Thursday, December 2, 2010

Terra Madre Day: Monday, December 13, 2010 **UPDATED WEDNESDAY 12/8**

Terra Madre Day Schedule
Schenectady County Community College
December 13, 2010 - 1:00p.m. – 8:00p.m.

1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m.
Casola Dining Room
Presentation on Terra Madre 2010
Rocco Verrigni

2:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.
Casola Dining Room
Panel Discussion:
Farm to Table Movement
Preserving Farms and Farmers 

Ed Yowell - NY, NJ, CT Slow Food Regional Governor  
Michael Kilpatrick – Kilpatrick Family Farm
Aaren Hatalsky – Wing Road Farm
Jen Small – Flying Pig Farm
Tod Murphy, Farmers Diner, Middlebury & Quechee, VT
Kim Feeney, Farm House Restaurant
Bruce Piasecki,

3:00p.m. – 4:00p.m.
Culinary Seminar Room
Student Presentations
Chef and Child School Curriculum - Caitlin Sive – SCCC student
Skidmore School Garden - Gabriella Stern

3:00p.m. – 7:00p.m.
Casola Dining Room & Culinary Hallway
Trade Show: Local Venders, Farms, College Student Clubs

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p. m.
Culinary Seminar Room
Film Screening – Green Beef

4:00p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Food Preparation Lab B
Garde Manger Lab
Cooking Demos and Local Products/Food Tasting 

Chef Kevin London, Farmhouse Restaurant at Top of the World
Chef AJ Jayapal, Miss Sydney's, Normanside Country Culb
Chef Tim Meaney, Beekman Street Bistro
Chef Jim Rose, Skidmore College  
Chef Christopher Tanner, Schenectady County Community College

7:00p.m. – 8:00p.m.
Room – Culinary Seminar Room
Film Screening – Green Beef

Schenectady County Community College will join a network of organizations worldwide hosting events as part of Terra Madre (Mother Earth) Day to share information about the Slow Food movement’s philosophy: good, clean and fair food. SCCC will host A Gathering of Local Food Communities on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, from 1 to 9 p.m. on the SCCC campus.
During this event, the first of its kind on the SCCC campus, local farmers, chefs, students, culinary instructors, representatives from area farmers markets, and food activists will come together to share their successes, issues and stories surrounding food. The day will include a panel discussion, mini trade show, tasting of local products and cooking demonstrations, concluding with a screening of a film yet to be determined.
The highlight of the event at SCCC will be a presentation by Chef Rocco Verrigni, Professor in the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Department, which will kick off the event at 1 p.m. Chef Verrigni attended the international Terra Madre Conference in
late-October 2010 in Turin, Italy, along with over 6,000 other educators, chefs, youth and musicians representing 161 countries. His trip was the impetus for the SCCC event. “Terra Madre was like the United Nations and the Olympics rolled into one. Despite speaking many different languages, the participants were united in a desire to promote sustainable local food production in harmony with the environment while respecting knowledge handed down over the generations,” Chef Verrigni said. “I wanted to share that sentiment and what I learned at the international conference with students, my colleagues and the community through an event at the College.”
SCCC Culinary Arts students will play a major role in A Gathering of Local Food Communities, helping to organize the event through the Slow Food SCCC Club, in collaboration with Slow Food Saratoga. Chef Verrigni is Advisor to the Club and
Co-Founder and Vice-President of Slow Food Saratoga Region. He is invigorated by the energy and commitment that his students have shown toward the Slow Food philosophy. “It’s obvious that the youth food movement is alive and well globally and our students exemplify this momentum. Out of all of the workshops I attended at the international conference, the most enthusiasm was generated from the youth workshops,” he said.
The public is invited to attend this free event. Continue to check back here for an updated schedule of events during A Gathering of Local Food Communities.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


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A member of the Brassicaceae family, Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that is loaded with nutrients. It is low in fat, high in fiber and vitamin C. It also possesses several beneficial phytochemicals, including the anticancer, antidiabetic compound sulforaphane. Cauliflower is also a great source of indole-3-carbinol, which boosts DNA repair in cells.

Local cauliflower can be purchased at Schenectady Greenmarket (Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the Troy Farmers Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), and the Saratoga Farmers Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Look for compact heads that are evenly white, with no spotting or browning. To cut into florets, place the head sideways on a cutting board and cut through the leafy lower stem. Remove any excess leaves and place the cauliflower flat on the cutting board. Cut the head into quarters from top to bottom. Each quarter should have florets attached to a central stem. Cutting at an angle from top to bottom, remove the central stem, freeing the florets.

Mashed Cauliflower
(A great alternative to mashed potatoes)
1 head cauliflower
0.25 Cup, grated Parmesan
0.25 Cup, heavy cream
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tablespoon butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Note: This recipe is cooked in the microwave to help preserve the nutritional value of the cauliflower. If you prefer, you can boil or steam your cauliflower instead.

Clean and cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Place the florets in a large, microwave safe bowl and wrap with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 3 to 4 minutes, stir, and continue to cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. A fork should pass through the cauliflower with little resistance when they are done.

Place the cooked cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor and add all of the remaining ingredients. Pulse until the consistency resembles mashed potatoes. This recipe can be adjusted to suit your tastes. Season to your desire.

Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes, Capers, and Feta

Make this light entrée a day ahead, then broil just before serving.

Ingredient List
Serves 4
1 lb. medium-sized cauliflower florets
2 tsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 14.5-oz. can low-sodium chopped tomatoes
2 Tbs. drained capers
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 1/2 oz.)
1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill


1. Steam cauliflower 4 to 6 minutes in steamer basket, or until tender.
2. Preheat broiler. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat; add onion and garlic, and cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and capers, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 7 minutes. Spread tomato mixture in 2-qt. gratin dish, top with cauliflower, and sprinkle with feta.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Terra Madre - Day 3 - Oct. 23, 2010

Day 3 – 10/23
 The USA Regional Meeting convened this morning to a standing room only crowd of about 700 participants. The meeting was opened by Alice Waters who gave her speech while holding a head of celery that someone had given her. She expressed her hopes for a U.S. Terra Madre to be held in Washington, D.C. in the near future. She then passed the floor to Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA. It was only six years ago that Josh attended the first Terra Madre as a farmer. Quite a rise in such a short time. His goals included having more school gardens than McDonald franchises; more good food available to all regardless of class, race or demographic. He borrowed from Gandhi and stated that when you start to create a revolution, people first ignore you, then mock you, then fight against you, and finally they lose. We are well into the second phase of this revolution. Raj Patel, an award-winning writer, activist and academic, who recently became a U.S. citizen, encouraged corporate accountability and mentioned the “ Retire Ronald” campaign, because children cannot differentiate between ads and lies. The meeting continued with stories from chapter leaders, activists and farmers from across the nation. Stories included the increased role of women in the social change in food policy, a surge of small-scale growers and a transition to farmers who are not from agricultural backgrounds, the appearance of more local, sustainable food being served in schools and hospitals, and the increased activity of youth throughout the world and in the U.S. Sam Levin, who started Project Sprout at age 15 and spoke at the 2008 Terra Madre, shared a poignant story about his frustration with the slow progression of his project and the movement in general, to which Carlo Petrini reminded him to remember the SF mascot. Snails move slow, after all, but work no less hard than a sprinting cheetah, and will eventually reach their goal. He reminded us that he would like to see his generation be the one who reunites mankind with the earth. Josh took the stage again and directed all to introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know and spend 5 minutes telling each other what they did, why they were here and what they would take back home from the conference. For the next 5-10 minutes the room was alive with hundreds of dialogues, uniting everyone there and affirming the role we are playing in the food movement that is gaining in numbers and importance. Finally, Carlo Petrini rose to close the meeting with his ever-inspirational words. He expressed his affection for all the leaders in the room and said that all the other continents of the world were simultaneously going in similar directions as the United States at their own regional meetings. He referenced the International SF Congress to be held in our country and asked us to show the politicians that we exist, and that the world would listen. He pleaded with us to look to Africa and to help its inhabitants in any way that we could. With knowledge, a little intelligence, and a lot of taste, we can go a long way. The transformation is stronger than the revolution, and even if we do not all live to see it, the transformation will happen.
After an exhilarating, extremely full, and inspirational morning I was left with an incredible appetite. Eating food prepared by street vendors on the side of the road is common practice for millions of people around the world. Many Italian regions also have their own street food specialties that bring together tradition, freshness and seasonality. I didn’t have far to go to sample cucina di strada (street food) from all over Italy and other parts of the world. I lunched on bombette from Puglia, Recco focaccia from Liguria, piadini from Romagna, minestrone di faro from Tuscany, olive ascolane from Le
Marche, among others.
Instead a needed walk followed by a nap, I attended the US chapter leader meeting, followed by a meeting with students and advisors for SFOC (slow food on campus) members. Both were very informative, inspirational, and confirmed that SFOC chapters from around the world share many things, including some of the same frustrations.
After another very long, yet incredibly full day, I felt like an over-saturated sponge. On my way back to the bus stop to take me back to my hotel, I stopped at Eataly
What a sensory experience. Just recently, Eataly, New York has opened in Manhattan. I was happy to be experiencing the Eataly that started it all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 2 - The Migration of Terra Madre Community

Day 2 – Friday, 10/22

The Migration of Terra Madre Community

The Olympic feeling continues here at Terra Madre as the whole Terra Madre community has moved, like a nomadic tribe, to Lingotto Oval (2006 Winter Olympic Games venue for speed skating) for the next three days of workshops.
Many of the workshops are attended by participants of many different ethnic backgrounds and languages and are therefore have live translation in as many as eight languages, through a system of headsets worn by participants. Quite impressive in itself.
I Attended several breakout sessions including “Sustainable Education”, and “the Future of Education” presented by economists, students, teachers, and Alice Waters, Vice-President of Slow Food International, owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. Theses workshops looked at the issues that are key to a sustainable education.
Interspersed among the workshops are several opportunities to gather in smaller groups for informal discussion and to view many exhibits scattered throughout the Oval. And then there is the Salone del Gusto which runs concurrently with Terra Madre and is perhaps the only place in the world where peasants and artisan producers, academics and chefs, wine connoisseurs and novice food lovers can come together in a spirit of exchange and friendship. For more detailed info on the Salone go to
After a real mind-opening, soaking of the all the senses day, I make my way back to my hotel, fall into bed, with the day’s events replaying in my head. Exhausted, I am anxious to do it again in a few short hours.
Buona Notte!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Benvenuto da Terra Madre

I must say that after day 1, of Terra Madre (only registration and opening ceremony) I feel that I in for an incredible journey, albeit, a short and intense one.

Since I was able to register yesterday (Wednesday) before the conference actually started, I had the luxury of not waiting in very long lines to do so as most of Terra Madre community from around the world assembled on Thursday just hours before the opening ceremony. So while most where in line, I was free to mingle and leisurely check out the venue, people watch, chat with some of the attendees, and scope out the best place to sit for the opening ceremony, hours before it was to start promptly (by Italian standards) at 2:30. So, by the start at around 3:00 I was in my seat.

Although I have never attended an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, I feel that my experience today at the opening of Terra Madre must share much with the 2006 games experience; maybe all except for all the competition that naturally is part of all of the olympic games.

The opening ceremony of Terra Madre was held at Palisport Olimpico, which also hosted the 2006 Winter Olympic opening ceremony; there were 81 nations participating in the 2006 games; 161 countries were represented at the Terra Madre opening ceremony; both events shared the pageantry of the flag-carrying participants in native dress. Music, dance, song, highlights on youth and cultural diversity were a part of both.

Keynote speakers for Terra Madre’s opening ceremony were from 5 continents each of which represented indigenous people and languages, this year’s focus of the conference. Collectively, they spoke for the Sami people, the indigenous people of Scandinavia, the Itelmens of Kamchatka, the indigenous of the Rift Valley of Africa, aboriginal natives of Australia, and the indigenous people of Brazil.

Carlo Petrini’s ( founder of Slowfood and current President of Slow Food International) keynote speech cited indigenous people, farmers, women, and the elderly as the forgotten ones who we need to honor, remember and learn from as we go forth to spread the message of slow food.  He also stated the need to strengthen and enhance diversity, reciprocity (gifting and counter-gifting), and dialogue among all peoples. His parting words were to “live these four days of Terra Madre with intensity.

Although SCCC seems far from the Terra Madre community gathered in Torino, you are as much a part of it, it’s mission, and it’s people as all of us gathered here for the next four days. I hope to bring you more from Terra Madre as time permits.

So I leave you with Petrini’s words “ live with intensity.

Chef Verrigni

Thursday, September 30, 2010


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The autumn harvest in New York provides us with a bounty of many wonderful fruits and vegetables. One that is often overlooked, but deserves to be in the spotlight is fennel.  Often mislabeled as anise, fennel is a member of the Apiaceae family. It has a mild, slightly sweet anise or licorice flavor.  It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium.
            Local fennel can be purchased at the Schenectady Greenmarket (Sun 10am-2pm), the Troy Farmers Market (Sat 9am-1pm), and the Saratoga Farmers Market (Sat 9am-1pm). Look for small and firm white bulbs that are free of bruises and blemishes. The stalks should be crisp, like celery, with light and feathery fronds.

Shaved Fennel and Apple Salad.

1 ½ Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
1/3 Cup Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Bulb fennel, very thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced.
Fennel fronds, as needed (approximately ½ Tbsp)

Begin by preparing the dressing. Place the apple cider vinegar in a bowl and, while whisking, slowly add the olive oil. Season the dressing with a small amount of salt and pepper. Combine the sliced fennel, fennel fronds, and apple in a bowl and dress lightly with the vinaigrette.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back in action

We will be holding our first meeting of the school year next week. The information is as follows:

Slow Food SCCC is seeking new members for the 2010-2011 school year. 
WHEN: Wednesday, September 22nd at 1:00 PM
WHERE: Culinary Seminar Room - ELS 100 (located by the locker rooms)
WHO: All students/majors are welcome

Click to enlarge image
We hope to see many new faces - it's sure to be an eventful year!