Slow Food Nations Festival is Coming to Denver

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A Slow Food Nations booth in Turin, Italy. Courtesy of Slow Food USA/Facebook

Think you know everything there is about farm-to-table, fairly-traded, locally-produced nosh? This event is sure to teach even you a thing or two.

Denver is set to take center stage of the North American food universe during Slow Food Nations, an international event organized by Slow Food USA, a global, grassroots nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of small town farming and producing and encourage renewed interest in the food we eat.

To be held in Larimar Square and Union Station July 14-16, the event brings together leaders, farmers, families and chefs for a weekend filled with tastings, tours and talks about local food culture. The city also will play host to delegations from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, the Caiman Islands, Colombia, Cuba, Fiji, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Switzerland and Vanuatu.

Get to know the Slow Food leaders during an all-day delegate summit on July 14 (including small group discussions). Some of those speaking and presenting: Alice Waters, Ron Finley, Simran Sethi, Jack Johnson, Hosea Rosenberg and Elon Shaya.

Then, browse more than 100 exhibitors of good, clean and fair food in the free Taste Marketplace. Slow Food Italy, Mexico and Turtle Island will be featured in an international pavilion.

More festival events to consider:

JULY 14

  • Blue Bear Farm Tour and Lunch, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What: Tour this urban farm, located behind the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and then sit down to a three-course lunch featuring Blue Bear’s crops, prepared by chef Bryan Zimmerman.
    Cost: $30 per person
  • Colorado-Made Block Party, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    What: Kick off Slow Food Nations with this food bash, celebrating Colorado farmers, ranchers, producers and chefs.
    Cost: $69 per person

JULY 15

  • Bake and Destroy, 9-10 a.m.
    What: 
    Learn the art of butter layers in dough with pastry chef Bethany Costello’s hands-on class where she’ll show you how to master puff pastry and other laminated doughs.
    Cost: $63 per person
  • Chasing Tradition: Food Stories from Mexico, 10:30 a.m. to noon
    What: At this behind-the-scenes talk, the Recipe Hunters will divulge details on their experiences with hunting down recipes for their three short documentaries about indigenous foods in Mexico: Chile Serrano de Tlaola, Frijoles nativos de Tepetlixpa and Maguey Honey del Altiplano Mexico. Then the Mexican producers will make the dishes for you to try.
    Cost: $15 per person
  • Global Spice Journey, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    What: Chef Simone Cormier, national spice coordinator for Allegro Coffee Company, will talk through her quest to source the spices of the world; hands-on “evaluation” included.
    Cost: $39 per person

JULY 16

  • The Art of Day Drinking, 10:30 a.m.
    What: Join in on this cocktail-making workshop and strategy session with Denver’s Chad Michael George (The Way Back, American Grind), the 2016 Food & Wine Best New Mixologist and certified sommelier. You’ll also learn about low-alcohol aperitifs and beer and wine cocktails, and will make your own signature Pimm’s Cup.
    Cost: $52 per person
  • Big Bad Breakfast Block Party, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What: John Currence, a James Beard Award winner and Top Chef Masters contestant, is set to gather some pals to serve up recipes from his best-selling book, “Big Bad Breakfast,” for the ultimate Southern brunch and bloody mary bar.
    Cost: $69 per person
  • Cut It and Cook It, 12:45-1:30 p.m.
    What: Gather at the Culinary Stage in Larimer Square to watch John Cox and Rusty Bowers of the Big Green Egg perform a live demo using their Big Green Eggs.
    Cost: Free

Click here for the full list of weekend events.

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