Slow Food Saddleback News

Terra Madre Day Lunch

The 2018 Terra Madre lunch will be hosted by the Slow Food Canberra and Country Convivium on Sunday 9 December.

The venue is the Woolshed at Mona Farm ( on the outskirts of Braidwood. 

Prior to the lunch at 1:00 pm there is an optional, no extra cost, tour of Mona Farm hosted by Farm Manager, Suzanne and commencing at 12 noon.

The lunch will be served in the Slow Food ‘long table’ tradition and will include shared producers’ platters, locally produced meats and vegetables, and dessert. Ark of Taste products Galloway beef and Monaro purple garlic will feature on the menu and a selection of local wines, beers, cider and fruit-based soft drinks will be included.

A vegetarian option will be available – please advise any dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Date & Time:   Sunday 9 December 2018  1:00 pm (12 noon for tour)
Cost:                    Members $70 ; Non-members $85;
                                Children under 12 no charge.
                                Indicate which membership you hold when booking.
Bookings:           by Friday 23 November to Account details will be provided on acceptance of booking with payments to be made by Friday 30 November.

Jazz at Pyree

Slow Food Berry to JB have teamed up with Shoalhaven Jazz to present Captain Bob’s Station House Seven at the Red Shed at Pyree on Saturday 17 November starting at 7:00pm.

Take your own BYO picnic or pre-order a New Orleans style hamper to enjoy before putting on your dancing shoes and dancing the night away.

Bookings: Jenny on 0426 615 948 or



Mahbrook Organics sold

We had a hint of it before the AGM and it is now confirmed that we will no longer be able to purchase Mahbrook Organics produce locally. 

Illness forced the sale of the family business and  the new owners will no longer be selling produce at the Kiama Farmers Market, but will send everything they grow direct to Flemington.

Chris and Mary have been at the Wednesday Kiama market every week since its inception and their certified organic goodies will be much missed.

Year-round fruit and veggie gardening


The November Slow Food event provides an opportunity to learn from two of our home grown produce garden gurus and to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labours.

The evening starts with a tour of David’s much loved and highly productive backyard garden, information on how you can keep your garden productive throughout the year and a Q & A session with David and fellow passionate gardener Michael.

We will then share a delicious meal prepared by Slow Food members featuring seasonal produce from the garden accompanied by fresh pork from Foxground. We’ll be eating outside as usual and the fabulous wood fired oven will be put to use.

Date:           Saturday 24 November
Time:           4:00 pm for an early dinner
Venue:        10 King Street, Berry
Cost:             Members $60, Non-members $70 (BYO beverages)
Bookings:  Try Booking

Afternoon workshop

For those eager to learn more, David and Michael will each run a small group workshop prior to the dinner event on planting and rearing seedlings, and preparing and caring for soil. The workshop will take about 3 hours.

Date, Venue and Bookings as above
Time:      12 noon
Cost:       $25 (including refreshments)

Join the world record cheese tasting attempt

Put it in your diary!  4pm Saturday 16 February 2019. 

The Kangaroo Valley Cheesemakers (they of the fantastic cheese-making workshops) have set themselves the challenge of putting Kangaroo Valley on the international cheesemaking map.
To do this they’re looking for volunteers to help set a new world record for the World’s Largest Cheese Tasting event.

The current record was set by Western Australia’s Margaret River Dairy Company in February this year when 560 people came together to simultaneously taste three different types of cheese.

The Kangaroo Valley cheesemakers are aiming to set a new record of 700 tasters during next year’s Kangaroo Valley Agricultural and Horticultural Show.

Sounds like lots of fun and it won’t cost you anything apart from the normal Show entry fee. The Show is always a great day out with  lots of different events and activities for young and old. To be counted as a cheese taster you’ll be required to taste three different cheeses from local cheese making companies – one hard, one semi-hard and one soft.

So put it in the diary, tell your friends and help put our local cheesemakers on the map!

You can register your interest at

AGM and Dinner at Silica

The Slow Food Saddleback AGM was held on Wednesday 17 October at Silica Restaurant in Kiama. The Office Bearers for the coming year are:
Leader: Celia Wade
Treasurer/ Ticket Secretary: Michael Blythe
Secretary: Barbara Khalifa
Committee Members: Carolyn Evans, Judith Ball, Rhonni Garven and Ros Markezic.

Slow Food Committee members Celia Wade, Barbara Khalifa, Rhonni Garven, Michael Blythe, Judith Ball and Carolyn Evans.

The meeting was followed by a delicious Celebrating Growing Locally dinner which included home grown radish, golden beetroot, red vein sorrel, silverbeet, rainbow chard, kale, shallots, leeks, cos lettuce and celery. The amazingly tender organic grass fed lamb was sourced from the Riverina and the free range chickens came from Thirlmere Poultry.  Sourced even closer to home was Pecora Dairy’s raw milk cheese.  Two very pleasant wines were selected to complement the meal. Silica restaurant is certainly doing some good things – a big thank you to the owners and staff.

Chris Bridger from Mahbrook Organics was the keynote speaker and gave a very interesting talk outlining the development of the Albion Park farm he and his brother took over some five years ago. With its rich alluvial soil and hot house igloos the farm is continuing to increase its production of certified organic vegetables.

Celebrating growing locally

Following the Slow Food Saddleback AGM on Wednesday 17 October there will be a   dinner showcasing locally sourced and home-grown produce at Silica Restaurant.

Kiama Farmers Market shoppers will be familiar with the Mahbrook Organics name and Chris Bridger who, with his brother Adam, grows the organic vegetables at a property near Albion Park is the keynote speaker. Chris will talk about their journey developing the farm to achieve production of a wide range of vegetables throughout the year.

Our Silica Restaurant hosts will also talk about their philosophy of sourcing their ingredients locally and developing their own growing capabilities.


Venue:                      Silica Restaurant, 72 Manning  Street Kiama
Date & Time:         6:30 pm Wednesday 17 October 2018
Cost:                          $55 per person
Bookings:       by 12 October

2018 AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Slow Food Saddleback will be held on Wednesday 17 October 2018 commencing at 5:00pm at Silica Restaurant (upstairs) 72 Manning Street, Kiama.

All members of Slow Food Saddleback are encouraged to attend and to provide feedback and support. The following positions are to be filled at the AGM:

  • Leader
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Committee Members

Nomination forms can be obtained by emailing and and be returned to the same address signed by at least two financial members of SFS and accepted by the nominee.

To allow for light refreshment catering please RSVP to the email address above. The AGM will be followed by a Slow Food Dinner at the same venue.

New photos

We’ve made the photo gallery more user friendly. The pictures taken at each event  will now appear as thumbnails. Click on a thumbnail to see the full photo.

Egyptian Feast

The Egyptian cooking workshop hosted by Barb and Omar Khalifa on Saturday 22 September certainly rated as a feast with more than 20 recipes prepared and enjoyed in a smorgasbord style dinner.

In designing the menu Barb had scoured her collection of Egyptian cookbooks and drawn on her mother-in-law’s expertise. There was also a recipe from Colette Rossant’s memoir Apricots on the Nile.

Omar shared and prepared some traditional recipes, including a very tasty tabbouli while Egyptian friends Amira and Emad workshopped some family favourites such as Amira’s beef goulash which is a popular lunch for their two young daughters.

Barb’s pitta bread making from scratch was a bit tricky but the bread popped to perfection. Meanwhile Julie, armed with two thermomixes, lead another workstation while ‘the boys’ did some wondrous things out near the BBQ.

Although a few ingredients were not available locally, much of the produce was sourced from the home garden and the home-bred trout dish was a real treat.

Amira’s group whipped up a special-occasion dessert and a just-in-season tray of mangoes paid tribute to Omar’s grandparents who had a mango plantation in Egypt. Mint tea and Egyptian (very similar to Turkish) coffee completed the meal.

A very enjoyable day where people were able to move from one preparation group to another and learn to appreciate Egyptian food. Barb will be sharing all the recipes on the Recipes section of this website.

Kiama dinner with Stephanie Alexander

Friends of Kiama Library are hosting a dinner with Stephanie Alexander at the Sebel on Sunday 14 October at 5:30 for a 6:00 pm start. The celebrated restaurateur, author and food educator will be in town to promote her new book The Cook’s Apprentice. Tickets at $50 a head provide a main course and glass of wine and are available through Trybooking (link from or in person at Kiama Library.

The Cook’s Apprentice is advertised as an essential teaching cookbook for the younger cook just starting out and will be available for signature and sale on the night. A perfect Christmas gift for the younger relatives! In recent years Stephanie has been best known for her Kitchen Garden Foundation which provides a program of vegetable gardening and cooking experience for 8 to 12 year old children. The program now operates in around 300 schools Australia-wide.

The event is also a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Friends of Kiama Library.

Egyptian Workshop and Dinner


Egypt has been a cultural crossroad for thousands of years, influencing and being influenced by its surrounding Mediterranean, Middle-eastern and African cuisines.

You are invited to participate in making, then eating a delicious Egyptian feast. Some dishes will seem exotic, while others will seem surprisingly familiar. There will be a range of delicious vegetarian dishes included in the mix as well as dishes for carnivores to enjoy.

Date:                        Saturday 22 September 2018
Time:                        3:00 pm sharp followed by an early evening dinner
Venue:                     The home of Barb and Omar Khalifa (near Berry)
Cost:                         Slow Food members $55, non-members $65
Bookings:               TryBooking:

Bookings will close on Tuesday 18 September to allow for catering.
Numbers are strictly limited – book early to avoid disappointment.

If you have any queries please contact us at



Viet Thai workshop a success

From the Pho Bo to the black sticky rice dessert, the Vietnamese and Thai dishes created by the five group leaders and some twenty five other Slow Fooders and friends at Saturday’s workshop (25 August) were interesting, varied, a touch spicy and very tasty. What wasn’t eaten on the day disappeared very quickly into take-away containers.

Thanks go to Slow Food stalwarts Helen, Judith, Liz, Barbara  and Carolyn for sharing their expertise as well as putting in the hours of planning and preparation that it takes to create a banquet for thirty people.

Prior to cooking the main dishes, the groups prepared red, green and yellow curry pastes, three dipping sauces and a variety of pickled vegetables. Between the soup and dessert we enjoyed Hor Mok Bla (steamed fish curry in banana leaves), Goi Cuon (rice paper rolls), Bo La Lot (beef and lemongrass in betel leaves), a chicken salad and a green papaya salad, Chu Chi Pla (a Thai fish curry), Sanjet Saenkham (another Thai curry – this time featuring vegetables and tofu) and a Thai inspired slow roasted lamb shoulder.

In line with Slow Food principles, many of the vegetables came from home gardens and, although a bit of ‘cheating’ was needed to create the Asian dishes, substitute local ingredients were suggested in many cases. For example, a green papaya salad can become a green apple, Chinese cabbage or kholrabi salad if you can’t get your hands on a green papaya.

The lunch was enjoyed with a glass of wine and the camaraderie that comes with sharing the experience of preparing and cooking the meal together. Each participant left with a ring-bound recipe folder and an enthusiasm to have a go at preparing some of the dishes.

Hint: Australian red chillies, particularly the long ones, aren’t hot but they have good colour. You can dry both short and long chillies by popping them in a 130 degree oven for a couple of hours. The idea is to retain colour and concentrate flavour, so don’t burn them!

Planning for an Egyptian-themed cooking workshop is well under way so keep an eye out for details.

Spices and pastes to taste and enjoy

The Slow Food Saddleback committee has organised another special workshop at the Gerringong Town Hall on Saturday August 25.

In this hands-on workshop you’ll learn about Vietnamese and Thai spices and pastes. We’ll either prepare from scratch or finish off pre-started dishes including starters, soups, curry pastes, pickles and dipping sauces. Then we’ll sit down with all the team to enjoy our creations. You’ll be able to spice up your late-winter cooking with take-home samples of some of the pastes you make on the day.

Numbers are limited and these workshops usually book out quickly. Bookings close on Tuesday August 21 to allow for catering.

Date:          Saturday August 25, 2018
Time:          10:30 am sharp
Venue:        Gerringong Town Hall
Members:  $58   Non-members: $70

Further information:

Kiama Artisan Food Festival

The Kiama Artisan Food Festival, to be held at the Kiama Showground and Pavilion on August 11 and 12, is an all too rare  opportunity to join in a celebration of our best local produce and cuisine. Saturday night features a 50 km dinner and on Sunday there is a market, workshops, kids cooking classes, live music and more.

The 50 km dinner is the inspiration of indigenous chef, Mark Olive, who brings the vibrant colours and earthy tastes of ancient outback food to the contemporary dining table. Award-winning caterers, Culinarius, are joining with Mark to feature the best of our fresh local produce in a three course showcase dinner with matching wines.

Mark will share with guests his approach to cooking inspired by watching his mother and aunts prepare meals and developed through training and working in acclaimed restaurants across the globe.

Sounds interesting? You’ll find more detailed information about the night and bookings at

Truffle Treat

There has always been a sense of the exotic surrounding truffles – a natural product held in high esteem in many European and Middle Eastern cuisines. Many of us are yet to see, smell and experience the taste of these underground marvels of nature which, in Australia, can only be harvested during the colder winter months.

We are fortunate to have a Truffiere in our own backyard and Slow Food Saddleback has organised an afternoon of exploring and experiencing the Black Perigord Truffles grown at Robertson Truffles. The afternoon includes a lunch showcasing truffles and a truffle hunt with the growers, Samantha and John, and their Lagotto Romagnolo Italian pooch, Bella. The event will last about 2 hours. 

The rich red soil, pristine environment and regular rainfall at Robertson all contribute to the quality of the truffles grown around the roots of some 375 oak trees on this 75 acre property. The Robertson truffles are larger than average size with excellent aroma, flavour and marbled texture. It’s said that fresh is the only way to really experience the mystic aroma of these ‘black diamonds’. On the truffle hunt you will experience this aroma at the source.

Date:           Saturday 28 July 2018
Time:           1:30 pm
Address:    151 McEvilly Road, Robertson
Cost:            Members $90; Non-members $110

Bookings: by Tuesday 24 July

Further information please email