Category Archives: Programs

Terra Madre 2016 – A Look Back

Join us for a scintillating review of the 2016 Terra Madre Convention in Italy. Let our delegates John and Lolita take you on a journey of the senses through an international celebration of good, clean and fair food in today’s guest blog! – Alisha Eastep, Treasurer of Slow Food San Francisco


Imagine yourself in a city that was once the Capital of Italy; with wide boulevards; a beautiful park; an ornate opera house; a royal palace; a medieval village adjacent to a serene river; and surrounded by thousands of farmers and food producers from 150 countries. No, it’s not a dream. You’re at Slow Food’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 in Torino, Italy, and it’s taken over the city. For the first time in its 20-year history, the event was held in some of the most beautiful and prestigious sites around the city. The change of location opened the five-day event to an estimated one million visitors admission free.

My wife, Lolita, and I represented Slow Food San Francisco in Torino and were among the 5,000 delegates that came to celebrate this year’s theme, “Loving the Earth”. We also were interested to learn how the world celebrated and embraced good, clean and fair food. Food communities like Slow Fish and Slow Meat had full programs of workshops, programs, forums and cooking classes at Parque Valentino and at Eataly Torino Lingotto.

The Indigenous Terra Madre network met to “discuss their future in Slow Food and at Terra Madre”. Winona LaDuke, an environmentalist and Indian rights activist from the Objiwe Nation headed the US delegation. Vincent Medina of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of California and the Assistant Curator of Mission Dolores in San Francisco also joined and shared his stories with our delegation.

The diversity in the Terra Madre Marketplace was unimaginable and we were always on the lookout for the best food and drink. We found cumin from Morocco and cardamom from Guatemala that smelled like a spice bouquet; pesto with authentic basil from Liguria made by expert hands; porcini mushrooms, fresh and dried, from the forests of Piemonte; a smorgasbord of Swedish foods such as smoked reindeer and salmon, cloudberry juice, and goat cheese and whole grain crackers served on a wooden plank; wild strawberry and wild blackberry jam from Abruzzo, Italy; heirloom rice from the Banaue rice terraces in the Philippines; and a whole street of artisanal gelatos from Torino’s finest gelaterias. Of all the foods from all over the world, what was not to love?

Besides the food experiences, there were opportunities to join educational workshops on food systems and food issues with experts from California and around the world. Dr. Miguel Altieri From UC Berkeley, Anuradha Mittal from the Oakland Institute and Farmer and Forest Ecologist Yacouba Sawadogo from Burkina Faso, shared their stories on how they think, “Agroecology can Feed the World”. Alice Waters, chef and restaurateur from Berkeley, joined Ron Finley, the Gangsta Gardener of Los Angeles, and Edward Mikiibi from Slow Food International and 1000 Gardens in Africa in describing their “Garden Revolutions”.

It was Gaetano Pascale, President of Slow Food Italia who said, “The challenge of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 for Slow Food was political, cultural and social: to assert that good, clean and fair food is a human right, something that we must all feel part of, and that means loving the earth! We can proudly say we’ve succeeded in this challenge.”

John & Lolita Casazza

2016 Terra Madre Delegates, Slow Food San Francisco

Guest Post: The Garden at AT&T Park

A note from Sally Rogers, Chair of Slow Food San Francisco: Slow Food San Francisco spent some time touring the Garden at AT&T Park in the last couple weeks. We love what they’re doing there! Like Slow Food, they believe it’s important for individuals to begin learning about the benefits of healthy eating at an early age – and they’re teaching Bay Area kids about that every day! Check out more about their impact and programs below.

It’s been a cold and wet winter, but the Garden at AT&T Park has not let the rain slow down its efforts to provide nutrition and food education for children in the Bay Area community. Each week, students from public schools, after-school programs, and community organizations that include Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, YMCA of San Francisco, Hamilton Family Center, and the Junior Giants visit the Garden for hands-on lessons in gardening, cooking, and nutrition.

We believe it’s important for individuals to begin learning about the benefits of healthy eating at an early age, and many of the kids who visit us live in low-income areas where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited. In 2016, more than 1,000 children participated in the Garden at AT&T Park’s education program, and 2017 is already off to a great start. Groups such as Sutro Elementary, Mission Community Beacon, Paul Revere Elementary, and Community Grows have visited the Garden and made delicious meals using ingredients that they harvested themselves.

Photo credit: SF Giants
Bon Appétit Management Company Chef Shennen Brady leading a sorrel tasting with the Junior Giants.


Photo credit: SF Giants
Young chef practicing his knife safety skills while making rainbow fruit kebabs.

Our field trips usually open with a discussion about where food comes from or the importance of eating locally sourced food. Students often hear about the challenges within our food system, but they aren’t always presented with achievable solutions. That’s what we hope to empower them with.

The Garden at AT&T Park is a partnership between the San Francisco Giants and Bon Appétit Management Company. In addition to its role as an outdoor classroom, the Garden inspires fans of all ages to learn about sustainability, urban farming, and healthy eating through the two bistros located within the garden—Hearth Table and Garden Table. During baseball games, fruits and vegetables are harvested at peak ripeness and serve as an inspiration for dishes served. Anyone with a regular ticket has access to the garden, which opens two hours before the first pitch.

To stay up to date with what’s going in the Garden at AT&T Park, follow us on social media (@GiantsGarden Instagram and Twitter) or visit our website at If you’re interested in learning more about our education program, contact Garden at AT&T Park Program Manager Allison Campbell.

Passing the Fork: A Letter from Dava Guthmiller

Dear Slow Food San Francisco,

It’s a family, a passion, and an amazing way to meet all of the best people in the food world. I have been a little sad to leave my Board Chair post this year, but so excited to see where the new team will take the organization. I first joined Slow Food after meeting Lorenzo Scarpone while volunteering with the Arthritis foundation in 2003. We worked on a fundraising event that was the basis for what became the Golden Glass in 2005. Since then I have worked with a great team on the Slow Food Board help build up San Francisco as one of the largest chapters in the US. I joined the board myself in 2008 and took on the role of Chair in 2012.

From getting the chapter online (3 websites over 11 years), moving us from paper to email newsletters, expanding our network of contact and social reach, coordinating too many events to count with our board and committee volunteers, and to attending Terra Madre, my time with Slow Food has been amazing. Yes, it’s a lot of work — a labor of love — as everything we do is volunteer, but when you are working on protecting and promoting a healthy food system while eating delicious food over good conversation, it’s worth it. I hope that my experience in branding, design and marketing has been helpful to the chapter and our partners.

This passion for good food also comes with a larger family. Lorenzo Scarpone, Vera Ciammetti, and all the other board and committee members that we have worked with all these years are my food family. Attending an event like the Golden Glass, judging at the Good Food Awards, or even hitting up a farmers market or taking a class at 18 Reasons reminds me of all the extraordinarily passionate people that make the Bay Area food system so wonderful. It’s like going to the best family reunion ever when all these people are together. I will continue to support and help Slow Food and all the other organizations doing great work around food. It’s something you just can’t get out of your blood.

Realizing that our team needed from fresh ideas and a boost of energy, Slow Food San Francisco first-everrst ever open call for new board and committee members last year. WOW – is all I can say, regarding the amazing turnout of people during this outreach. We had dozens of people fill out our applications. After meeting those most interested, and a few months of planning and training, we now have a whole new board of directors and supporting committee. I am thrilled to pass on all I have learned, as well as continue as general counsel for this new team. These ladies have the passion and drive I had when I first started. I can not wait to see where they take the organization over the next few years.

I hope everyone in the Slow Food community welcomes this new team and joins them soon for an event. If you ever need my help, advice or just want to say hello, you can find me at Noise 13. Thank you for all the years of support, love, and good food.



Meet Slow Food San Francisco’s 2016 Terra Madre Delegate

Sandi McGinnis of McGinnes Ranch in Royal Oaks California represented San Francisco at 2016’s Terra Madre Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy Sept, 22-26, 2016. As delegate, Sandi brought back stories from the event to share at our Jan, 23rd Member Meeting, and produced a documentary. Check it out!
Hear about the experience of attending Terra Madre from Sandi, in her own words:
Growing up on the farm prepared me to have a strong work ethic and gave me a “can do” attitude, which served has me well in life.  I have come back to the farm in the hopes of keeping it running for future generations, and to transition to organic practices.  We are in our second year of farming organically, with positive outcomes indicating it is possible to return to organic farming.  In working toward this goal we have also experienced our share of setbacks and some crop failures, but I look at them as learning experiences.  I was given a major learning experience by Slow Food SF to attend Terra Madre as a delegate in 2016!
It was an unforgettable experience and it gives me hope and satisfaction to continue the farm, and keep the biodiversity of our crops going.  Without family farms we would be left with corporations growing our food, and harming our environment.  I feel a responsibility to steward the land and leave a positive impact on the ecosystems around me.  Slow Food brings awareness to the importance of biodiversity, which we need now more than ever.  I have put together a video to give a glimpse of my Terra Madre experience.
You can visit us at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market out front, on Tuesday and Saturday.
Sandi McGinnis
McGinnis Ranch