Slow Food: South Texas style 

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Sunday offered a coming out "harvest gala" for new food nonprofit Slow Food South Texas, dedicated to the "pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment." In other words, slow food should be fair and ethical, healthy, and equally tasty and artisanal.

This year's gala at the San Antonio Botanical Garden ( showcased fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy donated by local farmers and ranchers. Mystery baskets of each were given to San Antonio chefs who crafted innovative and seasonal small plates for attendees. Offerings included: polenta vegetable cake with brisket and fried vegetable crisps, cumin-scented chili, vegan cream cheese tamales with chips and queso, chicken and goat atop butternut squash puree with pomegranate seeds, coconut-braised brisket with jasmine rice and pickled veggies, and more. Guests were asked to vote for their favorite dish from the night and SA Food Bank chef Joseph Dominguez took home top honors for his grass-fed brisket dishes (meat courtesy of McAllen Ranch).

Aside from four-star meals linking local farms to plates, SFST also dedicates time to building community gardens — one at Lamar Elementary School serves as their pilot project. If the several hundred attendees and thousands of dollars raised in a silent auction are any indication, Slow Food South Texas has room to grow. Find out more at slowfoodsouthtexas.org.

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