Mara Welton co-owns and operates 2-acre Half Pint Farm with her husband Spencer in Burlington's Intervale. Mara farms because she loves good food - and started her specialty veggie farm in 2003 to provide Vermont with locally grown niche produce. Mara loves that farming keeps her grounded, inspired, and eating the best possible food everyday! Mara brings to Slow Food Vermont a passion for food and traditional foodways, enthusiasm for the process of seed to plate, exciting and educational event planning and general good organizational skills, and an ability to trust and empower her fellow board members to keep Slow Food Vermont always engaging. When Mara is not farming, she is: running, experimenting in the kitchen, reading about food, snuggling with her dachshunds, traveling abroad, speaking at conferences, entertaining, and pining for the growing season.
Chris Howell runs Vermont Farm Tours, a culinary tour outfit based in Burlington. He came to Vermont in 2001 to study geography and sculpture at Middlebury College and fell in love. Chris is an avid community gardener and co-founder of Grow Team ONE, a series of gardens in Burlington’s Old North End. His passion for sharing Vermont’s agricultural story has it’s roots in a trip to Terra Madre in 2006: Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, addressed food producers from around the world, “Your story—the one we can taste, touch, smell, and see—is one of the most valuable assets to humankind.” Whew! When he’s not leading culinary tours around Vermont, Chris works as a carpenter, plays outside, and makes art. Chris is the Vice President for Slow Food VT.
After growing up in central Vermont and leaving at eighteen looking for bigger and better things, Pam Chomsky-Higgins spent over thirty years working with children as a classroom teacher. She has returned to Burlington to work with educators all around the state to support them in developing and refining their instructional skills in the area of literacy. Pam loves to cook, to try new and interesting ingredients, and to search out and support local growers and producers. Because of her background in education, she has enjoyed sharing her food related knowledge and experiences with others in a variety of forums. Pam has a wonderful circle of friends with the same interests so cooking together is a special and frequent occurrence. She has such admiration for the farmers and producers of exquisite food here in Vermont. She has found that many “bigger and better” things can be found right in her own backyard. Pam is Secretary on the Slow Food VT board.
Jen Smith is the pastry chef at The Nomadic Oven, a Burlington pastry bakery inspired by global food traditions. She trained by apprenticing at San Francisco Bay-area pastry shops while pursuing a linguistics degree at UC Berkeley. Her interest in food and traditional culture drew her to Slow Food, and she attended Terra Madre 2010 as a Vermont delegate. As she only bakes in the Summer, Jen spends the winter writing, tapping maple trees, and travelling. On a recent trip to Mexico she saw a wooden frog whose belly was painted with an apt motto: Si muero y vuelvo a nacer, panadero quiero ser. If I die and am reborn, I want to be a baker! Learn more about Jen's baking and writing at The Nomadic Oven. Jen is the Treasurer for Slow Food VT.
As an adjunct to a 5 acre organic market garden that Gene Fialkoff ran over 30 years ago, he supplemented his veggies with free range eggs, VT maple syrup and cheeses and locally crafted foods to create " New England Organic " with a motto: " back to our roots ". This business grew into a full line natural foods distributor with 5,000 items, 50 employees, and trucks covering all 6 NE states, NY. and NJ. Along the way he developed the brand "New Morning" - Oatios, Fruiteeos, graham crackers and more - which still are on grocery shelves across the US. Now, he’s more back to his roots with a home and a 4-season garden. Gene is the Co-Partnership Coordinator and 1 of 3 members working on Snail Of Approval for Slow Food Vermont. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hugo is the owner of A Little Peruvian based out of Montpelier, Vermont. Every weekend he brings Peruvian cuisine to the Burlington and Montpelier Farmers’ markets. In addition to the market stand, A little Peruvian offers catering, culinary tours in Peru, and is launching a line of bottled beverages.
Hugo has been foodie for as long as he can remember. His earliest memories include hiding in the pantry of his mother’s café in Peru, gorging on food. Previous to launching his food business he worked as an environmentalist, a cheese monger, and a barista. Hugo is passionate about feeding people, spreading Peruvian cuisine in the States, and supporting Vermont’s local food system. Hugo is Membership Coordinator and 1 of the 3 members in the Snail of Approval Committee.
Jessica Bongard is the owner of Sweet Lime Cooking Studio. She is a Vermont native graduated from UVM with a degree in Plant and Soil Science. Her love of plants inspired interests in wine education from the American Sommelier Association in NYC, and vegetarian cuisine at Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca NY. When she began traveling regularly in 2007 she found how powerful it was to speak the language of food, and found this is a language we all speak. It's this language she shares at her cooking studio in Jericho, Vermont. Jess spends most of her time thinking about food, taking photos of food, and writing about food. When she's not doing those things, she's eating. Jessica is the Social Media Coordinator for Slow Food VT.
Chris Wagner is the Market Manager for the Burlington Farmers Market as well as the Executive Chef at the Willard Street Inn in Burlington. During the summer months he also works part time at Half Pint Farm in the Intervale. Chris is not a native Vermonter but he got here as soon as he could, moving to Burlington in 2004. Chris has always been surrounded by food and cooking but never truly appreciated the connections that food has and can create until moving to Vermont and getting involved with the Vermont culinary and agriculture scene. He became involved in Slow Food Vermont in 2010 and in 2011 joined the Board. He is the Regional Captain Coordinator and is spearheading the Earth Market project for Burlington. Having three jobs doesn't leave a lot of free time but when he's not working, he's exploring some back roads of Vermont with his dog, Thalia.
Martha Franklin is a Chef Instructor at New England Culinary Institute. Her passions are cooking, learning and teaching others about local sustainable food...which is a perfect match for her at home or work! She is a huge follower of the "eat local" mantra and is excited to reflect the importance of this while teaching. Along with gardening, supporting local farmers, vendors and businesses, she is also an avid reader and is always searching for new exciting recipes to incorporate into her work or home life. Martha is the Regional Captain for Montpelier, VT.
Stephan Cantor owns and operates Deep Mountain Maple, a maple farm business, together with her husband Howard Cantor. Since 1985 the Cantors have sold their maple products in New York City at the Union Square Greenmarket and other Greenmarkets around New York, and they have been proud to be part of the tremendous growth of farmer’s markets nationwide. They strive to represent Vermont well every week, year round with delicious maple syrup and fine maple candies. Stephan lives and works in West Glover, in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom and at the heart of some of the most exciting things happening today in pursuit of better food systems and of food that is good, clean, and fair. She is an anthropologist by inclination and training, whose scholarly interests are focused on food culture and the histories of foods and food ways, including maple sugar. Stephan has been affiliated with Slow Food USA since 2000, when she led a maple Tasting Event at the first convocation of Slow Food New York. Since then she has been a delegate to Terra Madre (2010), and is currently very excited to energize Slow Food in northeastern Vermont as Slow Food VT’s Northeast Kingdom Regional Captain.
Eagle’s Flight Farm owner Elizabeth Frank is passionate about permaculture, growing organic nutrient dense food, sharing her internationally influenced vegetarian creations from the kitchen and “bringing people together around the table”. Prior to landing in Vermont 12 years ago, Elizabeth had a gourmet catering business in Boston. She is currently working towards creating a nature based learning center and off grid “Community Café” at her farm on Lake Champlain in Orwell, Vermont. She is Slow Food VT's Western/Central Vermont Regional Captain. 802.948.2840