children’s diets. A school garden help could provide healthy vegetables and a teaching environment for the kids. The response from chefs and Slow Food supporters alike was again overwhelming and the garden soon blossomed. Since those early feasts, the event has been hosted at several terrific locations courtesy of Greg Neville of Lugano, Copper Moose Farm, and Kimball Distributing/Viking Cooking School.

Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we have now been able to expand our support from one garden at a time to a microgrant program that helps numerous local food projects, from school gardens to small food businesses that can’t easily access traditional funding and for whom a small grant can make a big difference.  From the Open Classroom School Garden to BUG Farms to Real Food Rising to the Bees Brothers, Feast proceeds provide seed funding and crucial support. Every year, we receive dozens of excellent proposals, but limited funding means we can only support a few of them.

You can help make a difference. This year, the iconic Alta Club in downtown Salt Lake City will host the 2012 Feast. Our own amazing Jude Rubadue is serving as event coordinator, with help from Rebecca Blumenthal and the entire board. Chefs include Greg Neville (Lugano), Brian Edwards (Alta Club), Nathan Powers (Bambara), Kassie Little (Liberty Heights Fresh), Amber Billingsley (Vinto), Phelix Gardner (Finca), Romina Rasmussen (Les Madelaines), and Ethan Lappe (Caffe Niche). Frances Fecteau of Libation will once again dazzle us with (optional) wine pairings, and Uinta Brewing will provide an optional beer pairing.

Tickets are still available but going fast so to assure a seat, register now. It will be a night to remember, one you won’t want to miss.