Slow Food Saddleback News

Christmas Donation

A Bomaderry-based group  that provides  food to over 150  people in their community every week was the recipient of a $500 Christmas donation from Slow Food Saddleback. The cheque was presented by Michael and Beverley Blythe on behalf of Slow Food.

Michael and Beverley Blythe from Slow Food Saddleback presenting a cheque to Salt Care’s Mitch Hudson.
A large group enjoyed the free Christmas lunch put on by Salt Care.

As well as providing a hot lunch, tea and coffee, groceries and clothing all free of charge each Thursday through their Saltbox program, Salt Care enables time for building great friendships.

The group also runs food preparation and cooking workshops for people who do not have these skills.

Terra Madre Day Lunch

Slow Food Saddleback was well represented at the 2018 Terra Madre Day lunch hosted by Canberra Capital & Country Convivium  on Sunday 9 December.

Kaye and Paul at the lunch

Five couples made the trip down to Braidwood to enjoy the lunch at the historic Mona Farm – Celia and Des, Vicki and Murray, Gabriella and Raynor, Paul and Kaye, and Rhonni and Paul.

The lunch was preceded by a tour of the magnificent gardens and homestead which feature a collection of modern Australian and international art and sculpture. Well worth checking out the website if you are planning a trip to the Canberra region!

The rose garden at Mona

The long table lunch showcased the region’s wine and food products sourced, wherever possible, from ‘good, clean and fair’ local producers and yet again demonstrated that the Slow Food approach produces stunning results.


Year round gardening

It can be done! With the climate we enjoy on the South Coast and a passion for self-sufficiency, your veggie garden can provide all the vegetables you need year-round. David (the enthusiastic grower)

David giving a tour of his garden.

and Judy (the creative cook), with help from Liz and Helen and Slow Food committee members, demonstrated at the final Slow Food Saddleback event for the year that a backyard garden can provide far more than the basics – it can produce a gourmet feast.

Fingerfood and assorted dips served before the main meal used vegetables that are sourced from the Ball’s garden at various times of the year. These included a beetroot dip, radishes served with creamed butter and salt, an aubergine dip, Persian herb frittata, butternut and tahini spread, muhammara and tortilla.

Judy puts the finishing touches to her vegetable dishes.

The dips were served with Turkish bread home made at Wollongong’s popular Turkish Paradise restaurant (have you tried the mushrooms?) and dropped off in Berry by proprietor Michael’s daughter (no wasted food miles here!)

For the main course, vegetables picked fresh from the garden and cooked in the wood fired pizza oven complemented pork sourced from Foxground and cooked to perfection by Des and Helen.

Oven roasted potatoes, cumin-coriander roast carrots (these went very quickly) and wilted pak choy were served with a green salad with shaved fennel and leek, and a beetroot, silverbeet and lentil salad. Liz’s pickled rhubarb went brilliantly with the pork.

Judy’s herb infused icecreams (lemon and basil, lemongrass and coconut) served with rosewater rhubarb and Barb’s frozen home grown bananas completed the meal. A fitting finale to a great year of Slow Food events.

Check out the Gallery page for more pictures – click on each thumbnail to see the whole photo. Recipes can be viewed in the recipe section.

AGM 2018 Minutes

Minutes of Slow Food Saddleback Annual General Meeting
Wednesday 17 October, 2018
5.30pm Silica Restaurant, Manning St Kiama, NSW

Celia Wade, Michael Blythe, Beverley Blythe, Judith Ball, Liz Churcher, Carolyn Evans, David Evans, Barb Khalifa, Omar Khalifa, Rhonni  Garven, Jan Watson, Laurie Watson, Des Wittingslow, Jan Gluth, Geoff Webb, Helen Attwater, Vicki Steele.

Rainer and Gabriella Zuch, Paul and Kaye Turnbull, Mary Anderson, David Ball.

Celia Wade (Chair) declared the meeting open at 5.35pm and welcomed those attending.  Apologies were noted.

Minutes from 2017 AGM

Celia presented the minutes of the 2017 AGM. No matters were arising from these minutes.
Moved: That the minutes of the 2017 AGM be accepted as presented.
Proposed: Liz Churcher.  Seconded: Carolyn Evans. Motion carried.

Leader’s Report
Celia Wade presented her summary of the year’s  events.
In her summary Celia:
• Welcomed and thanked committee members and other volunteers for their support and enthusiasm.
• Highlighted that the last 12 months have been very active for Slow Food Saddleback.
• Thanked retiring committee members Liz Churcher and Helen Attwater for their significant contributions to the committee.
• Thanked Rhonni Garven for her excellent work on the SFS website.
• Thanked Jan Hampshire for her great work on the Facebook page.
• Highlighted the progress made along with Slow Food Berry to Jervis Bay on the Snail of Approval (artwork circulated).
• Announced that SFS has received funding from Kiama Council to run a fermentation workshop in the coming year.
• Noted that Slow Food Shoalhaven is changing its name to Slow Food South Coast.

Financial Report
Treasurer Michael Blythe presented the financial statements, noting that the statements run from 5 July 2017 to 31 July 2018 (dates adjusted to ensure expenses and revenues for events were included within the same year).

As at the 17 October, the number of memberships is 51 (with many of these being couples).
TryBooking has made payments for events much easier to capture and Michael would like the use of TryBooking to continue.

A question was raised about the proportion of the membership payment that goes to Slow Food International in Italy. The exact amount varies by membership type (amount) but in the example of a $90 membership it seems that $60 of that goes to Slow Food International in Italy, $15 to Slow Food Australia and $15 to Slow Food Saddleback.

Moved: That the Financial Statements be accepted as presented.
Proposed: Celia Wade. Seconded: David Evans. Motion Carried.

Appointment of New Committee

Geoff Webb (Returning Officer) took the chair and declared all committee positions vacant.

The number of nominations matched the number of positions. Geoff declared all nominees duly appointed. The Office Bearers for the coming year are:
Leader: Celia Wade
Treasurer and Ticket Secretary: Michael Blythe
Secretary: Barbara Khalifa
Committee Members: Carolyn Evans, Judith Ball, Rhonni  Garven and Ros  Markezic.

General Business

As leader for the coming year, Celia Wade announced coming events:

• 24 November will be Eating from the Garden Year Round at the garden of Judith and David Ball.
• Regional Terra Madre Day: 2018 Terra Madre lunch will be hosted by the Slow Food Canberra and Country Convivium on Sunday 9 December at the Woolshed at Mona Farm. Ark of Taste products Galloway beef and Monaro purple garlic will feature on the menu. Details will be posted on our website.
• Cheese Challenge in February. Kangaroo Valley Cheesemakers  will attempt a world record cheese tasting event on 16 February 2019. Cheese will be donated by  Bodalla, Bega and South Coast Cheese. Target is 700+

Attendees were invited to put forward suggestions for future events:
• Helen Attwater suggested a workshop on Knife Skills.
• Coordination is also sought with neighbouring Slow Food groups.

Meeting closed at 6.10pm.

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