Slow Food, founded in 1986, is an international organization whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenization 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 100,000 members in 153 countries.


Slow Food Auckland, formerly Slow Food Waitakere, is registered as a charitable entity. Registration Number: CC38263, please click here to read our Rules and Regulations

Friday, July 17, 2009

Town and Country Roadhouse Lunch

Town and Country Roadhouse Lunch



The day was wet – just your typical Waitakere wet, with everything glistening around you full of raindrops, but nothing actually falling from the sky. We entered Dave and Barbara’s property and drove down the long driveway – the beginning of a day that was dominated by wood, warmth and wonderful people.


The first sight was of Dave and Barbara in the kitchen. Beyond them, through the stained glass window, a beautiful crab apple tree bereft of leaves, but still with large hanging red fruit. We left the mingling aromas of chicken, fennel and coriander and moved through the dining room into the ‘red lounge’ where the fireplace featured as the focal point and every one gathered as Dave gave us a wonderful insight into life in the 1940’s and 1950’s in Waitakere and in particular his mother’s Town and Country Roadhouse.


The family names of the people in Dave’s life were all names we remembered – the Gardners, the Bethells, the Parr family and the Clark’s who, to this day, mean the roots of west Auckland.But the queen of the Town and Country Roadhouse was Marge Harre, Dave’s mother. In the 1940’s she was considered by all a frail woman recovering from tuberculosis. The last thing anyone expected was that she would run a highly successful dining establishment in Oratia, but with the help of family and friends and motivated by debt left by her husband who suffered badly after the ravages of WWII, Marge did exactly that and Slow Food Waitakere were privileged to experienced a taste of it this midwinter afternoon in Oratia.


We began with chunks of freshly baked bread, topped with brie and fresh rocket while still admiring this fabulously restored home full of reminders of days gone by. Then as everyone seated themselves we were served a beautiful platter of chicken breast stuffed with brie, lemon and yam then baked wrapped in flax and served on a bed of freshly picked fennel and rice accompanied by a creamy mushroom sauce. Dessert was steamed pudding and a self-saucing chocolate pudding. Delicious!






We enjoyed a fabulous lunch, wonderful hosts and great company. Thanks to all those who attended.
Karen Perri

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Favourite Foods from the Past



Dear All,
This will be such fun! Lots of history of the Oratia area, great food cooked in an unusual west Auckland way, and lots of fun, warmth and hilarity.
See you there!
Karen and Claire

Favourite Foods from the past.
Lunch and more!
Saturday 11th July
Meeting at 527 West Coast Rd in Oratia at 12.30pm
In 1948 Marge Harre opened the Roadhouse cafe, one of Auckland's
earliest fine dining restaurants. She ran it from her Oratia property for the next 18 years. Slow Food Waitakere has been invited to visit the property and join her son Dave in a delightful afternoon of great food and storytelling.
Dave will share some of his stories about the restaurant and his mother, who was a wonderful cook. His recently published book about the Roadhouse Cafe will be available for perusal.
He has also offered to cook lunch, and will treat us to one of his specialties, chicken wrapped in flax.

PS: as a bonus we can also see the historic tram that Dave is currently restoring.

Limited to 20 people
$15 for Slow Food members (includes lunch)
$10 for children
$20 for non members (includes a contribution to Terra Madre)
RSVP to Claire by email: seeq@paradise.net.nz

(Please include your cell phone or home number when RSVP’ing)

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