Hawaiian party kicks off Slow Food Group membership drive

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Slow Food Group Goes Hawaiian

By Jill Draper

Are you interested in locally farmed foods, artisanal menus, heritage plants and livestock breeds, and regional breweries, wineries and distilleries?

If so, dig your Hawaiian shirt out of the closet and make plans to attend the tiki-themed annual membership meeting of Slow Food Kansas City.

It begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29 at Jasper’s Ristorante, 1201 W. 103rd St. Participants will learn about the chapter’s past accomplishments and coming events for 2018 while sampling Polynesian and Hawaiian-inspired bites such as Kahlua ham with Hawaiian rolls, macaroni salad, chicken teriyaki, Hawaiian meatballs, rumaki, crab rangoon and coconut ice cream tartufo. A variety of rum-flavored drinks will be sold for $5 each.

Slow Food Kansas City is one of the largest chapters of Slow Food USA, says restaurant owner Jasper Mirabile Jr. He co-chairs the group along with Mariann Vandenberg, a travel agent who runs a business called Travels with Taste. The two started the chapter about 17 years ago.

“We want to promote clean, good food that is fairly sourced for all,” says Mirabile. “Our message is ‘Come to the table and slow down.’ It’s all about celebrating the pleasures of good food while building community, preserving traditions and helping the environment.”

Ongoing projects of the Kansas City chapter include supporting gardens at schools, domestic violence shelters and the tiny house village being built by the Veterans Community Project; providing cooking demonstrations at farmers markets; and promoting biodiversity movements like the Ark of Taste which aims to save food varieties in danger of disappearing.

The chapter holds monthly social events such as meetups at local restaurants, tomato tastings, cookouts and a harvest-time potluck dinner. Occasionally members join together on trips to Italy and other destinations.

The Jan. 29 meeting is limited to 50 people. Email your reservation to jasperjr@jasperskc.com. Additional details are at slowfoodkc.org.

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