RIO VISTA -- An upcoming Delta festival offers foodies a chance to learn how to prepare goat and lamb, produce honey, make preserves, grow a vegetable garden and understand the benefits of goat cheese.

Rio Vista's second annual Slow Food Festival celebrates farm fresh foods and foods that are produced locally. The June 22 event will feature keynote speaker Richard Collins, who is the president of a Rio Vista company that is the sole U.S. producer of Belgian-style endive lettuce and sells at least 4 million pounds of endive annually.

"We hold this festival to bring awareness to the idea of good, clean and fair food in Rio Vista and the Delta region," said organizer Janith Norman. "We play such an integral role with our agriculture as we highlight healthy eating."

Another keynote speaker will be Jeanne McCormack from McCormack Sheep and Grain, which supplies sheep and grain throughout Northern California and beyond. She will discuss how to select lamb for cooking.

With a concept of farm to fork, the Slow Food Festival will feature culinary demonstrations, eight wineries from Lodi and the Suisun Valley pouring and discussing their grape varietals, honey producers, chocolatiers, Solano County Master Gardeners, organic farmers touting the benefits of eating organically and barbecue chefs showing how to prepare pork in a healthy way. Last year's event drew about 250 people, according to Norman.

"Our featured speakers will educate us on the benefits of preparing food straight from the farm," she said. "It is really a great way to support the slow food movement and highlight all of the foods here."

The slow food movement is about people going back to basics for healthy living, Norman noted. In addition to educating the public, the event will raise money for local food banks. Along with food and information, there will be an art exhibit, raffles, musical entertainment and the Trilogy Soul Line Dancers.

The popular homemade cherry pie contest will return with honors for first, second and third place.

"It is what we do here in California," Norman said. "I think people are looking at health as an issue."

Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.

IF you GO
The Slow Food Festival will take place Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 45 Main Street in Rio Vista. Tickets cost $30 at the event or $25 in advance and include food and wine tasting and commemorative wine glass. For more information, call 707-374-6118 or visit www.slowfoodriovista.org.