Dana Slater, Producer of Origins: A Speaker Series
How are you involved with TasteWise Kids/Days of Taste?
I serve as a TasteWise Kids Board Member and also co-chair the Farm to Chef Maryland sponsorship committee. Initially, I became involved with TasteWise Kids by serving on the Farm to Chef Maryland committee. Farm to Chef Maryland is TWK’s largest annual fundraiser and brings together farms and chefs for an iron chef-like friendly culinary competition. Initially, I served on the judging committee and loved the process of inviting community members to participate as judges at our annual fundraiser. My wonderful co-chair Lena Denison and I have been leading the Farm to Chef sponsorship committee now for several years.
What is your job and/or how are you involved in the food scene in Maryland?
I produce a monthly speaker series in conjunction with Chef Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact Coffee, Parts & Labor, et al) and his team called ORIGINS, a speaker series. The series features farmers, fisherman, producers, food historians and focuses on the local food movement in the Chesapeake Foodshed. The series is recorded and uploaded as a podcast to Heritage Public Radio (Origins: A Speaker Series). There is a real “hunger” for learning about where our food comes from and we hope to educate as many people as we can about our wonderful local food scene. I am interested in teaching the next generation about the origins of “real” food and the Days of Taste Program does exactly that!
In your opinion, what makes Days of Taste and TasteWise Kids so special?
In my opinion, what makes Days of Taste and TasteWise Kids special is the connection between the chefs, the farmers and the kids. The Days of Taste curriculum exposes kids to professional chefs (some of the best in the area!) and working farmers in a very low-key fun way. Most of the kids we engage have never made their own salads much less their own salad dressing from scratch. I wish I had been exposed to the Days of Taste program when I was in 4th grade!
What is your favorite vegetable?
My favorite vegetable is asparagus, the 1st taste of spring!
If you could travel to any city in the world for a "food trip", where would you go?
If I could travel to any city, it would be Tokyo. I love sushi and sashimi and would love to visit Japan. Tokyo is the top city among culinary destinations in 30 countries covered by Michelin, followed by Paris.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Soups — They’re easy to assemble, lots of variety, can be very healthy and last for several days!
When you ask the bartender for "the usual", what is it?
I love the resurgence of prohibition-era cocktails as well as the craft cocktail scene. I am very impressed by the number of wonderful bars (and bartenders!) that have sprung up in Baltimore over the last few years.