Side Dishes: Slow Food Vermont says, “Just cook it”
The word “potluck” can sound like a warning bell: Mayonnaise-laden pasta salads and gummy Swedish meatballs ahead! But not when Slow Food Vermont  throws the party.
Chapter leader Mara Welton of Half Pint Farm  got the ball rolling last April with a potluck to which guests were asked to bring a smoked food. The event proved so popular that Slow Food introduced a series of Just Cook It potlucks  on the third Sunday of each month to allow local amateur and professional cooks to “flex their culinary muscles.”
This Sunday, foodies are invited to contribute or just eat at a potluck homage to Hervé This, the food scientist who coined the term “molecular gastronomy.”
“He popularized the use of science in the kitchen,” says Welton, who hosts the events at her Burlington home. “I’m sort of expecting this potluck to be more like a book report.”
Food scientists should also take note of a molecular gastronomy-themed potluck on September 18 and one devoted to sous-vide cooking on November 20. For those seeking projects more down to earth, the next two summer months showcase aspics and preserves.