Anlässlich des „Pioneers of Change“-Festivals („a festival of Dutch design, fashion, and architecture hosted in eleven abandoned former officers' houses as part of NY400, the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage to what would eventually become New Amsterdam“) haben sie dort ein „Slow Food Café“ eröffnet, in dem man sich erstmal die Schuhe auszieht, herzlichst begrüßt wird und Essen mit Herz von älteren Herrschaften serviert bekommt.
So weit, so schön, der Knaller sind aber die Holzteller: Dort wird desto mehr von angerichtet, desto näher der Ursprungsort der Zutat zum Café liegt. Und so gibt's am meisten von der auf der Terasse gezüchteten Kresse und am wenigsten vom Millionen Meilen entfernten Sternenstaub. Wunderbar!
The "Go Slow Café" offers a different kind of "slow food," in which elderly people of New York (volunteers!) prepare and serve food slowly, with attention and care. Its aim is to accentuate ordinary aspects of dining and eating for "a renewed appreciation of details and processes."
Upon entering, you're suggested to wear the provided slippers. Upon sitting down, you're greeted warmly and told that you'll be treated as though you were "visiting our grandmother's for dinner." The tranquil setting and deliberately slow pace transform the dining experience: for example, tea bags are hand-sewn, the mint tea must be steeped, walnuts are presented and cracked to order, even the cutlery is a challenging impediment, causing you to struggle a bit with your food.
The menu and the wooden plate visualizes and physically expresses transport and distance: local food is served in generous portions and food, while ingredients from far away are served in progressively smaller portions. At the most local level (and the largest portion), is baby cress: grown on-site and literally worn by the staff on their aprons, it's clipped and combined with mustard greens from the recently hip Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Then on to cheese from Tennessee, ham from Kentucky, walnuts from Chile, olives from Turkey, a lychee from China, butter from Russia, and finally, star dust.