Slow Food Utah, a local chapter of the international Slow Food organization, awards small grants to Utah schools and communities for gardens, to small farmers to help them grow their businesses, and to educational programs statewide. A nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting food that is “good, clean and fair,” Slow Food Utah has funded over 100 food-centric projects over the past 11 years, totaling more than $115,000.

This year the organization has issued nine awards, ranging in size from $480 to $2,000. Recipients include small farms, community gardens, a food truck, an apiary and a school. Their grants will provide funding for cold storage, a greens washer, bees and hive equipment, creamery equipment, rabbits, an irrigation workshop and other items essential for these small, local food producers to thrive.

Winners for 2019 are: Sweet Pea Farm in Parowan, Rockhill Creamery in Cache Valley, Moab Youth Garden Project, Ranui Gardens, Green River PACT, Raclette Machine, Iron County USU, SLC Top Crops and Burningham Bees.

Slow Food Utah’s Microgrant Program is funded entirely by proceeds from an annual banquet, themed “Come to the Table,” at which Utahns celebrate a delicious and sustainable meal and help build a strong and vibrant local food community. The Feast is accompanied by a renowned silent auction, with many of the items related to Slow Food Utah’s mission.

The fundraiser, the 15th Annual Feast of Five Senses, will be held Sunday, October 20. The gathering begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake Masonic Temple, 650 E. South Temple. Tickets are available at SlowFoodUtah.org for $125 (plus $25 for optional wine pairings).

Chefs and restaurants donate their time for this sumptuous fine-dining experience. Ingredients are procured from local growers. This year’s feastmakers include Shon Foster – Sego Restaurant; Logen Crew – SLC Eatery; Alan Brines – Current Fish & Oyster; Mariah Christensen & Casey Bowthorpe – Harmons; Laurent Luhillier – Park City Culinary Institute; Buzz Willey – Pallet; Nathan Powers – Bambara; Adam Kreisel – Chaia Cucina Catering; Romina Rasmussen – Les Madeleines; and Millcreek Cacao. Wine by Francis Fecteau – Libation LLC; beer by Templin Family Brewing; craft cocktail by Water Witch; Caribbean tonics by Van Kwartel; coffee by Caffe Ibis.

At the feast, winners will be announced for the 2019 Snail Awards, the group’s annual tradition to honor those in our community who are dedicated to Slow Food principles and ardent supporters of Slow Food Utah. Categories for the Snail Awards include: Local Business Leader; Community Leader; Farmer/Producer; and Restaurant/Chef. Nominations are being taken at this time; see http://slowfoodutah.org/the-snail-awards/ for past recipients.

This year’s Feast is made possible by major support from Harmons, with additional support provided by Creminelli Fine Meats, Caputo’s, Beehive Cheese and Laziz Kitchen.

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