Every other year, thousands of farmers, chefs and culinary educators gather in Torino, Italy for the

convention to celebrate and discuss food sustainability. Their mission is to facilitate conversation and raise awareness for the traditional rural farmers and their techniques. This year, you can help local delegates with their travel costs simply by dining at one of many restaurants across town (see below). A portion of your check will go to

, which in turn will send it to delegates to help them across the pond.---

In 2006, Slow Food Santa Fe board member Kim Müller headed all the way to Italy for the Terra Madre convention. She joined delegates from over 150 countries who included chefs, farmers, food producers and activists from across the globe.

New Mexico's delegates have been chosen from the local restaurants, farms and classrooms. Among them is Emigdio Ballon, a plant geneticist who spends his time as president of the Institute of Natural and Traditional Knowledge and co-founder of the Seeds of Change movement, which spreads 100 percent organic seeds through their online store.

“Italy’s the only country that does these kind of events,” Carol Shriver, board member of Slow Food Santa Fe, says. And for good reason. Farmers in Italy have been struggling to compete with the agro-industrial giants like China and Vietnam for decades. Terra Madre uses the voices of these small-time businesses as a cornerstone for a public forum centered around the changing world of food distribution. The conference's ultimate goal is to encourage “good, clean and fair” food that uses tradition and local food-producers to distinguish itself from convenience food.

This year's convention brings together 5,000 farmers alongside 2,000 chefs, authors and educators. Slow Food is bringing together Santa Fe folks with tonight's Dine Out, as well as events throughout the fall, including a Cooking with Kids brunch and a Day of the Dead party next month.

So go out there and do what you love: eat at local restaurants. Don't forget to tell your waitstaff that you're participating. Your stomach and your heart will thank you.

Wednesday, Sept. 15

Bumble Bee's Baja Grill

301 Jefferson St.


Bumble Bee's Baja Grill

3777 Cerrillos Rd.


Il Piatto

95 W. Marcy St.


Joe's Diner

2801 Rodeo Rd.


La Boca

72 W. Marcy St.


Second Street Brewery

1814 Second St.


Second Street Brewery

The Railyard



709 Don Cubero Alley