Slow Food Melbourne
Becoming the Head of Slow Food Melbourne has been an exciting and illuminating experience into the higher workings of the movement….there is a great deal going on! For those of you who have not heard of Slow Food this is an exerpt from the official website;
“Founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986, Slow Food is an international association that promotes food and wine culture, but also defends food and agricultural biodiversity worldwide.
It opposes the standardisation of taste, defends the need for consumer information, protects cultural identities tied to food and gastronomic traditions, safeguards foods and cultivation and processing techniques inherited from tradition and defend domestic and wild animal and vegetable species.
Slow Food boasts 83,000 members worldwide and offices in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the USA, France, Japan, and Great Britain.
The network of Slow Food members is organized into local groups—Condotte in Italy and Convivia elsewhere in the world—which, coordinated by leaders, periodically organize courses, tastings, dinners and food and wine tourism, as well as promoting campaigns launched by the international association at a local level. More than 800 Convivia are active in 50 countries.”
Melbourne is the largest convivium in the world which is a clear reflection of our love and passion for food.
I have included the last newsletter to give you an idea of what we do.
Click here to download the Slow April News Newsletter (PDF File 154 Kb)
Long Slow Table
An initiative of Slow Food Melbourne in 2006 is Long Slow Table. The concept behind this project is to offer unique tasting and dining experiences to members who enjoy good food and wine, but who, for one reason or another, may otherwise dine alone. Victorian restaurants that take pride in serving authentic, seasonal food of a particular style or region are carefully selected by committee members, and the owners/chefs are approached to present a menu to showcase their particular food, that also encapsulates our focus on slow food.
Our inaugural Long Slow Table dinner was held at La Luna in Carlton North, in April and was a great success with 27 people enjoying wonderful food and wine amidst a really convivial atmosphere with like minded people. Our second Long Slow Table is planned for Monday May 1 at the popular authentic French restaurant in Albert Park, L’Oustal. Jerome & Annabelle Hoban have offered to open L’Oustal especially for us, for a minimum of 35 (and a maximum of 40) people. Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find the proposed menu for the evening, and the wines selected to accompany each course, together with the booking form. The cost is $65 for members and $75 for non-members. For more information on this event, please contact Mardie Whitla by email at [email protected]
We plan to offer a Long Slow Table dinner (or, occasionally, a lunch) each month, so keep an eye out for Melbourne Slow Food emails, especially if you sometimes enjoy the company of others when dining out.
Tea Tasting at Larsen & Thompson
David Thompson called to give Slow Food Melbourne a gift. The gift? Two hours of tea & terroir with India’s Top Tea Taster Krishan Kaytal. Admittedly, not knowing a great deal about tea or
having a palate for tea I went along without huge expectations.
Everyone who attended had much the same to say and Michael Daly from Melbourne Food & Wine Festival summed it well saying it was ‘Very entertaining and informative, ‘ Others commented on how inspiring Krishan was as a presenter and how extremely generous the night was. As promised it was a fascinating learning experience and left us with the ability and discernment to distinguish great tea from merely good. Thank you David!
Tomato Tasting…next week Potatoes
What a wonderful event, so low key and amazing value…some of the comments from the night. Cameron Russel from Stall 83 at the Vic market gave a fabulous presentation on tomatoes and had us tasting sensational varieties including, Green Zebra’s, Black
Russian’s White beauties and tomatillo’s. Colin & Rosa Mitchell (as was Tim Smith our host) were indispensable on the night
assisting Cameron. Rosa even brought some of her prized preserved green tomatoes and sundried tomatoes…huge hit!
Remember the seasonal tasting is 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm every third Tuesday of the month at Books for Cooks in Gertrude St. Fitzroy. Prices will vary depending on the cost of ingredients which will range from $5 to $10 per event so will be sure to book out quickly. The idea behind this event is to make
seasonal produce education and tastings available to all.
To address the specific wants and needs of our under 25 year old Slow members we formed what we have loosely called Young Slow.
Young Slow which will be headed up by Clark Mitchell will operate with all the energy and passion of the general convivium but expect the functions to be a little less formal with more hands on, lower cost and whole lot of fun.
There will be a strong educational focus and we look forward to tackling the grassroots issues. And of course all functions will be open to all members as we continue to share and learn from each other.
Call for Contributions to Snail Pace
Do you have an article you would like to contribute to Snail Pace? Are you passionate about something Slow? Inspired about the way someone is producing something you love and want others to know about it? Or perhaps you have some thoughts you would like to share…..
Then by all means start writing and send the articles to me at [email protected] and the Melbourne committee will consider them for inclusion in upcoming editions of Snail Pace.
Benefits to Slow Food members
Discounts at Books for Cooks – 10% off for Slow Food members
Peperino – Clever, exquisite hand crafted timber kitchen products – 10% for Slow Food members
Ciao Bella Tours – 5% off tours to Italy
Do you have something you would like to offer as a benefit to Slow Food Melbourne members? We would like to offer as many appropriate incentives to our members to add value to the membership. Contact [email protected] to propose your offer for inclusion.
Dates to put in your calendar
Ocha – May 21
Seasonal tastings at Books for Cooks, every third Tuesday of the month.
Trivia Night – July 2nd, Foodies come out, organize a table of ten and bring your own food and wine. Test your food and wine knowledge for a Slow Food prize and your names on the plate for posterity.
The Sticky Chocolate Proposition – August 20, at Kennedy and Wilson. A tour
showing how this world class chocolate is made here in the Dandenong’s. Then we
sample 10 chocolates hand made by Didier with Kennedy & Wilson chocolate paired with 10 stickies from R J Buller & Sons. This event is a variation of the MF&WF event that many missed out 2 years ago and those who attended would love to experience again.
Something to earmark and stay tuned for…..
The Olive Session – 100 people split into 4 groups of 25 go picking olives n the Mornington Peninsula for 3 hours and bring the olives back to the vineyard to crush the olives and press into oil. A wood fire hosts a pig for lunch and we taste the 4 separate oils and take a bottle away…..we are just waiting on a date….this will be a last minute thing due to seasonality and getting the right people organized.
A Slow Inspiring Business
At a Fig & Fennel dinner in March put on by Foofi Christi (great night!) I was invited by Emma Clarke and her partner Orio Randi to their business Pepperino . She said ‘come any day and eat with us.’
Ottavio Randi arrived in Australia from Italy in 1980, he taught his son Orio artisan furniture making skills he learned as a boy when he chose a different path from his father, a butcher. Ottavio works alongside Orio making
elaborate commissioned pieces, (some pieces take up to a year to create) and everyday they as a family, a business and community stop to eat lunch.
Everyday Orio cooks for everyone in the workshop from a make shift kitchen he apologizes for in the foyer of the shop. As we sit down to eat people who work in other shops in the lane wander in (no doubt at the invitation of the beautiful smells). They are made welcome and invited to share.
When I called Emma Thursday morning to accept the invitation , she said ‘great I’ve made a Venison ragu to go with orrechetti pasta’ …. I am salivating
already. The venison I discover at lunch is from a friend who hunts. A generous bowl of Ligurian olives sit on the table. Wine, red or white is offered. Orio prepares veal saltimbocca as the second course with a lightly dressed green salad. A goats brei style cheese wrapped in vine leaves and raffia is served to finish with the crusty epi rolls also used to soak up the juices from the veal. At the end of the meal we have a piece of chocolate and Kyran who works in the workshop makes me a cup of tea and urges me to leave the plates as he will clean up later.
The warehouse is down a little laneway behind Great Dane furniture in Prahran is set out with an eclectic mix of hand crafted furniture and modern Aboriginal art (worth the visit alone). Next to the make shift kitchen is the range of beautifully handcrafted pepper mils, chopping boards, cheese boards, risotto paddles and salt dishes, many of them works of art, all of them crafted with care like the food they share each day.
I wonder how many other non-food businesses in Australia stop to eat lunch each day made by someone who loves and knows what good real food is. I wonder how many people would find their jobs and connection with the people they work with more satisfying if they took the time, care and effort to do this even once a week. For Orio, Emma and Ottavio it is evident that it is not an effort but the way they live.
Emma advises you call before you pop in to insure someone is there.
37 Thomas Place Prahran
03 9510 0225
The Melbourne convivium look forward to seeing you at our future events and even more to connecting with you sharing Slow living at it’s best. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas. Phone preferred m:0412 098 992 ll: 9314 4131 or email [email protected]