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Slow Food Miami's Snail of Approval Tasting Party: Eat Locally, Start a Movement

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Slow Food Miami is holding its second annual Snail of Approval tasting party this Friday, March 15, at the James Royal Palm Hotel. From 7 to 10 p.m., the nonprofit group dedicated to advancing the local slow-food movement will honor Miami restaurants that have won the coveted Snail of Approval, a designation bestowed upon eateries that use local purveyors and farms and strive to use sustainable food in their dishes.

The tasting party will feature Slow Food Miami's 2012 and 2013 winners, including 1500 Degrees at Eden Roc, Copperbox Culinary Atelier, the Dutch, Eating House, Edge Steak & Bar, Essensia at the Palms, the Federal, Harry's Pizzeria, Haven, Lido at the Standard, Lokal, Ocean Reef Club, Tuyo, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, and Yardbird Southern Table & Bar.

In addition to the food, 2013 Snail winners Titanic Brewery and the Abbey will conduct beer tastings.

Following the tasting, a VIP afterparty hosted by Florida Cookery, with special guest Hedy Goldsmith from Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, will honor 2014 nominees Kris Wessel and Matt Hinckley of Boxpark. The afterparty takes place from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Tickets for the tasting cost $85, VIP tickets (for both tasting and afterparty) cost $165. Both are available through Brown Paper Tickets.

Slow

Food Miami will use all proceeds from the event to help local schools

and communities grow edible gardens. SFM president Renee Frigo Graeff told Short Order that it costs about $625 to plant a four-foot-by-eight-foot garden in a school. "We'll do more than one garden per school,

usually," noting that sometimes each grade will have its own garden to

take care of. "We believe that when the students plant their own food,

they become attached to the produce. It makes them want to eat healthy."

Graeff

explained another project that involves planting gardens inside

people's backyards. "There are several gardens like this in the West

Grove. We choose families that ideally have some gardening experience,

but ultimately it's really not difficult to maintain a garden. This is

part of an urban renewal program. We try to bring communities together

and connect with food."

The organization, composed solely of

volunteers, is constantly seeking sponsors, new members, and people to get their hands dirty and help plant. Graeff would like all of Miami to get involved in the movement. "Everyone can pitch in. Membership is just $25. That

buys a start toward a garden, and corporations can sponsor an entire school or community. It's a great way to give back to the city we live in."

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

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