About five years ago, filmmaker Douglas Gayeton began recording foodway traditions in the town of Pistoia, Italy for a project he was doing with PBS. While most Pistorians had never heard of Slow Food, Gayeton observed that they were in fact exemplars of the movement’s basic principles. So he focused his camera on his friends and neighbors, discovering many stories along the way. I first saw Dougals Gayeton’s sepia-toned photographs exhibited at the Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco last year. Intending to only pop into the gallery in between tastings, I soon found myself held captive by the intoxicating blend of image and narrative, each photograph pulling me deeper into the life of a small Tuscan village. An hour later, I stumbled out of the gallery, blinked at the San Francisco fog and headed straight to the Cheese Pavilion, my body, heart and mind craving something simple and authentic to match that full-on immersion into Tuscan life.
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