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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 31, 2008

Iowa City chef Friese reads from book on Slow Food Movement Nov. 14

Iowa City chef Kurt Michael Friese will read from "A Cook's Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland," a culinary tour of 13 states where readers are introduced to the chefs, advocates and farmers who drive the growing Slow Food Movement, at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen live via the University of Iowa Writing University Web site

The free event will be recorded for broadcast on Iowa Public Radio's "Live from Prairie Lights" series. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910 in Iowa City and WOI-AM 640 in Ames.

As an article in USA Today explained, "Slow Food aims to be everything fast food is not." Slow Food USA calls its movement, "an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment."

Erika Lesser, executive director of Slow Food USA, commented, "'A Cook's Journey' is enthusiastic and appetizing proof positive that the food of the Midwest is much more than acres of corn and covered dish. How many people know that some of America's most beloved food traditions were born in and continue to thrive in the Heartland?

"Friese's charming portraits shine a light on these traditions and give insight into the many farmers, artisans, cooks, purveyors and activists who are slowly but steadily making our food system more sustainable and delicious. Here is a voice that reminds us of the simple and deeply satisfying pleasures of the table, community, and pride of place."

The book's journeys include brick-oven cooking and traditional prosciutto in Iowa; micro-breweries in Ann Arbor and St. Louis; smoked lake trout on the shore of Lake Superior; food experts in Minnesota's twin cities and Madison, Wis.; ventures in food security and quality in Oklahoma, Nebraska and North and South Dakota; family recipes from Italy in Kansas City; and even the rebirth of Al Capone's prohibition rye whiskey in Templeton, Iowa.

Friese got his bachelor's degree in photography at Coe College before graduating from the New England Culinary Institute, where he later was a chef-instructor. He has been chef and owner, with his wife Kim McWane Friese, of Iowa City's Devotay restaurant for 12 years.

Friese founded Iowa's first Slow Food convivium, serves on the Slow Food USA National Board of Directors and is editor-in-chief and co-owner of the seasonal local food magazine Edible Iowa River Valley. His columns and photos on food, wine and travel appear regularly in local, regional and national newspapers and magazines. He is also a food correspondent for both and

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jan Weissmiller, Prairie Lights,, 319-337-2681; Winston Barclay, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0073,