Mimi Iannuzzi hails from a New York farming family on her father’s side, and a French immigrant chef on her mother’s side. Honoring and protecting the food system has been a generational rite of passage in her family. Mimi headed an elementary school In New York’s Westchester County for thirty years where a cafeteria with a chef did local sourcing and a school garden flourished. During her time in New York, Mimi was a supporting member of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, established to work toward improving the way America eats and farms. Mimi continues her passion for local sourcing and natural organic practices here in Florida, teaming with Marcia MacPherson to develop, launch and direct the Slow Food First Coast Snail of Approval Program as well as creating the first Tour de Farm in Northeast Florida.
She is an active contributor to numerous not for profit charities in St. Augustine coordinating several large charity fundraisers yearly.
Kurt M. D’Aurizio can’t recall when he started cooking. “It seems like I’ve been doing it all my life”, Kurt says. This love of food and cooking has driven him through his 30 year career in fine dining.
Kurt attended culinary school in New York and began working in fine dining. He gained knowledge in Rochester’s best restaurants before started his own catering and special events company. After three successful years he relocated to Atlanta to work as executive chef for Fifth Group Restaurants. During his time in Atlanta, Kurt received accolades and awards, serving his cuisine to sports stars, celebrities, politicians, and former presidents.
After five years in Atlanta, Kurt relocated to Myrtle Beach, SC and took over as Director of Cuisine for the 20 unit Divine Dining Group He oversaw six restaurant opening and revitalized existing concepts, working with a team of talented chefs and managers. Family brought Kurt to Jacksonville where he has taken the reigns of Mitchell’s Fish Market in the St. John Town Center.
Kurt’s cuisine is shaped by his belief in seasonal menus, the freshest product available, the best product available, and bringing new ideas to the marketplace. Chef Kurt seeks out local farmers, fishermen, and gourmet food producers to put the best product forward. He is a member of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Slow Food, and other grass roots culinary associations.
Dr. Leslie G. Kaplan, Acting Director of the Honors Program at the University of North Florida, holds a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in English and Philosophy, a Master’s degree from Oxford University in Middle English Literature, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Folklore and Folklife. She is involved with several community organizations focused on food, education, culture, and community, including Children’s International Summer Villages, the Jacksonville Obesity Coalition, and the Slow Food Movement. She has been teaching classes on food and culture since 2003 and has been running a successful nutrition education program at a local public elementary school since 2006.
Following a career in clinical nursing and health education, Marcia has maintained an active interest in foods and their impact on health promotion. She has served as a board member for Alternatives for Battered Women (a not-for-profit organization in Rochester NY). She continues to volunteer with the American Red Cross and as a Rape Victim Advocate for the Betty Griffin House (domestic violence and rape crisis services in St Augustine FL). Marcia has played an active role in Slow Food First Coast (SFFC) since its inception. She assisted in the development and currently Co-Director of the Snail of Approval program and has shared directorship of the SFFC Tour de Farm (2011 & 2012).
Mary Ann recently retired from the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville, FL as an Assistant Director of Marketing, now working as a web marketing specialist for Aaron Rosenthal, at Thought Projects, LLC., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
While with UNF, Mary Ann worked on university identity, alumni events and fundraising efforts as well as brand standards. She was the President and Co-President of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Jacksonville chapter; Fellow of the AIGA, Jacksonville chapter; and Advisory Board of the AIGA Jacksonville Chapter.
Mary Ann is also co-owner with husband Bill, of the St. Augustine Antique Emporium at 62 San Marco, St. Augustine, FL, and Vintage St. Augustine.
Tracy has been the Treasurer of Slow Food First Coast since 2011, but has been involved with the organization since 2009, when, as a member of a local community farmers market, she worked to encourage Slow Food’s participation at the market to educate the public about their mission. From that, she was recruited to organize Slow Food’s “Time for Lunch” campaign, whose purpose was to lobby Congress to increase the funding for the National School Lunch Program. Since then, she has worked as a volunteer for the first Tour de Farm event and then went on to be a Regional Coordinator for the second Tour in 2012. This is the event that she loves the most, because it brings people out to see where their food is grown and gets them to meet their local farmer.
Tracy’s passion for good, clean, fair food began with the birth of her first daughter, over 10 years ago. Since then, she has grown increasingly involved in food issues and is pleased to see the response to Slow Food First Coast by the community.
In addition to her board position with SFFC, Tracy also volunteers for her daughters’ elementary school and works part-time for her CSA, KYV Farm.
Between working for other businesses and starting her own web design/development and web marketing business (red vine web studio), Nicki has always had a passion for marketing; specifically in the digital world. For over 5 years, Nicki has been working towards connecting businesses with their customers online through SEO, blogging, social media, and other web marketing tactics.
From fitness to food, Nicki has always held a natural, local, and healthy outlook on life, so joining the Slow Food family seemed like a no-brainer!