Eat Local

Published on January 23rd, 2013 | by Jennifer Kaplan


Celebrating Slow Food with Chef Thomas McNaughton

Last night I had the pleasure of sharing a super-local winter feast thanks to Central Kitchen chef Thomas McNaughton and Slow Food San Francisco.

Forty slow food fans gathered for an intimate dinner to share a table and celebrate the season’s best and talk about slow food and creating better food systems.

Central Kitchen is McNaughton’s newest entry in his group of sustainable, locally focused foodie spots in San Francisco. McNaughton, executive chef and partner in the ne timeas restaurant group is a James Beard Foundation nominated Rising Star Chef and his first restaurant, flour + water, was nominated as Best New Restaurant in 2010. Chef Thomas took time out of his busy evening to clear dishes and talk about Central Kitchen’s rooftop garden, the importance of local and sustainable food and farms they partner with like Devil’s Gulch.

The food was amazing and each dish was accompanied by a story of how the local and/or sustainable elements added to its complexity and creation. People asked questions throughout the evening about sourcing ingredients, regional food issues and how the menu was created.

Slow Food SF’s Convivial Table series brings people together for a meal to discuss salient slow food topics. The participants were as varied as the conversation. At our table we had an architect, graphic designer, industrial designer, digital think tank guru, nonprofit President, food start-up employee, and contractor. We talked about everything from the greenwashing of Skinny Girl cocktails to a heated debate about whether Italian sausage from the East Coast is better than that from the West Coast.

Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
The dinner included a $5 donation to Slow Food San Francisco, which went to support their school garden programs and other ongoing programs.

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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .

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