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, May 27, 2011

Slow Food Baby

Slow Food Baby
United Kingdom - 

Slow Food Baby, a community education program developed by Slow Food UK, was launched this Mother’s Day with the first training workshop for facilitators who will pass on tools and practical knowledge to help parents prepare good food for the newest members of their families, emphasizing the importance for early health as well as their future food choices. 

Developed by Slow Food UK with input from experts and their membership, Slow Food Baby is a train-the-trainer program in which volunteers are taught how to facilitate the interactive workshop Happy Eating: The Slow Food family approach to first solid foods & mealtimes. The first group of fourteen facilitators was trained in Manchester and are now getting ready to deliver the program in their own regions across the nation.

Slow Food UK CEO Catherine Gazzoli said they expect to reach around 900 families in the first year, however they are in discussions with some of the leading parenting charities in the UK to develop partnerships to assist in rolling out the project.

"Providing wholesome, healthy choices to infants learning to eat can set them on a path to a lifetime of good eating habits,” Ms Gazzoli said. “Slow Food Baby strives to give parents and carers helpful guidance, ideas, tips and strategies to ensure that their little ones have the best introduction to first foods, and enjoy it in a family-friendly context."

The project was inspired by a talk on feeding babies presented by Slow Food New York City with chef Galen Zamarra of Mas Farmhouse and Nina Planck, author of Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two and Baby’s First Foods. New York committee member Ed Yowell connected Catherine to two enthusiasts, and together they undertook the first brainstorming for the workshop.

The resulting 1.5 hour long workshop has a core focus on taste as well as nutrition, and how early sensory experience is critical for laying the foundations for inquisitive and healthy food choices throughout life.

“If babies are allowed to experiment with healthy food, and are kept away from food loaded with sugar, salt and fat, they will end up with a taste for beetroot, broccoli, pumpkin, fish… anything really,” summed up SF UK board member and project advisor Prue Leith, the well-known British chef and writer. “Sadly, if they are given sweets and chocolate, cakes and biscuits they will prefer them, and make their parents life hell for years as they demand them." 

For more information on Slow Food Baby, contact Sara Trewhitt:

Photo by Bess Mucke ©

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Slow Food Waitakere May 2011 Event: Japanese Cooking Class

Photos by Sean Shadbolt

Our May event was hosted by Slow Food Waitakere member Kazuyo Friedlander, at Pine Valley B&B.
Firstly Eri showed us how to make soy milk and tofu, then Chikako took us through the menu for the day:

Buttercup croquets
Daikon Radish Ume mayonnaise salad
Sesame flavoured stir fry capsicums
Marinated celery in sweet vinegar
Rolled Rice in Nori- 2 kinds
Chicken mince balls skewer
Omelette with Surimi inside
Mustard flavoured Broccoli
Salmon Saute in fragrant sauce
(we also made some okara croquettes for the vegetarians)

Eri and Kazuyo making tofu

Chikako showing us how to cook the dishes of the day

After the demo we were divided into groups, and started working.

The food was assembled into bento boxes.

After 2 hours of chopping, mixing and cooking we all moved to the greenhouse,
ready for a glass of wine and lunch.

It was a brilliant day, thank you to Kazuyo for opening her home to 16 students, to Chikako and Eri for teaching us to make all these lovely dishes, and to Sean for taking the photos. Also thank you to all who attended today: SF members from our Waitakere Convivium, form our sister Convivium in Auckland, and the new friends who attended a SF event for the first time. See you the next time!

Photos by Sean Shadbolt

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Not in My Pan | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair food.

Not in My Pan | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair food.

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Not in My Pan

Turkey - 12 Apr 11

“In 15 years of cooking at Michelin-starred restaurants, I must have used six or seven species of fish,” said chef Gaël Orieux of Breton, France. “As a restaurant owner I have the possibility and the responsibility to point diners towards alternative species. The sea is not a free market.” 

Chefs around the world are having the same reaction. If the increasing threats and problems concerning some of the most commonly eaten fish species are taken seriously – bluefin tuna, farmed salmon, Atlantic cod to name just three – menus need to be rethought and customers convinced to change their dinning habits. On the flipside, the alternatives offer a chance for reinvention and new ideas as well as a return to old recipes using local fish. 

In many countries, seafood is primarily eaten in restaurants and so chefs and restaurateurs are at the frontline of changing fish consumption habits and trends. Convinced that his profession can help educate consumers and a passionate supporter of biodiversity, Gaël has transformed his Parisian restaurant Auguste into a model for the Mr Goodfish campaign launched in France last year, which he will discuss at the Slow Fish event this May. 

Also attending the international fair of sustainable seafood is chef Mehmet Gürs of Istanbul’s Mikla restaurant. Heavily involved with Slow Food Istanbul’s Don't Let the Lüfer Go Extinct! campaign to protect a beloved local fish, Gürs is also one of the biggest supporters of the “How Big is Yours” campaign lobbying the Turkish government to establish minimum sizes for caught fish. He is working to promote responsible fish buying among his fellow chefs and the public, and more than 300,000 people have pledged their support for this local Greenpeace campaign. 

“It may sound harsh but considering that we have almost fished the oceans empty, we better start changing our habits, and quickly!” said Gürs. “Without small fish there is no big fish. Without big fish there is no ocean. I don't say that we should stop eating fish or other seafood but there is a balance that we have to be aware of and also respect - don't eat certain species for a start.”

Various groups and projects specifically aimed at chefs are being developed to encourage professional cooks to take the first steps for change. In the USA, Chefs Collaborative - a network of chefs promoting sustainable, local food - has published Seafood Solutions: A Chef's Guide to Sourcing Sustainable Seafood as well as an online training course and resource centre for hotel and culinary schools with the Blue Ocean Institute called Green Chef, Blue Ocean. In the United Kingdom, Pisces Responsible Fish Restaurants helps chefs find local fish, putting them in direct contact with selected fishermen.

The Slow Food network and Terra Madre cooks are also bringing the message to their communities. In Spain, Garraf convivium and Terra Madre cooks from Catalonia region held a series of Slow Cook Jam Sessions at Barcelona's Boqueria market, with a focus on utilizing pescado sin precio (undervalued fish). Taking the vast range of fish on offer at as a starting point, the chefs presented their own recipes for little-known, sustainable fish options.

Gaël Orieux and Memhet Gürs and many other chefs will be leading Theater of Taste sessions at Slow Fish 2011 in Genoa, Italy. Click here for more information. 

If you are a chef and would like to find out more about the Slow Fish campaign, visit the website and check the Slow Fish Challenge and Slow Fish in Action.

Photo: Gaël Orieux

Not in My Pan | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair food.

Not in My Pan | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair food.


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