Slow Food Columbia is one of 200+ Slow Food USA chapters, located in Columbia, South Carolina. Our mission is to support the movement behind GOOD, CLEAN and FAIR foodways in the Midlands and beyond. Our convivium hosts workshops, potlucks and other events throughout the year to celebrate local + seasonal flavors; to showcase the culinary talents of our region's chefs, farmers, + artisan producers; to strengthen connections between members of our local food community; and to educate the public about the importance of knowing where your food comes from.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Agri + Culture: Doc Film Shines a Light on Midlands Farm-to-Table Scene

Featuring many of the prime movers of the Midlands farm to table food scene, this new short documentary film directed by Amy Overstreet, produced by Buz Kloot and written/hosted by Erin Eisele is exciting to watch.

How many farmers, chefs and advocates do you recognize in the film? Give them a shout-out and share this with your social networks, won't you?

Agri + Culture: Following food from farm to fork in South Carolina from SC-NRCS & ESRI-SC Partnership on Vimeo.

"This project was created through an outreach agreement between SC USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the University of SC-Earth Sciences and Resources Institute. For a DVD copy, or for questions/comments, contact Amy Overstreet, or (803) 765-5402."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Slow Food at Indie Grits tickets on sale now!

It's on! Sunday, April 13, 2014, do join us for a fun, relaxed soiree to celebrate the Midlands' great sustainable chef community:

Design by Jen Ray

Slow Food at Indie Grits sustainable chefs showcase
Date + Time: Sunday, April 13th, 2014, 3pm-6pm
Location: Market Building at 711 Whaley (next to 701 Whaley)
Host: Slow Food Columbia and the Indie Grits Festival
Tickets: $20 general; $15 Slow Food and Nickelodeon members; $10 potluck bringers

Slow Food Columbia and the Indie Grits Festival are partnering again to present the popular Slow Food at Indie Grits “Sustainable Chefs Showcase,” potluck and party on Sunday, April 13th, from 3-6pm at 711 Whaley in Columbia, South Carolina. While tickets will go on sale March 1, festival passes are available now at

Guests will enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres by the Midlands’ most sustainable chefs, in a casual setting with lively tunes by the Greater Columbia Society for the Preservation of Soul and a cash bar by The Whig featuring South Carolina-brewed beers and carefully selected wines by AdVintage.

2014 Sustainable Chefs:

Chef Mike Davis, owner, Terra
Chef Wesley Fulmer, Motor Supply Company Bistro
Chef Travis Rayle, Rosso Trattoria
Chef Gordon Langston, Bourbon
Chef Benoit St. Jacques, Rosewood Market and Deli
Chef Alex Suaudom du Monde, owner, Baan Sawan Thai Bistro
Chef Blake Faries, Saluda's
Chef Jessica Shillato, owner, Spotted Salamander Catering
Chef Howard Stephens, The Oak Table 
Chef Milo Klos, Charleston Cooks!
Chef Brandon Reese, Whole Foods Market
Chef Asa Collier, Jake's
Chef Bryan Tayara, Our Local Catch
Chef Branson Stafford, Tombo Grille
Chef Sharon Wright, owner, Good Life Café
Chef Scott Hall, owner, Scott Hall Catering

Each chef’s dish must feature at least one locally, sustainably produced major ingredient.

For a lower-priced ticket, guests are invited to bring a potluck dish to contribute. At this ticket level, guests should bring roughly 20 small portions of a dish made with at least one sustainable, local ingredient. Join us!

Image: Jonathan Sharpe

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Midlands Farm Tour in Columbia, SC

Saturday and Sunday April 5-6, 2014, 1-5 pm
The second annual Midlands Farm Tour, happening Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, 2014 from 1:00-5:00 PM both days, will feature 10 local, sustainable farms. This self-guided tour features working farms and gardens in Richland, Lexington, and Kershaw counties and taps into the Midland’s growing passion for local food and farming.

Midlands Farm Tour 2013 photo
Midlands Farm Tour 2013
Some of the unique things to see and do on the tour:
  • See lots of cute baby farm animals, including baby chicks, pigs and goats
  • Learn gardening and growing techniques such as Square Foot Gardening, Permaculture, Hydroponics, and Raised Vegetable Beds
  • Check out how they grow vegetables, fruits, flowers, mushrooms and more without harmful pesticides
  • Learn more about what it really means to “eat like a pig’ and why farm animals love pasture
  • Enjoy a farm-fresh picnic or snack with food and treats sold at the farms
  • Teach your children where their food comes from, play fun farm games, and more!

“So many children have read story books about farms and farm animals, but have never actually seen a farm. By touring, children learn where their food comes from and what a real farm is,” said Roland McReynolds, CFSA Executive Director. “It’s a great way to see how food is produced on sustainable small farms and support the local farmer who grows it!”

Tour tickets, good for both days, are $25 per vehicle in advance. Tickets are available for purchase during the tour for $30 or you can also choose to pay $10 per farm (available for purchase at all of the farms during the tour). Groups of cycles count as one vehicle. Tickets can be purchased online now at at Whole Foods Market and City Roots in Columbia closer to the event date.
The tour is self-guided. Choose the farms you want to visit on the interactive map or downloadable brochure at to plan your tour. Visit any farm in any order. And, don’t forget to take a cooler so that you can bring home some of the farm fresh products for sale at many farms! No pets allowed. The tour is rain or shine. Proceeds from the tour support the work of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.
The 10 farms and gardens on the tour, all within a about a 40-mile drive from Columbia, are:
  • City Roots, Columbia
  • University of SC Farm & Garden, Columbia
  • NOMA Community Garden, Columbia
  • Terra Kotta Farms, Leesville
  • Humble Farm, Gilbert – NEW!
  • Doko Farms, Blythewood
  • Crooked Cedar Farm, Blythewood
  • Paradise Acres Farm, Elgin
  • Wil-Moore Farms, Lugoff
  • Carolina Bay Farms, Hopkins


We hope to see lots of you on the spring tour. And don’t forget that we need lots of on-farm volunteers. Volunteering on a farm is a great way to support the cause!


Vanessa Driscoll – CFSA’s Midlands Farm Tour Coordinator, (919) 542-2402

Proudly presented by: CFSA
Proudly sponsored by: Whole Foods Market

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Capital City's Premiere "Dîner en Blanc" Pop-Up Picnic from 116 Espresso and Wine Bar!

Bonjour, mes amies! We have a special event to share from our friends at 116 Espresso and Wine Bar, one that joins our love of good food, conviviality, philanthropy, and spectacle! 

Inspired by the Dîner en Blanc epicurean movement sweeping major cities around the globe, 116 Espresso and Wine Bar presents its very own “Dinner in White” series in the Capital City. Oh là là. This series, served Pop-Up Picnic-style, kicks off on Sunday, September 29, from 7p.m. to 10p.m., and a portion of ticket sales will support a local arts group (awesome).

Event deets via Chef Ryan Whittaker: The location is kept a secret as long as possible (emailed the day of), and tables, chairs, and linens are provided, but guests are required to bring their own plates, glasses and utensils, and of course, must wear all white!  Pssst--more surprises to come. 

The Menu: Chef will prepare a locally-sourced, French-inspired picnic meal served family style and paired with French wines. (We imagine the spectacle and spontaneity will be served à la mode.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aperitivo to Awaken the Appetite

An authentic Italian meal is generally experienced from beginning to end in coordination with the senses, including ways to stimulate and alleviate the stomach to harmonize with the cadence of the meal. Aperitivo, enjoyed today throughout Italy as a pre-dinner cocktail hour similar to American “happy hour,” plays an integral part in this Italian gastronomic process. 

A look into the etymology of the word provides the first clue: the word aperitivo (or aperitif in French) originates from the Latin word, apertitiuvum, and literally means to stimulate the appetite. While it may seem counter-intuitive, Italians believe a small snack paired with a mildly alcoholic, bitter cocktail before dinner prepares the stomach for ingestion. The traditional saying is, L’appetito viene mangiando, or “Appetite comes when you eat.” And the bitter, herbal base of classic aperitivo cocktails accompanying these small bites, such as a Negroni (Campari, Martini Rosso vermouth and gin) or a Spritz (Aperol or Campari and prosecco), is rooted in the science that bitterness encourages hunger.

While the true historical origins of aperitivo are not completely clear, Europeans were consuming alcohol flavored with bitter herbs, purely for medicinal purposes, as early as the 16th century. In 1786, Antonio Benedetto Carpano invented vermouth, a wine fortified and flavored with wormwood (also the active ingredient in absinthe). Subsequent recipes and adaptations by companies such as Martini and Cinzano, and later Campari and Aperol, made the bitter concoctions of medieval times tastier, thus encouraging libations in the mid-to-late 1800s. It wasn’t until the 1920s, however, that bitter aperitivo drinks paired up with food, a trend made famous in Milan. Today, in city centers of Milan, Rome, and Turin, modern aperitivo spreads can be lavish and served buffet-style. 

Regardless of the place, aperitivo time has become commonplace throughout all of Italy, and drinks are served with complimentary snacks in a casual and social atmosphere. Bars and cafés brim with friends, neighbors, and colleagues, all eating, drinking, and gearing up for the ultimate dinner destination, or satiating themselves with the spread of free food for the price of a drink, as many budget-conscious are wont to do. 

Aperitivo may awaken the appetite, but our other senses can be also be stirred by this tradition: the sights of people-watching at a crowded café, sounds of voices and clinking glasses to toast with friends, the touch of a double-kiss greeting, and the smell of the feast that awaits once aperitivo dwindles and people continue to gather around the table.