The Slow Food Florida State Conference included an on-farm lunch, as well as a variety of presentations and panel discussions. / Sheryl Paul

By Sheryl Paul
Chairwoman, Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast

The annual Slow Food Florida State Conference, held at Kai-Kai Farm in Indiantown, was organized by Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast.

The Slow Food chapters in attendance were Glades to Coast, and Gold and Treasure Coast. We discussed many ways to reach out and educate the populace, which is one of our main goals. Among the ways we discussed were holding more workshops; gatherings, such as this conference; classes; and meetings featuring guest speakers.

Kai-Kai Farm in Indiantown was the site of the recent Slow Food Florida State Conference, organized by Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast. / Courtesy Kai-Kai Farm

We also discussed how to bring more chapters to the state, as Florida is the third most populous state in the United States. How? By aiding each other to make each chapter a viable organization — and by educating people on what Slow Food is, what we do, and how we can we help you get started if you want to open a chapter.

After lunch, Slow Food Florida Gov. Rick Stepp told us about his recent trip to Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. This is the biggest international event dedicated to food. The 12th biennial event — organized in collaboration with the Region of Piedmont and the City of Turin — was held Sept. 20-24, 2018, in Turin, Italy.

This was followed by a presentation on climate change by Scott Lewis, an advisory board member of the Glades to Coast Chapter. The most interesting aspect was the effect of rising water. He showed maps of Florida when the waters were much higher than the Central Florida Ridge and the Florida Ridge along the East Coast. Another map showed a very small area of Florida, in the north center of the state, surrounded by water.

The various presentations and panel discussions were followed by a tour around Kai-Kai Farm. We send many thanks to owners Diane Cordeau and Carl Frost for hosting this event.

The on-farm dinner was created by many well-known Florida chefs: Lindsay Autry, The Regional; John Thomas, formerly of 32 East, assisted by Anthony Benacquisto, formerly of 32 East and currently of Walt Disney World; Tim Lipman, Coolinary Cafe; Adam Brown, The Cooper; Jason Stocks, District Table and Bar; Ron Kerr, Southfork Table and Bar; Sarah Sipe, baker, The Regional; and Daniel Ramos, Red Splendor Bone Broth & Sausage Weekly events at Devour Brewery.

Annual Slow Food Florida State Conference held in Indiantown, Slow Food Florida, Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast

Many farmers came to hear, and to participate in, the panel discussions. From left: Elizabeth and Jake Fojtic, LBJ Farms, Fellsmere; Louis Schacht, Schacht Groves, Vero Beach; and Briton and Doyle Hogan, Birdie Hogan Farm, Vero Beach. / Sheryl Paul

For more information about Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast, visit For info about Slow Food Glades to Coast, visit For info about Kai-Kai Farm, visit