By Makiah Josephson, Slow Food USA Communications Coordinator
Slow Food Columbus hosted their fourteenth annual Shake the Hand that Feeds You dinner on Saturday, Oct. 22. They were thrilled to return to the site of last year’s dinner, Lasting Impressions Event Rentals, for their largest annual fundraiser. This annual dinner raises funds for the Columbus chapter and helps them support community gardens, farms and other food-related events throughout the year. Their chapter works to promote foods that are grown, produced and prepared in Central Ohio and strive to create dramatic and lasting change toward a more sustainable food system. They advocate for fair pricing in their food supply and seek to bring their community together with fun events.
This year’s event and menu planning were led by ongoing Chapter Leader Mark Anthony Arceño and new board member Chef Aaron Mercier. There were multiple local food businesses present including Glorieux WaFulz, Paris 75, and The Butcher & Grocer that played a role in highlighting the wide range of diversity that exists within central Ohio’s food scene. They created an exciting menu that included a six-course meal highlighting ingredients from Slow Food’s Ark of Taste. Attendees also enjoyed wine selections by Patrick Allen Selections and bread service by Dan the Baker that included freshly whipped butter using Snowville Creamery‘s heavy cream. “We’re always looking to find creative ways to highlight Ark of Taste products, as well as up-and-coming producers and chefs who can especially highlight the diversity of our local food scene here in Columbus,” said Mark Anthony.
The event hosted over 25 people and everyone had the chance to literally “shake the hand that feeds them” and enjoy local and diverse foods. Everything from production to consumption aligned with Slow Food’s mission of good, clean and fair food for all. The event was a special kind of experience for all who attended, and every dish was a big hit. “It feels worth it in the end to be able to exemplify the strength of our collective efforts and the people and products we highlight throughout the course of a single dinner. We cannot pull off this dinner without the support of our local and regional partners, who in themselves reflect the values we hold dear to our organization and the larger Slow Food movement,” noted Mark Anthony. In recent months, the chapter was able to grow their board and make exciting plans for the upcoming year. The larger board allows them to have more people power to execute more plans and ideas.
Chapter Leader Mark Anthony Arceño has been involved with Slow Food for over 10 years and recognizes that many chapters like Slow Food Columbus remain focused on rebuilding a sense of community and getting their name back out there ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter is resilient and continues to find ways to celebrate good, clean and fair food from within and outside of central Ohio. “For me, Slow Food means seeking and celebrating ingredients, as well as the rich tradition and history behind a given dish. It’s about not forgetting both products and people. Being part of this community is very much a part of my own ongoing journey of learning through food — something I can only hope more are willing to join in on,” stated Mark Anthony.