The slow food movement comes to Temple Israel on February 7 as WRJ hosts a class about the art and culture of slow food with noted chef and Omaha native Clayton Chapman, owner of The Grey Plume.

The slow food movement began in Europe in the 1980s as a backlash against the fast-paced fast food society the Western world had become. The central tenets of slow food include using organic, locally grown produce and educating people about the unhealthy fast food many of us are used to eating.

We’re the generation that grew up on Chef Boyardee, McDonald’s, Twinkies, all this processed food that we’re finding is going to kill us,” said WRJ member Mimi Silverman, who organized the event. “Now our whole generation is going backwards and looking at organic food and things that are grown locally.”

Chef Clayton Chapman worked at M’s Pub in Omaha before attending culinary school at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. Upon graduating, Chapman traveled to Europe to “experience traditional French cuisine” before returning to Omaha and working as Executive Chef at V. Mertz at age 21. He opened The Grey Plume in December 2010 as a seasonally-driven, ecologically-friendly, locally-sourced restaurant that has garnered great acclaim from foodies and environmentalists alike.

We’re really excited about having Clayton come,” Silverman said. “He’s young, he’s exciting, he’s one of the top premiere chefs in town. We felt like slow cooking was very comforting food and that was sort of our idea, and now slow food is sort of a new movement and food is of course important to our people.”

The class on February 7, scheduled from noon to 1 p.m., is also a potluck luncheon. Attendees are asked to bring their own slow food dish to share (and 10 copies of the recipe) or a $10 donation to WRJ. Salad, bread and dessert will be provided. Those interested in attending should RSVP by emailing

“I’m hoping that they leave with a new outlook on food, that they’ll purchase things locally and think about what they’re putting in their bodies,” Silverman said. “And maybe they’ll come to my garden and eat some of my tomatoes.”