Three Slow Food Waitakere members chosen to represent New Zealand at Terra Madre 2008 in Italy.
Chef Claire Inwood form Piha and growers Aldo and Mary-Ann Di Cesare from Te Atatu Peninsula will be travelling to Turin, Italy, in October to attend Terra Madre – a biannual event that brings together 5000 producers, farmers, fishers and food artisans, along with 1000 cooks, 500 academics and 1000 students from 150 countries worldwide.
Terra Madre offers the opportunity to spend five days networking with other nations, attending workshops and conferences, and discussing the major themes. The event is organised by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestries, the Cooperation for Development Department of the Italian Foreign Ministry, the Piedmont Regional Authority, the City of Turin and Slow Food in collaboration with Coldiretti Piemonte and Fondazione CRT, and it will look at food from various aspects – production, the environment, taste, worker rights and consumer safety. Participants will also visit the Salone del Gusto, the world's largest artisan food marketplace, in Turin from 23–27 October 2008.
Claire Inwood has been catering in Waitakere for many years, from weddings to small events to exhibition openings at the Corban Estate Art Centre. She is also a cooking teacher and an artist, best known for her handmade Pacifica dolls, crafted from recycled materials and native flax.
Mary-Ann and Aldo Di Cesare are salad producers for Ecopac, of which Aldo is also CEO, and for many other brands. They are regular stall holders at the Oratia Farmers Market. Mary-Ann and Aldo are keen sportspeople, and both are champion swimmers with a long history of involvement in the Waitakere City Masters.
Claire, Mary-Ann and Aldo are members of Slow Food Waitakere, the Waitakere City branch of Slow Food International. They will be representing New Zealand, and specifically Waitakere, and will be accompanied by 10 more delegates from different regions of New Zealand, including 8 Maori representatives.
Slow Food, founded in 1986, is an international organisation whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenisation of modern fast food and life. Though a variety of initiatives it promotes gastronomic culture, develops taste education, conserves agricultural biodiversity and protects traditional foods at risk of extinction. It now boasts over 86,000 members in 130 countries.