Regular readers here are familiar with our squawking about Slow Food in this blog for almost three years now. You might even recall our pilgrimage to the Slow Food mothership in Bra, Italy last October. But in case you haven’t seen the orange and black posters everywhere, next weekend Slow Food comes to America for the first time as Slow Food Nation — part expo, part celebration of good food and good food-producing practices, and part public education campaign.
Fort Mason will host the Taste Pavilions for the event, where organizers will dedicate large exposition spaces to twenty different culinary arts: spices, oils, chocolate, beer, wine, and — yes! — even coffee. (If it is anything like what we experienced at Torino, Italy’s Eataly last year, it’s going to be a blast.) The coffee pavilion itself promises to be about 2,000 square feet, curated by Andrew Barnett of Ecco Caffè, Eileen Hassi of Ritual Coffee Roasters, and Tony Konecny of tonx.org fame.
Mr. Barnett was recently interviewed by CHOW, where he described the coffee pavilion as offering four different coffee tastes from four different regions/varietals/farms. You can download a podcast of his interview (5:49, 3.3 Mb), where he also helps describe some of the objectives of the event:
“It’s to turn the restaurateurs on to what a great cup of coffee tastes like. Coffee in many ways has been the bastard child of the culinary world. It was an afterthought.”
Some 50,000 attendees are expected at Slow Food Nation. The coffee pavilion alone expects to serve some 3,000-4,000 people a day — compared with the 1,100 transactions per day normally handled by Ritual Coffee Roasters.
We’ll be attending the Taste Pavilion (note: daytime tickets are sold out, but evening tickets are still available) — and we are looking forward to much more than just the coffee pavilion. We’ll also be attending the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity coffee & dinner event, held the following Monday at Coffee Bar. So expect future posts here on these topics.
In the meantime, we leave you with an artist’s rendition of some of the architectural detail planned at the event. Each taste pavilion is being designed out of repurposed materials by some of the Bay Area’s top design firms. For example, the pickle-and-chuntey booth, depicted below, will consist of walls made of pickle jars and a ceiling made of some 3,000 mason jar lids suspended from wires — all assembled just days before the event:
Photo courtesy California Home + Design magazine
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