Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town Special Event Next Wednesday in Madison

In honor of the new book by author Douglas Gayeton called “Slow: A Life in a Tuscan Town” a celebration of local and delicious food is taking place on Wednesday, November 18. Called “A Slow Taste of Tuscany” thirty-three restaurants across North America have been chosen to participate.  One of these restaurants is Madison’s own own Osteria Papavero where  Chef Francesco Mangano creating a special prix-fixe menu with a copy of the book included in the ticket—complete with a signed limited edition commemorative bookplate.  The Dinner price includes 1 book.  Single price is $65 and the  Couple price $100. The event is being presented by Slow Food Madison.

During the event author Douglas Gayeton will be present at Chez Pannisse Cafe in Berkeley along with his editor, associate publisher Katrina Fried. Publisher Lena Tabori will join the celebration at Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton, and event coordinator Taylor Sperry will be at The Good Fork in Brooklyn. Chefs at select restaurants from Boston to Los Angeles will develop menus inspired by the book. The complete list is posted at http://www.welcomebooks.com/slow/11-18.

Douglas Gayeton’s SLOW: Life in a Tuscan Town is a magical and utterly unique portrayal of rural Italian life, and a tribute to the region’s kaleidoscope of charming local characters whose livelihoods and culture center around the everyday pleasures of growing, preparing, and eating food.

Imaginative and interactive portraits are layered with Gayeton’s handwritten notes, anecdotes, recipes, quotes, and historical facts and that cleverly bring context and color to the subject of each sepia-toned image and draw us deeper into this romantic, rewarding, and progressively rare way of life. You will fall in love with the intimate images of an entire town whose lives are profoundly bound to the rhythms of nature and inherently exemplify the popular principles that define Slow Food, a multi-national movement dedicated to preserving local food traditions and honoring local farmers and producers.

The unique interplay of pictures and words conveys a thrilling sense of narrative that transcends the page and transports you halfway around the globe. It is a riveting story told in a riveting way: each image is actually comprised of multiple photographs taken over the course of time (from ten minutes to several hours – a photographic approach critics have dubbed “flat film”). The result is nothing less than a new and startling way of seeing photographs.

Gayeton’s life was transformed by his five-year slow food journey in Tuscany. He now lives on a farm in Petaluma, California with his wife Laura Howard, who runs Laloo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream. “While my book is meant to both educate people and share the beauty of a slower lifestyle,” Gayeton says, “the Slow Food movement also offers valuable insights into how to lead a healthier life, ideas which incidentally are central to Laloo¹s mission as well.”

Photographed over the course of Douglas’ years in Tuscany, SLOW grew out of a request from PBS to document Italy’s burgeoning Slow Food movement. Gayeton told them that while most Italians didn’t know what Slow Food was, their lives exemplified the principles that define the movement. 

With an anecdotal charm reminiscent of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, Douglas Gayeton’s interplay of pictures and words conveys a thrilling narrative that transports you halfway around the globe to the charming town of Pistoia, nestled in the outskirts of Florence. There we meet the mushroom hunters and sheep farmers, the winemakers and fishermen, the bakers, butchers and chocolate makers whose lives are profoundly bound to the rhythms of nature.  

It is a riveting story told in a riveting way: each image comprised of multiple photographs taken over a period of time that can range anywhere from ten minutes to several hours, and layered with Gayeton’s handwritten notes, recipes, facts, and sayings. With this process, Gayeton has managed to introduce the concept of story and time, both compressed and exploded, into his portraits. The result is a photographic approach critics have dubbed flat film; the effect is exhilarating.

When Gayeton makes films he always brings along a still camera. But this time when he looked at his prints he added handwritten notes, which he scribbled directly on the photographs. At first these were meant to remind him of things he’d seen or heard, but he quickly realized that the act of telling his subjects’ stories with words and phrases (and even Tuscan sayings) was more compelling than the film itself.

Gayeton’s photographs were first featured at Slow Food Nation, the Slow Food movement’s first ever event in the US, which took place in San Francisco in September 2008. Over the three days of the event more than 85,000 people passed through the exhibit. Arte Italia opened a SLOW exhibition in Reno (April 30-July 11) and, after travelling, it will return to San Francisco in April 2010. On October 3rd, an exhibition opened at  Equator in Los Angeles. Another exhibition opened two nights ago in New York at CLIC Gallery in Soho.

 EVENT DETAILS:

Restaurant: Osteria Papavero
Chef: Francesco Mangano
Presented by: Slow Food Madison
Time: 6:00 PM
Address: 128 E. Wilson Street
Telephone: (608) 255-8376
Website: www.osteriapapavero.com
For reservations: please contact reservations@slowfoodwisconsin.org
Event Details: Chef Francesco Mangano will prepare a 3-course prix fixe meal with recipes inspired by foods from the book, Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town. Dinner price includes 1 book. Single price $65, Couple price $100.

Check out this salumi making video Douglas made of Chef John Stewart of Bovolo restaurant for Slow Food Nation or this video of Douglas himself: welcomebooks.com/slow

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