Ever thought about slowing down a bit?
If you have, you're in luck. On May 2, the fourth annual Slow Down event at Intuition Ale Works will feature at least 26 local restaurants and artisans. For $20, attendees can feast upon dishes crafted by these restaurants and artisans (see sidebar) that focus on locally grown and sourced ingredients. (One hundred percent of proceeds go to Slow Food First Coast.)
In addition to local nibbles, there will be cold craft beer, music and plenty of socializing — but perhaps most important is the awareness being raised.
"Slow Food is important because it is an educating organization," says Kurt D'Aurizio, director of events at Slow Food First Coast. "By spreading the word about foods, farmers, restaurants and artisans who are preserving our food heritage, Slow Food allows us all to learn, make educated choices and be part of the future of our food system. I began working with Slow Food years ago as a chef because my food philosophy matched their vision: local, quality, artisan and heritage — good, clean and fair food for all."
Slow Food First Coast is one of 255 Slow Food USA chapters. Each aims to strengthen the connection between the health of our planet and the food we see on our plates by celebrating foods that are local, seasonal and sustainably grown. The nonprofit touts nutritious food that is beneficial for both our bodies and the planet.
Slow Food USA was founded to counteract the prevailing fast-food lifestyle, and its adherents believe we should consciously embrace where our food comes from, who makes it, how it's made and how it's transported. We should also be aware of how our food is produced, and how it impacts the environment and animal welfare — as well as our own health.
"All of the participants are locally owned food businesses that make it a priority to support local artisans and farmers," says event producer Cari Sanchez-Potter. "The Slow Down celebrates their commitment to fostering our local food economy and their dedication to making our burgeoning culinary community something we in Jacksonville can be proud of."
The Slow Down event at Intuition has sold out the previous three years; roughly 100 tickets remain for May 2. In this case, you better act fast.