Sunday April 30, 2006 - Joanne

Napa Valley Slow Food
Presents a

Terra Madre Fundraiser
with Michael Pollan

Silverado Brewing Company
St. Helena, CA

Silverado Brewing Company Sign

The Invitation:
“Join best-selling author and former Harpers Magazine executive-editor, Michael Pollan, for a Slow Food Wine Country dinner and discussion of his new book "The Omnivore's Dilemma".
The Omnivore's Dilemna - Michael Pollan

The dinner discussion focused on local vs. organic food procurement, the increasing challenges of industrial foods, and the important philosophical alternative of the Slow Food movement.

Terra Madre Raffle Tickets
All proceeds were to benefit the Slow Food Terre Madre sustainable-agricultural conference in Turin, Italy this Fall, and to underwrite the travel for Mexican farmers and producers. "The Omnivore's Dilemma" was available for signing and purchase.”

Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan’s talk about his book was truly inspiring. Among other things I was left with a mission to search for a really free-range chicken source. The marriage of food to petroleum was very much a recurring theme in his talk – how the globalization of food had changed the food chain. He also touched on Big Business Organics, mentioning the opening of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s across from the Greenmarket in Union Square, NYC and how the grass fed beef at Whole Foods was from New Zealand while Hudson Valley raised beef was simultaneously being sold at the Greenmarket.

Chris Carpenter - Slow Food Napa

The event was hosted by the Slow Food - Napa convivium, led by Chris Carpenter, (he is also the winemaker at Lokoya Wines) along with the Slow Food conviviums in Sonoma County.

Silvarado Brewing Company - the guests milling outside with appetizers
This Slow Food event was wonderful. The food was terrific and Michael Pollan is a great speaker. Above is the front of the Silverado Brewing Company where the 2 appetizers were served with a choice of beer.

Jalapeno Stuffed Crimini Mushroom
Wild Mexican Gulf Prawns/ Meyer Lemon & Caper Aioli

Fun. Great appetizers which walked around. A good pairing with the beers.

Dinner Menu
Dinner Menu

All dishes were created using only natural and organic ingredients gathered primarily from local producers.

Goat's Leap Eclipse
Goat’s Leap Eclipse Cheese
Model Bakery Organic Pain au Levain

The Eclipse was served at almost room temperature bringing out the smooth creaminess and the almost mineral characteristics. Perfect paired with the bread or alone! Eclipse is a small round of goat cheese which is covered in ash and the natural white rind forms on top of the ash. It also has a thin layer of ash through the center making a pretty presentation when sliced. The round is garnished with a star anise.

Artichoke with Forni Brown Greens
Grilled Salinas Artichoke w/ Forni Brown Greens, Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette w/ McEvoy Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Niman Ranch Bacon & Pt. Reyes Dipping Sauce
I really didn’t realize how amazing bacon and artichoke go together. Add in the garlic and this dish was made to be savored. I don’t recall having Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese dipping sauce before, but it was memorable and I will seek it out!

Pork Chamorro - Niman Ranch
Niman Ranch Heirloom Pork Chamorro
Sauteed Star Route Chard & Roasted Tomatillo Chili Verde, Organic Giusto’s Polenta w/ Vella Dry Jack Cheese

I can’t tell you how delicious this dish was. The pork was like pork osso buco (Chamorro means leg of pork) and was falling off the bone. All the elements were in perfect balance. The Chili Verde was the perfect compliment to the polenta and pork. I can still taste it. The marrow in the pork bone had melted and a bit could be scooped out.

Guittard Chocolate Porter CakeGuittard Chocolate Porter Cake
House Caramel & Straus Dairy Whipped Cream. Garnished w/ Harbin Mint.

A basic chocolate cake but perfectly moist with great accompaniments. Great! I personally have an issue with Guittard as their white chocolate has partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient.

The dinner was enjoyed with Silverado Brewing Company’s Blonde and Pale Ales and wine from Atalon Winery, La Jota Vineyard, V. Sattui Winery, OnTheEdge Winery, Titus Vineyards and Galen Cellars.
Each table was supplied with a selection of bottles and beer was served in pitchers. We sampled Titus Vineyards' "2004 The Ruby Wine Company" a Rose made from Cabernet Franc, Titus Vineyards Zinfandel, 1990 V. Sattui Zinfandel (which was surprisingly drinkable) and the 2000 Atalon Cabernet Sauvignon & the 2002 La Jota Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. I tried the IPA and the Amber from the Silverado Brewing Company and enjoyed the Amber and would recommend it.

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