For me, food is more than just a necessity to survive. It's a hobby and something I enjoy educating myself about. After all, knowledge is power. When my friend Paula from the blog Mango & Lime told me about an upcoming dinner at the Slow Food Miami Conference that was to be cooked by local Red Light chef Kris Wessel, I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out what the organization was all about. The dinner was held last Thursday and it was a nice event.
The Slow Food organization basically sets out to be everything that fast food is not. It focuses on reminding people that fresh, healthy food is readily available for consumption and attempts to reconnect people with where this food comes from. It's more than hippies and John Deere. There were all sorts of people at this event, all of whom were interested and probably concerned with where our society currently stands in regards to what we eat. For me, it wasn't as much of an eye-opener as it was a nice reminder. With my job requiring that I travel frequently, I always seem to end up eating fast food while on the road at one point or another. I hate that but many times there really isn't a way around it. When I'm home I eat out almost every night, using the excuse of "travel leads to spoiled food in the fridge" and my love of dining out as excuses for not cooking at home more often. It's really just laziness and an easy way out. That being said, I do try to eat healthy when I dine out and I often buy fruits to keep in the fridge and snack on rather than junk food. The Slow Food Conference reminded me that good, healthy, and locally sourced meals don't always have to be an ordeal and that I should be looking for fresh and healthy meals that I can make at home more often.
I didn't really get any pictures of any of the food because I really didnt feel like taking pictures and with Paula, Trina from Miami Dish, and Jackie from Kitchen Interviews & the New Times' Short Order in attendance, I knew there would be plenty of picture coverage. I basically ate and hung out with Paula's husband, David, all night, cracking jokes and having a good time. The event was buffet style with 7 different stations offering various dishes. I've never been a fan of buffet-style dinners because the food can sometimes get dry as it sits but this one wasn't bad. I enjoyed everything at the game grazing table that had braised rabbit, "Little Haiti" style goat, and local quail. The oyster pie was also very tasty. I had a fruit called rambutan for the first time and liked it. It reminded me of the lychees I used to get from the lychee nut tree I had in my yard when I first moved to Miami. The standouts of the night for me were the chocolate rice and the cucumber quinoa. There isnt much to say about chocolate rice besides that it was surprisingly good. The cucumber quinoa had a refreshing taste and was loaded with protein. I could eat that stuff every day.
The Slow Food Miami Conference was a nice event with interesting people and dishes assembled with locally sourced ingredients. I enjoyed spending time with friends, meeting new people, and talking about our shared interests with food obviously being a main conversation point. I also reminded myself that I really gotta get over to Red Light soon to get my grub on. I've heard nothing but good things about the dishes that Kris Wessel prepares there. Having had the chance to get a taste at this event, I'm certain I'll come to the same conclusion as those who have advised me to go there. In the meantime, I'm going to make an effort to take advantage of the more healthier options at the Fresh Market here in the Grove and slow down my life enough to enjoy a nice home cooked meal.
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