At Hathaway’s Hideaway on Wednesday night it was all about the food, as members of Slow Food Huron Valley gathered for their annual dinner with a potluck feast made mostly from … yes, locally grown food.
Potato chowder, cabbage salad, wild rice with Michigan cherries and walnuts, pumpkin pie, foraged greengage plum jam bars, wine from nearby Lone Oak Vineyard Estate – plates were full and so was a long dining table decorated with holiday garlands.
It was a night to talk about the year’s accomplishments – and there were many.
Kristin “KT” Tomey, a member of the group’s leadership team, reviewed some of the events they’d sponsored in 2008: an outing to Snow’s Sugarbush, a maple syrup farm in Mason; a food & film festival during June at Chelsea Library; the second annual Pie Lovers Unite event at the Ladies Literary Club in Ypsilanti (admission was one pie, with awards going to “most tasty,” “most local ingredients” and “most unique,” among others); and Dinner in the Vineyard, a fundraiser to send five local delegates to the Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy. The five were on hand to talk about their experiences at the conference: Shannon Brines of Brines Farms in Dexter; Eve Aronoff, owner of eve The Restaurant in Kerrytown; Molly Notarianni, Ann Arbor’s market manager; Zingerman’s Deli chef Rodger Bowser; and Aubrey Thomason, a cheesemaker with Zingerman’s Creamery.
Grace Singleton, managing partner of Zingerman’s Deli and a member of the Slow Food Huron Valley leadership team, talked about her trip to Slow Food Nation, a conference held in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend. The folks from Michigan organized a tasting of the state’s products: fruits, cheese, apple cider, beer and more. It was a sold-out event, she said, and “everyone left the tasting doing a fist pump for Michigan.”
Several local vendors were selling their wares at the dinner. Lisa Waud of Pot & Box had bouquets of fresh flowers at a table shared with Maite Zubia, who makes traditional South American cookies called alfajores. Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings was selling her chocolates, including some Mighty Good Truffles made with Mighty Good Coffee, a local business owned by David Myers, who was also at the event.
And with a look toward the future, Shannon Brines told the group that a local food summit is being planned for early next year, with details to come. (Brines also discussed this effort at an October meeting of the Public Market Advisory Commission, of which he’s a member. Check out The Chronicle report of that meeting here.)