Worcester’s College of the Holy Cross Hosts REC’s Slow Food Gala

Come Enjoy and Help Promote Local Food, Local Community

The Regional Environmental Council, Inc. (REC), in partnership with the College of the Holy Cross, will hold their third annual Slow Food Gala fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 2, from 6 – 10pm in the Hogan Campus Center on the Holy Cross campus. The event will benefit the REC’s Urban Food System programs which include UGROW, YouthGROW, and the Main South Farmers’ Market. The Gala, which includes a five course meal and a silent auction, is open to the public. Three courses will be paired with sustainably grown and/or organic wines.

Tickets are $65 for REC members and $75 for non-members. To purchase a membership to REC with a ticket to the event, the cost is $90.

The Menu
· Butternut Bisque
· Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage & Brown Butter
· Salad of Fall Greens with Persimmons & Hazelnut Vinaigrette
· Local Marinated Beef Hanger Steak w/ Great Hill Bleu Cheese, Grilled Free Range Chicken Breast finished
w/ a Gin & Juniper Berry Reduction, or Spaghetti Squash with Hen in the Woods Mushroom Marinara
· Roasted New England New Potatoes
· Greens from the Holy Cross garden at YouthGrow
· Flourless Chocolate Torte

All menu items will be served family style except for the three dinner entrees of the beef, poultry, or vegetarian options and all guests will receive a complimentary Slow Food Recipe Book.

About Slow Food
Slow food, an international movement dedicated to preserving and supporting traditional ways of growing, producing, and preparing food, was developed by renowned food and wine writer Carlo Petrini in 1986 in response to the opening of fast-food franchises in Rome. Opposed to fast food, Petrini advocated the value of sitting down and enjoying your meal with company.

Martin Dudek, assistant director of dining services at Holy Cross, and Holy Cross Chefs Edward Rome and Timothy Trachimowicz will prepare the dinner for the Gala using only seasonal ingredients that are locally grown. Some of the vegetables on the menu were grown in REC’s YouthGROW farm in Worcester and all the dinner ingredients come from sources within 100 miles of Worcester.

“This is the third year of collaboration between Holy Cross and the Regional Environmental Council in the form of Holy Cross being the site of R.E.C.’s Slow Food Gala fund raiser,” explains Alice Laffey, professor of religious studies and a member of the REC board. “Chef Marty Dudek will again prepare a delicious meal with locally grown products.”

According to Steve Fischer, REC’s incoming Executive Director, “We’re excited to celebrate food and community at the Slow Food Gala, especially during this time period when growing food locally and sustainably is becoming more and more important. It has been a wonderful event the past two years, and we expect this year to be even better.”

About REC’s Urban Food System Programs
UGROW (Urban Garden Resources of Worcester) supports a network of 40 urban community gardens (maintained by more than 400 gardeners). This network forms a constellation of farm plots throughout the city that produce roughly 10,000 pounds of organic food annually.

The YouthGROW summer and after-school program trains 32 youth leaders (ages 14-17) from Worcester’s low income neighborhoods in job- and life-skills by using urban agriculture and consensus-based decision-making as the centerpieces of the curriculum. YouthGROWers learn how to grow food using environmentally sustainable techniques on two urban farms.

The Main South Farmers’ Market (MSFM), operating for its first full season in 2009 (Saturdays, June-October), brings local, organic produce at affordable prices to Worcester’s inner-city. MSFM’s expansion to a full season was made possible by REC’s partnership with the Worcester Advisory Food Policy Council and their Hunger Free & Healthy initiative, which is funded by the Health Foundation of Central MA.

Founded in 1971, REC is a grassroots, environmental justice organization that is dedicated to building strong, healthy communities and improving the quality of life in Worcester.
For more information, visit the Regional Environmental Council’s website at www.RECworcester.org