National Commission


Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware

Mimi Edelman
Mimi Edelman has been a volunteer with Slow Food USA for nearly 14 years both in chapter leadership and as co-chair of the Northeast New England Ark of Taste committee. Mimi operates I and Me farm on leased land in Westchester County, NY. Stewarding the land with organic and biodynamic practices, the farm partners with chefs invested in a RSA (Restaurant Supported Agriculture) collaboration. From sourcing responsible seed to harvest the chef’s and staff become a vital part of the season experiencing both its rewards and challenges.

Mimi is the founder of the Westchester Growers Alliance a network of regional farms that aspires to strengthen and empower agriculture in the community. She also works in food justice, farm based education, and horticulture therapy.

Jeff Quattrone |
Jeff Quattrone is an artist and activist who founded the Library Seed Bank in 2014 where he works with public libraries and community groups to establish seed lending libraries in southern New Jersey. Since then, hes established four seed libraries, and three more are pending. Jeff consulted on another with GMO Free NJ who are now establishing seed libraries on their own.

Jeff is a Community Seed Organizer with the Community Seed Resource Program through Seed Savers Exchange and Seed Matters and presents sustainability workshops through the Stockton Center of Successful Aging at Stockton University in Pomona, NJ. Jeff also consults with Stockton on their campus community garden. Jeff has a B.A. is in the fine arts, and recently blended his art and activism with a series of propaganda posters about food sovereignty, and local heirloom varieties of food.


Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida

David Shields
Dr. David S. Shields is the Carolina Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina and the Chairman of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation. His scholarship explores three fields: early American literary culture, American performing arts photography and food studies. His history Southern Provisions: the Creation and Revival of a Cuisine (University of Chicago 2015), chronicles the emergence in the 1800s of a distinctive set of foodways along the southeastern coast of the United States. As Chair of the CGR Foundation, Shields provided the research enabling Glenn Roberts and Dr. Brian Ward to recover and put into commercial production classic southern ingredients, such as benne, sea island white flint corn, purple straw wheat, purple ribbon sugar cane, the Carolina African runner peanut and the Bradford watermelon. In autumn 2017 the University of Chicago Press will publish his collection of 175 biographical sketches, The Culinarians: Lives and Careers for the first Age of American Fine Dining.

Since 2013 Dr. Shields has chaired Slow Foods Ark of Taste committee for the South. Besides his work in Food Studies, Shields has published extensively in the fields of Early American cultural history and the history of photography. His 2013 volume Still: American Silent Motion Picture Photography won the Browne award as the most significant single work published in the field of American popular culture in that year. He is the sole author or editor of eleven books and he edited the scholarly journal Early American Literature for a decade. In 2016 he won the Southern Foodways Alliances Keeper of the Flame Award.


Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota

Jennifer Breckner |
Jennifer Breckner is a writer, educator, event producer and public speaker at the juncture of food, beer, art and culture. She combines her background in nonprofit management and art history with her passion as an enthusiastic eater, avid cook, amateur gardener and sustainable food advocate and has worked with organizations including The Art Institute of Chicago, The James Beard Foundation, Chicago Humanities Festival and Food Tank.

For nearly a decade shes served as a Slow Food leader, first as a Chicago chapter leader where she led the Farm Roast, the annual fundraiser featuring Ark of Taste dishes created by local chefs. Breckner is currently chair of the Midwest Ark of Taste committee, promoting agriculture biodiversity through the Slow Food Ark of Taste. Passionate about craft beer, she was appointed an American delegate to Slow Food Internationals Terra Madre conference in 2012 and 2014 where she participated in a host of beer tasting workshops that opened up her interest in the culture, history and gastronomical potential of this beverage. Breckner is lead events ambassador for Brooklyn Brewery in Chicago leading taste education workshops and promoting the brewerys portfolio at events around the city. Continuing her dedication to the good food movement she recently became a member of Chicagos venerable Green City Market Junior Board.

Rocky Mountain Southwest

Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona

Gay Chanler
Gay Chanler is a professionally trained chef by trade, with an MA in cultural anthropology from Northern Arizona University.

She is a former a Slow Food USA chapter co-leader in Flagstaff, AZ and served as Presidium Coordinator for traditional Navajo sheepherders who raise the vanishing heritage breed, the Navajo-Churro sheep. This nine year project brought the Navajo-Churro lamb to regional restaurants and CSAs, and led to the film A Gift From Talking God- the story of the Navajo-Churro sheep, which she co-produced. She is a gardener of Ark of Taste vegetables, has been a culinary instructor, writes about food for Edible Phoenix magazine and loves to cook for friends and family.

Marilyn Noble
It was a four-hour, nine-course dinner with Italian cousins in a small town outside of Venice that first introduced Marilyn Noble to the concept of Slow Food. One of the cousins turned to her and said, This is how eating should be slooow. Slow Food its what we do here in Italy. Not only does Marilyn embrace the idea of a long enjoyable meal with good friends and family, she is passionate about the concept of good, clean and fair food, as well. Marilyn joined the Slow Food Denver board in early 2009 and served as the Board Chair in 2013-14. During that time, she helped the chapter grow and evolve into the premier food organization in the Denver Metro area. SFD is best known for the school garden program, but their outreach has extended into the community through the CAF microgrant program; the farm tour series; cooking, canning and baking classes; and close collaborations with other organizations such as Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Urban Gardens, Grow Local, History Colorado and many others. In addition to her work with Slow Food Denver, Marilyn is the co-chair of the Slow Food Southwest/Mountain Ark of Taste committee.

In her professional life, Marilyn is the communications director for American Grassfed Association, in addition to being a writer and book editor. She is the author of four best-selling cookbooks, and her articles have appeared in numerous magazines and online including Huffington Post and CNN.



Peter Ruddock
Peter Ruddock is a sustainable food advocate and small business consultant. He is working toward creating a more sustainable world, by changing the way we interact with our environment and with each other. He concentrates on food systems change, because given that everyone eats everyone should be able to relate to a healthier, more sustainable food system.

He believes that there are four areas where he can best work on fostering this change: educating people about sustainability; creating a resilient local economy; creating vibrant local communities; and changing policies to foster such changes. He is active in a number of grass-roots non-profits to help accomplish these goals: Slow Food, Slow Money, Transition Palo Alto, and the San Mateo County Food System Alliance. He is the Coordinator of the California Food Policy Council. And he is also a co-founder of EcoFarms new Diversity Advisory Group, which is working to make the EcoFarm Conference a more diverse and inclusive place.

Pacific Northwest and Hawaii

Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii

Cheryl Brock
Cheryl served on the Slow Food Portland, Oregon steering committee for five years, including three years as chair. With the group, she focused on continuing to build the network of farmers, chefs, food activists and eaters through partnerships, programming, community outreach and education. Providing opportunities for others to learn more about our food system and become co-producers attracted her to Slow Food.

Her career in marketing and leadership of art and cultural nonprofits took her to communities throughout the Pacific Northwest, then to Flagstaff, Arizona. She moved to Portland to get back into the rain, and now has a garden full of herbs and vegetables. Cheryl continues to serve nonprofits and educational organizations through consulting in program management, fund development and communications. Her volunteer interests include mentoring youth on healthy cooking and planting trees throughout the urban area.

Laurie Carlson
My background in Slow Food is quite varied; having served as a chapter founder, leader, board member, promoter, event coordinator and now governor. I have been involved in grassroots food movement in Hawaii for more than forty years. I managed and grew the first natural foods co-op in Hawaii in the 70s and 80s. I worked to establish a law so that consumer co-ops could incorporate under Hawaii state statutes. Following my work at the co-op, I attended graduate school at Yale, earning a masters degree and public and private management. Upon return to Hawaii, I founded and published for 23 years an award-winning alternative newspaper, Honolulu Weekly, which was the first to cover the GMO story in Hawaii, among other food related topics.

I worked with the food sector of the Hawaii Green Growth group for the past five years, which has lead to food sustainability goals for each Hawaii county, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the University of Hawaii system and the state as a whole. This year, I have several local food projects that are moving forward. I completed a market survey for a producers breadfruit co-op on the island (an Ark of Taste food) of Hawaii. I am working with Hawaii SEED and the Waimea Valley Arboretum to re-establish native Hawaiian bananas, (another Ark of Taste category) which are nearly extinct. We have collected tissue samples that are virus free and have a lab propagating them for farm distribution state-wide. Eventually we will create a banana festival to publicize and popularize this work. I will complete my master gardeners training this month. I will be working with the College of Tropical Ag in several areasseed exchanges, bee keeping and various promotions.

Gerry Warren
Professionally, Gerry is a retired Clinical Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Washington Medical School. He is a past president of the Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest, chaired its judging of Northwest wines and is founding chair of the Auction of Northwest Wines. He and his wife Diane organic garden, enjoy cooking and have been wine making for 45 years. Gerry judges at wine competitions in the Northwest and California.

He is founder and a past co-leader of the Seattles Slow Food chapter in 1997 and is a chapter board member. He is Slow Food State Governor of Washington. He has remained involved in the Ark of Taste and Presidia activities since their inception in 1997. You can contact him at: 206-818-5366 or send him an email.

The USA National Ark Commission is currently being formed.

For more information, please contact at