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Slow Food Orange County Barbeque
Bommer Canyon
Irvine, CA
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Slow Food Orange County Barbeque
Prior to the main event will be an optional short loop hike at 3:00 pm, guided by a docent from the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.  Bommer Canyon is not generally open to the public and is the site of the old Irvine Ranch Cattle Camp. Some of the original structures exist today, adding to the rustic feel of the Canyon. Bommer Canyon is also an important preservation area for many local plants and wildlife, including several endangered species. Hike distance will be one mile on the Nature Trail and Corral loops and will last about one hour. It is a very easy hike and suitable for all ages and abilities. There will be several stops during the hike that will focus on food plants that are native to the Orange County region. We will see, smell, and hopefully taste (there should be berries at this time of year) plants that are edible for wildlife and humans, incorporating Native American uses and relevance to the modern world.

The barbeque will begin at 5:00pm and will be prepared by Chef Thomas Ryan, Executive Chef of the Big Canyon Country Club, and a team of Slow Food members and culinary students from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.  The main course will be chicken from Marys Organic Free-Range Chickens in Fresno, CA. Mary's Free-Range Chickens are produced by Pitman Farms, a family-owned business that has been raising poultry for three generations.  Mary's Organic Free-Range Chickens grow naturally with plenty of room to roam in a caring environment.   At the barbeque, the chicken will be marinated and slowly cooked on an open fire.

The meal will also feature heirloom beans, fresh spring white corn on the cob (fresh from the farmers market and grilled over an open fire), organic green salad with vinaigrette dressing, freshly-baked corn bread, and seasonal fruit for dessert.  There will be a vegetarian main course available as well, and select wines are included in the ticket price, selected by the wine buyer for Trader Joes.  Seating will be family-style and trivia questions and lively conversation will be plentiful.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit Slow Food Orange County and the Monkey Business Caf.  Slow Food is an international member-supported non-profit organization. Its aim is to spread food culture, to develop sensory and taste education, to protect biodiversity and to promote quality in food, the environment and social life. Slow Food wants good, clean and fair food to be accessible to, and appreciated, by all.  

The Monkey Business Caf is a program of Hart Community Homes, a residential community for boys age 13-18 in foster care system.  Youth aging-out of the foster care system at the age of 18 without adequate independent living skills has been a growing national concern for decades.  Monkey Business Caf, a non-profit social enterprise, was opened in August 2005 in direct response to the need for further support.  Monkey Business Caf offers a six-month paid job training program.  Participants work one-on-one with a job coach to foster a pathway to success that includes work experience, employability skills and living skills.  Employees of the Monkey Business Caf will help to staff the barbeque.  

The event is graciously sponsored by Slow Food Orange County, with contributing sponsors Whole Foods Market and Trader Joes.  Ticket price includes dinner and wine.  Be sure to purchase tickets in advance, as space is strictly limited and there will be no on-site ticket sales.

Come to the Slow Food Orange County Barbeque, enjoy the rustic setting of Bommer Canyon, dine on delicious, sustainable fare, make new friends and learn about the Slow Food movement!

For more information about the barbeque or Slow Food, contact Roger McErlane, President of the Orange County convivium, at



Bommer Canyon
One Bommer Canyon Road
Irvine, CA
United States

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Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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