Slow Food Brisbane September, 2018 Newsletter

Good, Clean, Fair for all. Slow Food’s philosophy promotes the importance of taste and of food eaten responsibly.

Hello all Slow Food members and friends

So much has happened in the past few months!  Thank you again for being involved with Slow Food Brisbane.  As many of you know we have been very active, hosting a range of convivial and delicious events to promote and support Slow Food campaigns such as Foodwaste, a School Kitchen garden, a small farm and community gardens and in creating and adding to a “Snail of Approval” trail of producers, artisans and chefs who support the Slow Food philosophy of Good, Clean and Fair.

Read on!  This newsletter offers a snapshot of what has been going on locally and includes a topical article. It also invites you to check out our web site for local and global events, reviews of previous events and bookmarks for future events etc.

Next events:

Please bookmark the following dates (full details on last page and on the web site soon

October (date to be finalized and email to follow)

An evening of taste.  Wine and Cheese at the Cheeseboard hosted by Wendy Downes.

November – Thursday, 8th  – 36 Jubilee Terrace, Bardon.  

Bees, Beneficial Insects and more.  Two guest speakers, Paul Wood and Abigail Makin and of course a delicious supper etc.

November, Sunday, 25th – more detail to follow. 

Invitation to join Noosa Slow Food at a Slow Food lunch at Kin Kin

December, Sunday 9th (location to be decided)

Brisbane Slow Food Terra Madre Lunch with a sharing of experiences from Terra Madre delegates and the AGM.

In this newsletter:

  1. A brief outline of Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto and Slow Food Brisbane delegates
  2. Snail of Approval recipients
  3. Reviews of recent events
  4. Feature Article:
    What is the difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Light Olive Oil?
    by Ian McBride

1. Slow Food Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto event in Turin, Italy:

The biennial Slow Food event brings together international producers, communities, chefs, and visitors in the celebration of good, clean and fair food and includes educational workshops, forums and an opportunity to engage with and share experiences with delegates from around the world of slow food communities who share the Slow Food philosophy. This is an opportunity to share products, skills and stories.

Held over five days from 20-24 September, the event is expected to bring 5,000 delegates from 160 countries, over 800 exhibitors, 300 Slow Food Presidia, and 500 food communities from the Terra Madre network. It will bring the world’s food agricultural biodiversity to the fore to discuss local and global challenges and solutions through workshops, forums, conferences, cooking schools, street food and thematic spaces focusing on such themes as: Children and taste education, Bees and Insects, Food and Health, Seeds, Slow Meat, and Slow Fish.

Who will be there from Slow Food Brisbane?

We have seven self funded delegates and attendees (six committee members and one individual member) and two partially funded delegates* who have are passionateabout preserving biodiversityand seek to know more about at least one of the Slow Food International themes, which include Bees, Family Farming, Indigenous Foods, Food waste, GMO’s, Land Grabbing, Slow Meat, Slow Cheese, Slow Fish, Slow Wine, Slow Travel and Climate change. In addition we have representatives who contribute to the Chef’s Alliance, Ark of Taste and Presidia! This is such an amazing opportunity to learn and acquire global knowledge as well as a chance to experience new tastes and create more global connections. The event offers an opportunity to enter into conversations with people from around the world who are part of the Good, Clean, Fair movement and to soak up everything possible from that experience. Brisbane Slow Food committee will focus on different themes, for example: Noelene McBride (Bees, Presidia and Taste Education) Ian McBride (Slow fish, Ark of taste,) Myra Lowe (Slow meat, Food Waste), Bruce White (Slow travel) and Mary-Anne Fraser (Chef’s Alliance) and Christine Ling (Agriculture and small space gardens). Recently joined Slow Food Member, Lisa Acret will also be attending. (

All delegates will be able to share experiences and newfound knowledge when they return to Brisbane.

Slow Food Brisbane has sponsored two (partially funded) delegates from Cannon Hill State School Kitchen Garden, Dani Phelan and Jayne Aguiar who will be engaged in harvesting global knowledge and bringing it back to share with their students through their teaching!

From a recent MEDIA RELEASE: * Two teachers from Cannon Hill State School, Dani Phelan and Jayne Aguiar who are both actively working with the children in a School Kitchen Garden project are preparing to represent Australia at the world’s largest fair food Fair to be held in Italy later this year. The teachers were chosen by Slow Food Brisbane to attend Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto in Turin in September because of their commitment to Slow Food Philosophies and their passion for educating children in the importance of food and agriculture as exemplified in their school kitchen garden projects.

For Dani Phelan and Jayne Arguias, going to Terra Madre presents the opportunity to meet and learn from like-minded educators, to share their practices and stories and to broaden their global understanding.

Dani said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to upskill myself and after this experience I will be able to lift the learning that the children are doing. We would love to establish a sister school in Italy with schools that have gardening projects. We teach Italian so it would be a wonderful extension for the students and a great connection with the world”

Jayne said: “It is a really exciting experience to be able to gather information and have conversation with the other passionate school kitchen garden delegates. It will be will be invaluable, for my professional work. In addition I am very interested to learn more about the Slow Fish and Slow meat campaigns and see how we can use this information in our families, our school and within the broader community”

2. Slow Food Brisbane Snail of Approval recipients

The Snail of Approval was introduced last year. Slow Food Brisbane who took its lead from Australia’s largest Slow Food convivium, Slow Food Noosa. Brisbane Slow Food now has eight recipients of the Snail award (with another 4 pending). The recipients enjoy exposure to the one million-plus supporters in more than 160 countries around the world.

Our most recent Snail of Approval recipients are:

  1. Cannon Hill State School kitchen Garden project (Dani Phelan, Jayne Aguiar)
  2. Arran Heideman, the farmer from Millen Farm, Samford Valley
  3. Jenni Guse, Chair of the Board, Millen Farm and coordinator of their education programme.
  4. Rino Avellini, Chef, Pause restaurant, Samford Valley, Brisbane.

Cannon Hill State School Kitchen Garden Snail of Approval application written by year 5/6 students was inspirational. Slow Food Brisbane is proud to be associated with the Cannon Hill School Kitchen Garden students and teachers. The application reflected a culmination of careful planning, knowledge of food and food security, valuing of agriculture and an emerging understanding of business principles and practice. They demonstrated a commitment to “producing good quality food that tastes good” and to using “full vegetarian recipes” so animals are not hurt which is supported by rearing “chickens that are very well cared for by a team of environment leaders who care for the chickens and the chicken space”.

The garden closely follows the slow food concept of clean as the students explained very clearly: “In our garden, we don’t use any pesticides. To solve the nutgrass problem that we had, the school worked on combination of covering the garden with mesh and weighing it down with tables. When the nutgrass was gone, we replanted the garden. Nutgrass and other weeds that return are removed with people power. We have learnt to weed our garden!”

They have a real life concept of work and fairness and see payment in the broadest sense when you say: “We get paid in food and food enjoyment. After our sessions in the kitchen, we all sit and eat together before all doing the cleaning jobs (we think this is fair!)”. The students express a collective view when they say that, “The money our individual projects and our kitchen garden project makes is reinvested to keep the program running.”  Well done.

3. Reviews of recent events are available to read.

School Kitchen Garden Lunch at Cannon Hill State School.

Cannon Hill Students from 6PB and 5/6APB have created a garden filled with such an amazing range of vegetables, herbs and fruit trees and chickens! From this garden they provided us with an amazingly professional and collaborative School Kitchen Garden lunch. In particular their ability to articulate projects demonstrated a high level of knowledge and understanding as well as a genuine enthusiasm for and commitment to their future learning. The planet will be a better place with people like them in it.

The lunch was superb in every aspect: from the guided tour and the freshly prepared platters of food at the end of the tour to the individually designed and illustrated menus. The kitchen “chefs” are to be commended on producing such a delicious, beautifully presented four course meal. In fact, the quality of the food and the tastes were equal to those in a restaurant. From the pizzas and roasted vegetables to the dips and pasta with salad, every mouthful was a taste explosion. The ice creams, flavoured with herbs from the garden drizzled with local honey were probably some of the best we have ever tasted!

Pause Lunch: Thank you to chef Rino Avellini

August 15thLunch at Pause restaurant ( @pausesamford) to raise funds to support Millen farm Farmer, Arran.

What a delicious lunch the clever people from Slow Food Brisbane put on for us all yesterday. The lunch — for those of you unlucky enough not to have been able to attend — was at Pause, Bar Restaurant and Spa, in Samford. The space at Pause lends itself to conviviality and that we had in spades: great company, great food, great cause… the menu, compiled by Chef Rino Avellini, was exquisite. Starting with Gwydir Grove olives, a selection of breads, balsamic vinegar and an excellent EVOO, slivers of speck, paper thin and elegant, served with exquisite bocconcini — crunchy, crumbed, smoked baby mozzarella from ‘That’s Amore Cheese’. Rino’s vegetarian meatballs in a rich Napoletana sauce were just delightful as were the tender scallops, gently wrapped in the flimsiest of nightgowns of pancetta, served on a soft bed of cauliflower puree. Oh yum. Ribollita Toscana came next. This substantial soup combines, among other vegetables, beans, greens and day old bread… the vegetables were all sourced from Millen Farm, just up the road from Samford. The soup was followed by pork cheeks cooked in almond milk. These little pillows of deliciousness settled on celeriac purée (my very favourite) next to dainty pieces of roasted Millen Farm parsnip and beetroot. Add to this polenta as you’ve never seen it before and you get a perfect main course. Some of Millen Farm’s fresh leaves, lightly dressed, accompanied the meat. How to fit in the dessert? Well, you just have to. It was wonderful. Bonet agli amaretti is an Italian-style chocolate and coffee crème caramel. (Margie Riley, Guest)

For the full reviews from Margie Riley and Mary-Anne Fraser (Committee) can be found on our home page.

4. Feature article

What is the difference between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Light Olive Oil (Ian McBride)

In an ideal world all olives would be harvested at the correct moment with no damage to the fruit. They would be transported quickly to the mill where they would be crushed, and the juice extracted at the correct temperature.  Because that is what Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is.  It is the freshly extracted juice of olives using only mechanical means with no chemical or heat treatments.  By law it must have low acidity (less than 0.8%). Acidity comes from problems with the olives from harvest to crushing.  EVOO must have some taste of the olives that produced it and it must have absolutely no defects such as mustiness, mouldiness or taints from the processing.

In the real world not all olive oil comes up to this standard.  If it falls only a little short and there is a slightly higher level of acidity it could be called Virgin olive oil but in reality, this is almost never seen on the supermarket shelves.  Instead there is a large section of Olive Oil, Light Olive Oil or even Extra Light Olive Oil.  These are oils that do not meet the EVOO standards, so they are taken and refined to remove all the impurities and defects and then they have a very small amount of EVOO added to try to give some olive flavour.  The light in the name is very deceptive as they have exactly the same number of calories as EVOO but it refers to light colour or taste.

EVOO is not just oil. It has lots of wonderful flavours from the olive fruit and also antioxidants, which give EVOO its health benefits.  Unfortunately, when you refine the oil not up to EVOO standards to remove the defects you also remove all the flavours and the antioxidants.  Then to give some taste they add about 5% of real EVOO. The thing that amazes me is that this very inferior product is usually the same price or occasionally higher. Marketers try to justify the use of the light olive oil by saying it has a higher smoke point than EVOO and while this is correct they do not mention that EVOO in recent Australian research (Ref below) is one of the most stable of oils and therefore is better for frying than olive oil and also most other forms of vegetable oils.

EVOO is a fabulous product that for 4000 years has been giving us nutrition, flavour and health benefits.



Slow Food Brisbane first began in 2000 and seeks to highlight the campaigns for bees, food waste, school kitchen gardens, slow cheese, slow meat, slow fish. It actively supports taste education offering opportunities for members and friends to learn more about growing and harvesting food, small producers, artisans and chefs.

Slow Food Brisbane aims to link pleasure and food with awareness and responsibility. The association’s activities seek to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread the education of taste, and connect producers of excellent foods to consumers through events and initiatives.

The convivium has over 70 members. It hosts food focussed events, taste workshops with guest speakers (mostly producers and growers) as well as other fundraising events, such as food waste dinners and events to sponsor a non for profit Millen Community farm. It aims to showcase chefs who seek to use local product. Slow Food Brisbane committee is made up of dedicated volunteers who give their time freely to make a positive difference in their community.

Our events fundraise to

  • assist school children to understand agriculture and learn about food tastes
  • support Foodbank in publicizing problems of food waste and hunger
  • promote good clean and fair farming practices
  • support community farms and education
  • create awareness of the value of community gardens for needy people

In 2018, the committee launched Australia’s second “Snail of Approval” recognition program to inspire producers, chefs, restaurant owners and food outlets to produce, use and promote good, clean and fair practices and ingredients from the local area – and to recognise and highlight the ones who already follow this philosophy. More than 8 individuals have qualified for the program, which includes a listing on the Slow Food Planet App to take their business to the world.

Please take this opportunity to browse our website.

Join us at future events!  We also invite you to become a member or to email us if you have any questions.

Food Brisbane is a not-for-profit organisation.  It is our goal to donate profits from functions to groups that we support, such as Foodbank, Cannon Hill State School Kitchen Garden Project, Millen Farm etc and when possible, to selected community gardens. Thank you in advance for your continued active support.

Slow regards,

Noelene McBride,
Leader, Slow Food Brisbane.

About Slow food Brisbane’s November event:

Bees, Honey and Beneficial Insects:

Anxious about the contents of your honey jar? Source a local beekeeper and support good, clean, fair, local honey.

Every morning I can sit on the back deck of my home eating breakfast knowing the spoonful of honey I enjoy on my cereal comes from the bees I can see buzzing around the avocado trees. A few years ago I was thrilled to discover Paul Wood from Brisbane Backyard Bees was one of my ‘local producers’ and I can buy honey direct from a neighbour at a very reasonable price. Of course, there is an added bonus, and key factor in this beneficial relationship, the bees help to pollinate our fruit trees and flowering plants – and they do this for free!

Current issues:

Honey fraud in Australia is a food security risk to Australian honey that is ‘purest in the world’.

An estimated 65 per cent of agriculture depends on pollination by honey bees.

Slow Food has long promoted a clean agricultural system that protects the landscape, does not harm the environment and preserves biodiversity: the ideal kind of agriculture for the well-being of bee colonies.

Come along and be part of the conversation.

Date:              Thursday November 8th

Time:             6.45-9.30 pm

Venue:           Jubilee Hall, 180 Jubilee terrace, Bardon

Guest speakers Paul Woodfrom Brisbane Backyard Bees (SFB Snail of Approval recipient) and Abigail Makinwho is an agricultural scientist with a particular interest in the role beneficial insects in food production.

Supper will be served with a selection of wines.

Honey fraud in Australia. A food security risk to Australian honey that is ‘purest in the world’

Invitation to join Noosa Slow Food, Sunday lunch 25 November

Terra Madre celebrations at Kin Kin General Store, Main Street, KIn Kin   ONLINE BOOKING LINK –  12-3.30pm

Cost $60 members and $70 non-members BYO drinks

Slow Food Brisbane will join us for this wonderful leisurely lunch at the newly renovated Kin Kin General Store outdoor gazebo area

Chef Jodie Williams and her team will present a locally produced 3 course menu of delicious food from the Hinterland region.

A fun way to enjoy world wide Terra Madre celebrations with friends and the Slow Food family.