History of Slow Food Chicago

Slow Food Chicago has been active since 1998, and supports more initiatives and activities every year.

  • 1998: 10 people gather informally for the first time in Chicago under the name of Slow Food.  Slow Food is still firmly rooted in Italy; the national organization has not yet been created.

  • 1999: Slow Food Chicago hosts its first event, Feast of the Senses, with Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini in attendance.  At the end of 1999, Slow Food Chicago has 100 members.

  • 2000: Slow Food USA, the national representative of Slow Food, is chartered by Slow Food International and opens its office in New York.

  • 2001: Slow Food Chicago is formally founded on June 5.

  • 2002: Slow Food Chicago founds the Sprouts program at Green City Market and in area schools.

  • 2004: The Slow Food Guide to Chicago is published. The chapter initiates a series of successful neighborhood culinary walking tours, based on the guide book.

  • 2004:  Evanston SFC member Lynn Hyndman approaches Slow Food Chicago about starting an edible schoolyard at the Dawes Elementary school. The partnership led to a successful garden, one of the first edible schoolyard gardens in the area.

  • 2004:  Slow Food Chicago organizes a delegation of farmers from northern Illinois and northwest Indiana to represent the region at the first Terra Madre Congress in Turin.

  • 2005:  Slow Food Chicago helps organize the 2005 Farm Aid concert and tour in the Chicago area.

  • 2005: The growth and interest in the movement is so large that Slow Food Chicago sees the need for a formal board and more managerial oversight of all the activities that are happening under its banner. The chapter transitions to a more formalized organization, with a governing Board of Directors.

  • 2007 : While on a book tour promoting the publication of his book “Good, Clean, and Fair”, Carlo Petrini visits Chicago and gives a public lecture to over 700 people at the Northwestern University Law School’s Thorne Auditorium.

  • Today: Slow Food Chicago hosts dozens of events and initiatives every year, including workshops, tastings, farm-to-table dinners, the preSERVE garden in North Lawndale, book discussions, potlucks; and sponsors delegates to Slow Food’s international conference in Italy, Terra Madre.

Want to participate in a Slow Food Chicago event?  See upcoming and past events here!



Gorgeous header photo by Eva Deitch