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A good dinner and a good cause…

March 7, 2010
We had a lovely evening recently at FnB that was made all the more special because it was in honor of a good cause. Slow Food is an international non-profit organization that was founded to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture in the face of a fast food lifestyle. It has become a member-supported movement that is focused on preserving the traditions of food that tastes good, is cleanly produced, and recognizes the connection between our planet and our plate. Slow Food members aim to be co-producers, not simply consumers, of food through being informed about how food is grown and prepared. Slow Food is also a lifestyle about stopping to rush of quick production, preparation and consumption of food and truly appreciating the quality and beauty of eating well. McClendon’s Select is a proud member of Slow Food.

Our dinner at FnB was to locally support Natalie Morris in the opportunity of a lifetime. Natalie has been accepted into the Master of Food Culture program at the Slow Food initiated school, The University of Gastronomic Sciences, in northern Italy, the birthplace of Slow Food. This is a highly competitive program and Natalie was fortunate to be selected for one of the fifty spots out of a thousand applicants worldwide. With this degree, Natalie will be able to return to Phoenix to impart her knowledge of food security and biodiversity and to promote those farms and ranches who actively live by these standards. The goal is to raise $40,000 to send Natalie to Italy for this year-long program.

Charlene Badman and Pavle Milic put on a wonderful dinner to raise money for Natalie and served beautiful pairings of locally grown foods with local wines from the Pillsbury Wine Company in Cochise County. (You can find Pillsbury Wines at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market.) FNB is always a showstopper, but they topped themselves for this dinner. I am so excited to see all of the incredible reviews and coverage of this still young restaurant. They have been even made the New York Times for their dedication to serving local wines.

To learn more about Natalie’s story or to make a donation online, please visit This is an incredible opportunity for not just Natalie, but for our community to continue the education, promotion and benefit of sustainably produced foods. We wish Natalie the best and will be excited to see what she learns during her time there.

For more information about the Slow Food movement, or to become a member of the Phoenix chapter, please visit

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