Slow food Oxon Update - January 2008


Dear Slow Food Oxon Members:  

AGM & Whisky Tasting 

The day of our AGM and whisky tasting is approaching fast - 1 February. Thank you! to all who have confirmed their attendance (AGM and/or tasting), do not hesitate to bring a friend to the tasting if you wish. The event will be held in Oxford, Headington, at Oxford Brookes University, in the new Buckley Building (Gipsy Lane campus), facing London Road. Parking is free and plentiful after 4pm at the Gipsy lane car park, then walk back to the street, onto London Road and use the entrance gate for pedestrians. See a map at the website

The address is
Buckley Building, Room BG10/11
Gipsy Lane

We need to know definite numbers by this Friday, to allow Balvenie Whisky to prepare properly, so can you please let me know asap. People are flying from the distillery in Scotland to do this for us, and we'd like to have at least 20 participants. The event is free, however we need you to sign up in advance.

The AGM will start at 6pm and those who only want to come to the tasting are welcome from 6:30 - 8pm.

There are a couple of formalities to do before the AGM: the Committee yesterday approved the 2007 accounts and I can now attach them here, we will also post them on the website, should you have problems opening my attachment. At the AGM we will vote to approve the accounts.

I also attach here a Committee Member Nomination form and very much hope that new people will come forward this year, to help run the Convivium. On your behalf,  would like to thank all our 2007 Committee Members – Jeremy Rowntree (website), Liz Wilding (Secretary, Book Club & events), Muryel Boulay (events), Iain Bird (events), Geoffrey Whittle (Treasurer) for their time and support in what proved to be a very eventful and successful year.  

Please, do not feel shy, come forward and become a Committee Member. It is not so bad, believe me ;), in fact, if anything, you  will enjoy some very-very nice evenings in good company, while discussing Convivium  matters. 

In fact, we are going to need many more volunteers in the future, so if you do not feel like sitting on the Committee, but would like to get more involved in community projects, let me know. As I wrote in my previous update, I intend to devolve my leadership and will hope that the new Committee will be able to appoint a new Leader, at the AGM, so here is another chance for you to get involved. I am happy to brief anybody in what it takes to be Leader, how much time roughly it takes, just give me a call, please. 

2008 Events & Activities
Thank you all! for your ideas and offer of support for 2008. We have drafted an exciting plan of activities in the year to come, and we shall present it at our AGM, for you to approve and get involved. There will be again Book Club evenings, tastings, guest speakers, dinner parties and field visits. Something to please most members, we hope. And we shall also launch a series of community projects, to get involved with children, food producers and the wider general public. There are funds available in 2008 and with some time and luck, we should be able to access those to spread the Slow Food message wider and deeper. All this – with your help, of course! A final plan should be posted on our website shortly after our AGM and monthly Leader’s updates will keep everyone informed, too. 

Slow Food UK AGM
The next Slow Food UK AGM will be held on Saturday 26th April in Cumbria. Specific details about the venue/location will follow soon.  All members, of course, will be notified in writing, by post, in due course.

We hope that many of you will decide to make a weekend of it, in such a beautiful location. Thanks to Slow Food Cumbria, you can be assured of a warm welcome, excellent hospitality and a true taste of the region.

In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan – discount for Slow Food members & London event

You may already have heard about Michael Pollan’s challenging new book, In Defence of Food, The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Food, which will be published at the end of this month, to great acclaim.  Michael is the author of four previous books, including The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, both New York Times bestsellers. A long-time contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of journalism at Berkeley and an advisor to the Slow Food USA Board of Directors.  Some of you may have heard him speak at Terra Madre in 2006.

Penguin Books is kindly offering Slow Food members a 20% discount on the book, which can be claimed via the website: 

Also, for those of you in or around the London area, you may be interested in attending a talk by Michael himself, and book signing, on Monday 28th January, which is being organised by Slow Food London – see below:

Talk and Book launch signing by Michael Pollan
The Natural Kitchen, 77-78 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 5JX
Monday 28th January, 6pm (prompt)
Cost: £5 to Slow Food members and Natural Kitchen shoppers
The ticket price includes aperitif, canapés, a talk by Michael and the opportunity to buy a signed copy of the book. The Natural Kitchen is pleased to offer all who attend a shopping opportunity beforehand (the event will begin promptly at 6pm) at 10% discount.

To Book:
Or directly from The Natural Kitchen Tel: 020 7486 8065   Fax: 020 7224 2562

Well, this  may be my last Update as Convivium Leader. I am not leaving Slow Food, nor the Convivium, nor the Committee for another year, but I am looking forward to welcoming a new Leader and a new style. Come along and say farewell/welcome the new Leader on 1 February, over some whisky, why not! Please, let us know by Friday, 25 January! With my Slowest and Best Wishes,