Sunday, May 24, 2009

Members open new cafe and market

Slow Food Katy Trail members Kate and Roy Finley have opened Cherry Hill Market & Café at 4200 Merchant Street in the Village of Cherry Hill.

"Our theme is simple, fresh and local--using the freshest ingredients and local products whenever possible," says Kate. "In addition to our breakfast and lunch menu, we have daily specials," which are listed on the Web site. (

Last week, this snail visited with several other SFKT members who were eating there alfresco. My informal survey among the diners garnered a big thumbs-up for the curried tofu salad, Jenn's Ham & Roasted Pepper sandwich and a reuben called "The Don of Cherry Hill."

The cafe kitchen closes at 2 p.m., but the market is open later. Its deli case features local meats and cheeses and other items such as salads, olives and baked beans. Offerings change daily.

Click on the site's market page for an idea of what is stocked on the shelves.

Monday through Friday hours are 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Saturday hours are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

We're thrilled to have another "Slow" eatery in town, so let's show them our support!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Farm-to-Table, A Dinner in the Vineyard

Sorry, but we're sold out of tickets!

Slow Food Katy Trail invites you to its first Farm-to-Table, A Dinner in the Vineyard.

This June 14 feast-–at 4 p.m. in Les Bourgeois Vineyards–will celebrate local farmers and the food they produce. Come dine with Slow Food members, friends, farmers and cooks as we toast the beginning of summer and the bounty of local food we all love.

Les Bourgeois is graciously hosting our celebration in its vineyards south of I-70 and providing all the wine. A charming tobacco barn set among 22 acres of Chardonel, Vignoles and Vidal will provide the backdrop for mid-Missouri's four most talented chefs to work their magic.

Cooking together for the first time will be: Craig Cyr of The Wine Cellar & Bistro, Mike Odette of Sycamore, Ben Clay of Les Bourgeois Blufftop Bistro and Brook Harlan of the Columbia Area Career Center Culinary Arts program.

These four wonderful cooks are donating all their time and efforts for this feast and are so excited about doing so! Wait until you see the menu, and you'll know how hard they've worked to contact local farmers to procure products and devise delicious ways to use them. Of course, we wouldn’t think of having a feast without beautiful music. John G. Stewart will contribute his talents on jazz guitar.

All proceeds will benefit Slow Food Katy Trail's Slow Food-in-Schools projects. Even though we don't tout these important projects nearly often enough (we're too busy actually getting them done!), we do want you to know the great things we are doing with schoolchildren to raise their local-food awareness. Please see our blog below to get a taste of all we've accomplished during the last year with Lee Elementary School third graders.

Other details about the dinner:

Cost per person is $75

Slow Food members received the first opportunity to purchase the very limited number of tickets (only 65 will be sold). Just a few days ago we opened ticket sales to the public. Sales will be made only through the Brown Paper Tickets Website:

2 p.m.–Tour of the winemaking facility at Les Bourgeois (optional)
3 p.m.–Vineyard tour (optional)
4 p.m. –Dinner

Please see the menu below.

Meet the Farmers at the Table
Pate, chorizo, andouille, pickled vegetables, nuts and bread
Chefs' handcrafted meats and vegetables
Missouri nut growers
Uprise Bakery

An Inspired Beginning
Trout ceviche
Troutdale Farms

Family-style Platters
Marinated and herb-roasted pork and lamb
Newman Farm heritage Berkshire pork
Susie's Grass Fed Meats lamb

Swingin' Alongside the Main
Sweet peas and potatoes
The Root Cellar

All the Lovely Lettuces
Seasonal mixed greens with Les Bourgeois wine vinaigrette
The Root Cellar

The Pride and Joy of Happy Goats
A variety of cheeses
Goatsbeard Farm

Gilding the Goats' Lilies
Rhubarb-cherry chutney and seasonal compote

Dessert Trio
Chocolate tart with crème anglaise
Crème caramel
Macerated fresh fruits
Patric Chocolate
Greystone Farm eggs

An assortment of Les Bourgeois wines will complement all the courses

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

SFKT connects local children with local food

Julie Walker of Greystone Farm (above) "brings the farm to school" as she talks about chickens and eggs with Lee School third graders. During the same "Harvest-of-the-Month" session, chef Brook Harlan (right) makes two kinds of omelets for the budding Epicureans.
A student in Ann Mehr's art class (top right) shows off her Thomas
Hart Benton-inspired tempera (egg yolk) painting.

Slow Food Katy Trail is completing the first year of its Slow Food-in-Schools project with Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School in Columbia. What an incredible experience it has been!

In case you're not familiar with the project, here's a history and timeline of our efforts:

January 2008 Slow Food Katy Trail met with Lee students, teachers and its principal and decided upon a three-pronged schoolyard-garden and farm-to-table collaborative project with Lee School third graders: raise-bed gardening; field trips to local farms; and "Harvest-of-the-Month" sessions.

April 2008 We provided funds to build six-raised bed gardens behind the school. Slow Food members, teachers, parents and other volunteers helped construct the beds and fill them with soil. We also provided seeds for planting. Just before the children leave for the summer, we show them how to prepare a delicious salad with the many varieties of lettuces they raised.

May 2008 Goatsbeard Farm in Harrisburg hosted the children at the farm (during three separate field trips), showing them how goats are milked and cheese is made. The children tried their hands at making cheese; frolicked with the goats; and enjoyed an outdoor lunch of fresh goat cheeses, Uprise bread and fresh fruit. For many, it was their first trip to a real farm.

Monthly since September 2008
Our “harvest-of-the-month” sessions have introduced the children to a locally raised or crafted food each month. Not only do these sessions enlighten and delight the children, but they strengthen the connection between local farmers and the community.

Slow Food Katy Trail pays local farmers to bring their tomatoes, sweet potatoes, popcorn, honey, eggs, wheat, cheese and so forth to the school every month. The farmers discuss life on the farm with the children and how they grow or produce their products. The children study the various foods in different areas of the curricula such as history, art and science.

Local chefs and Slow Food volunteer cooks come to the school each month, in conjunction with the farmers' visits, to turn the food into delicious and nutritious treats for the children. All the children participate in the cooking.

It's been highly, highly successful; the children love meeting the farmers, eating and preparing the fresh food, the demonstrations and doing the food art projects.

The overall goal is to help children develop a desire and appreciation for fresh, local foods. Judging from the children's comments, smiles and attitudes (and feedback from teachers and the principal), I'd say we have succeeded!

A special thanks to all the Slow Food volunteers and farmers who have generously donated their time and energy to help get this project off the ground. Take a bow! Also a big thanks to teachers Ann Mehr and Carissa Seek and principal Teresa VanDover for believing in this mission.