About Slow Food SF

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

Our History

Slow Food San Francisco started in the late '80s after Lorenzo Scarpone, a native Italian and SF resident first met Carlo Petrini. It began with the Slow Food office in New York that helped gather about 20 people from restaurants that shared the Slow Food philosophy. The initial membership consisted of just 18-20 people who received a printed newsletter about every two-three months. The first meetings, held at local restaurants that promoted Slow Food values, had a specific themes. One of the first meetings was an Olive Oil tasting at Vivande moderated by Darryl Corti. Another early meeting included a taste comparison between Petaluma cheese and honey and the cheese and honey made in Gran Sasso National Park in Abruzzo, Italy.

Early on the members each paid their own tab at the restaurant and Villa Italia, Scarpone's wine importing business, paid the operating expenses for the convivium. Local philanthropic activities were a central piece of the organization from the start as well. The first event was a dinner at Davies Symphony Hall catered by Vito and Carol Passero to raise money for a donation to the Arthritis Foundation. And, for two years the convivium held a mini Golden Glass-style fundraiser to benefit the Arthritis Foundation of San Francisco. Together with Barbara Bowman and Janet Mettler they also organized the first US press conference for Salone del Gusto in Italy and asked Carlo Petrini to speak. They had many visible people at this event one of whom was Alice Waters who stopped by briefly to meet Carlo Petrini. Under the guidance of Scarpone and other members, Slow Food San Francisco evolved to include over 800 members.

Good, Clean & Fair

Good: The word good can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For Slow Food, the idea of good means enjoying delicious food created with care from healthy plants and animals. The pleasures of good food can also help to build community and celebrate culture and regional diversity.

Clean: When we talk about clean food, we are talking about nutritious food that is as good for the planet as it is for our bodies. It is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.

Fair: We believe that food is a universal right. Food that is fair should be accessible to all, regardless of income, and produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.

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    • Back from Terra Madre. It was so exciting to learn about Slow Food initiatives around the world. Such an inspiring event!