I am honored and excited to announce that I have been chosen as one of just 240 US delegates to attend Slow Food’s 2014 Terra Madre & Salone del Gusto global food conference from October 23-27 in Turin, Italy.
Delegates from over 130 countries are selected for their ability to represent their country, and their food traditions. While in Italy, we will be given many opportunities for cross-cultural learning, to share food movement success stories and lessons learned, and to build relationships and bring new ideas back to the challenges still to be met at home.As a beginning cheese-maker and a selected delegate to the conference, I’m hoping for support to cover travel costs, and possibly even make some additional visits to creameries after the conference to maximize this learning experience. I want to learn as much as I can to deepen my education about artisan style cheese making and to share this knowledge with my community when I return.
A little about me...
For the past 10 years I have been working as a musician, seafood wholesaler and, more recently, pursuing a passion as a beginning cheese maker.As a seafood wholesaler on the historic Union Wharf in Portland, Maine, I’ve been working to help our company shift direction from a retail seafood shipping company to a more localized seafood wholesale company, buying direct from the fishermen and lobstermen and shortening the distance to the customer. We now directly supply some of Southern Maine’s best chefs, caterers and seafood markets with fresh, locally caught seafood. More recently, I’ve become a cheese maker in training! I began learning the basics of cheese making at home and through master cheese maker Jim Wallace at the New England Cheese Making Supply Company, and since then have become passionate about artisan cheese making and aspire to become a professional cheese maker. To further my learning, I'm interning with Winterhill Farm in Freeport, Maine, making cheese with milk from very rare Randall cows and Jersey cows. At Winter Hill, where they also make yogurt and bottle their own milk, I am studying under owner and cheese maker Sarah Wiederkehr, creating blues, feta, tommes and camembert style cheeses.
One day soon, I hope to start producing my own line of cheeses using the organic milk produced at my wife’s family's dairy farm, Rocky Ridge Organic Farm, which was started by her father 40 years ago in Litchfield, Maine.While in Italy, I am very excited at the idea of scheduling stops along the way to meet and/or work with artisan cheese makers. There is nothing quite like seeing traditional cheese making first hand from the masters.
What Your Contribution Will Help with...
As a delegate, Slow Food will cover the cost of my conference admissions and meals while in Turin for Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto. Money raised here will help to pay for my airfare, as well as ground transportation and lodging for the duration of my travels, including visiting regional creameries for a first-hand experience with traditional cheese making.
With the help of some friends and family, I have come up with some fun "perks" to show my great appreciation for any and all contributions. Some of these were donated from the businesses I work for. They range from Maine lobsters, cheese making classes, music from my past life as a rock star, a creamery tour & tasting, a lobster boat ride-a-long, and more!I would like to thank Maine Lobster Direct, Winter Hill Farm, Shannon Moon Photography and Captain Dickie for their time and donations.
I feel the opportunity to take part in this year’s conference, while also sharing my story, will expand my horizons and of those delegates who also attend. I also look forward to bringing what I learn back and sharing with my community, as I continue my learning journey and follow my passion to become a cheese maker.
Slow Food USA letter of support
May 15, 2014
Every two years, Slow Food and communities come together for Terra Madre & Salone del Gusto to display the extraordinary diversity of food from around the world and unite small-scale farmers and artisans who follow the principles of good, clean and fair.
Delegates from over 130 countries are chosen for their ability to represent the breadth of the country’s food traditions and movement success stories as well as their capacity to take the new lessons, ideas and relationships back to the challenges still to be met at home.
This year, Slow Food USA has invited Shawn Saindon to be a U.S. delegate for this landmark food and farming conference, running October 23-27 in Turin, Italy.
Being selected for this historic event is a special honor.
Shawn is one of 240 to be selected as a delegate out of 500 applications. Not only does this mean that Slow Food leaders admire the incredible work that Shawn is doing, it also means that we believe Shawn is an important voice in representing the diverse U.S. food movement to the international community.
The benefits of being a delegate include free admission, housing, food, and ground transportation during the event, as well as an opportunity to showcase their work at Slow Food USA-sponsored booths and events.
We ask that delegates assume the responsibility for their own flight tickets and other incidentals. Many delegates require financial support to attend.
We invite you to join us in supporting Shawn with a donation today.
Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto is a powerful and transformative experience. Delegates leave inspired to change the food system through a global consciousness and deeper respect for the diverse, international food movement.
This year, the theme of Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto is food diversity as an alternative to industrial agriculture, especially as expressed through Slow Food’s Ark of Taste and Presidia projects. The events also will closely coordinate with the International Year of the Family Farmer.
The Slow Food USA delegation will also celebrate the immense human and cultural diversity present in the US. Please support Shawn in joining the most diverse U.S. delegation yet to attend Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto.
Director, Network Engagement
Slow Food USAOther Ways to Help
I know that some of you want to help but cannot do so at this time, and I appreciate that! One of the most powerful tools we have to help each other out these days is social media. Please feel free to share my campaign through Facebook, Twitter or email.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! I appreciate any and all of your support.Shawn Saindon