Slow Food $5 Challenge

I have long since been an advocate for the Slow Food movement.  Growing up in Nebraska where local food meant whatever was available out the back door, I found value in real food.  Long after leaving the farm in the dust, it was clear to me that local, organic food had become an anomaly in the city world I now lived in.  It was hard to find, and I quickly realized I had taken what I had for granted.  Farmers markets were often misleading and while they offered fresh produce, a lot of it was still hauled in by truck.  Local wasn't so local.  

So when I discovered not one, but two retailers in McKinney that provided not only wholesome from the earth kind of food, but local as well, I was ecstatic.  Patina Green Home & Market is a unique blend of antiques, a lunch counter, and market, and Local Yocal Farm to Market is a traditional butcher of local meats.  Robert, Kaci, & Luann, as well as Matt & Heather (owners of the aforementioned businesses) not only believe in supporting community based food, they put their words in to action recently.

Slow Food USA issued a challenge to the nation and stated that slow food shouldn't have to cost more than fast food.  Robert and Matt took on the challenge and put together an evening under the patio.  They invited 100 guests to share with them a delicious meal provided by local farmers and ranchers that only cost $5.
Robert, a classically trained chef, prepared a meal of wagyu brisket tacos, organic greens and tostadas with fresh salsa.  For dessert, and a small additional fee, was cantaloupe sorbet with rosemary shortbread and cinnamon sugar bunuelos with caramel milk spread.
The tables were set with flowers picked from a local farm.
The photo above does not do the food justice.  It is evidence that even though this organic, local meal cost $5, it didn't lack in portion size.
Robert & Matt
Local Yocal Counter
I walked away stuffed.  The food was delicious and easy enough to make myself, with ingredients that can be purchased in both stores.  Much to my chagrin, the only unfortunate part of the evening was the lack of attendance.  Although the advance reservation tickets were quickly sold out, many of the guests did not join us, leaving several seats empty.  Inevitably, the absence of involvement makes me want to spread the message even more.  

Buying and preparing local food is not only very good for your health, it's also very good for the community.  Long gone are the days where we are submerged in our neighborhoods filled with friends, mom and pop shops and commonality.  Patina Green & Local Yocal are trying to hold on to that past before the art of self sufficiency supported by community is lost.  A very noble 4(for) green acres effort.  

Both stores are located in McKinney, Texas and can be found on the web here:
Patina Green Home & Market
Local Yocal Farm to Market