Annual General Meeting 2023

The Slow Food Saddleback Annual General Meeting was held at Silica Restaurant on 25 October 2023.

Office bearers and committee members were elected as follows:

Convivium Leader:   Celia Wade
Secretary:   Fiona Kennedy
Treasurer:   Carolyn EvansCommittee Members:
Judith Ball
Susan Pearson
Helen Harrowell
Roslyn Markezic


Community screening of Rachel’s Farm 2 November 2023

Join Slow Food Saddleback for this special screening Rachel’s Farm at the Pavilion in Kiama.

Film starts at 6pm, followed by a conversation on Regenerative Farming led by Kel Grey from The Pines in Kiama.

Tea, coffee and snacks will be served after the film.

When:  Thursday, 2 November at 6.00pm, doors open at 5.30pm

Where: The Pavilion Kiama

Cost:  $20 (plus 50c booking fee per booking)

To book:  Try Booking:

Slow Food Saddleback Celebration Dinner and AGM 25 October 2023

The Slow Food  Saddleback Annual General Meeting will be held at Silica Restaurant at 5.30pm, followed by dinner at 6.30pm on Wednesday 25 October.

Lauren Brown from The Blue Swimmer Restaurant at Gerroa will be our special guest, and tell us her story with food, and the Slow Food principles we all hold dear. Lauren came from Canada to Australia in 2016 and started her career at the Blue Swimmer 5 days later!  She has been an inaugural and ongoing Snail of Approval recipient.

We thank Luke and his crew at Silica Restaurant in Kiama for being our hosts for the evening. Dinner will feature special seafood canapés with your welcome drink. We will then sit down for a Greek inspired vegetarian shared menu.

When:  Wednesday, 25 October.  AGM at 5.30pm, dinner at 6.30pm

Where:  Silica Restaurant, Kiama

Cost:  Slow Food Members: $80, Non Members $95

To book:  Try Booking:

Your Commitee works hard to organise events and activities for our group and we would welcome some new faces.

If you email we will send you a Nomination Form to complete. Please self nominate if you would like to be involved.

The Agenda for the Meeting will be distributed at the Meeting.
Your Committee looks forward to seeing you on 25 October 2023. Please advise if you are attending the AGM.

NOTE: Please note that we are holding a special event in Kiama on Thursday, 2 November –  a screening of Rachel’s Farm, Rachel Ward’s story of moving from actor to regenerative farmer.

This will be a big event and it would be great if there were a couple of people who would like to assist with this project – email Celia at the if you can help.


Delicious dinner at Blue Swimmer, Gerroa

The Blue Swimmer at Gerroa will produce a delicious 3 course meal to share, in its delightful restaurant space.

Oysters, dips and delicious vegetables will be followed by shared mains and desserts.

We will have a welcome drink on arrival and then you can purchase your own beverages.

When:  Thursday 17 August, 6pm

Where:  Blue Swimmer Restaurant, Gerroa

Cost:  Slow Food Members: $90, Non Members $98

To book:  Try Booking:

Numbers will be limited so as usual please book early.
The restaurant requires early numbers to plan, so we would like to have these by Friday 11 August if possible.

If you have any questions please contact Carolyn Evans on 0433233405

NOTE:  The year is marching on and by early September we will planning to hold another round of Snails of Approval.  If anyone would like to be involved in this process please contact Celia at

Our next event will be in early September and will be a Pulses Workshop, to join in and learn new ideas.

We will also be having our annual AGM dinner in October, and would love to have a couple of new Committee Members – maybe you might have some time and energy to put into our next year!!


A winter Indian feast created by Deepanshu Vij (Deep)

Indian Dinner with Deep.

Be at the By the Sea Cafe in Kiama to sample an Indian inspired feast featuring a 3 course meal with extra treats, celebrating Deep’s food and hospitality.

Deep has extensive cooking experience in India, and Dubai and in hotel chains like the Shangrila, he experiments with a variety of cuisines and flavours from across India and Asia creating a fusion of Indo Western food.

This will be Deep’s first Indian feast presented in Kiama.

Dinner will include chicken, lamb, vegetable and seafood dishes, with a traditional Indian dessert of saffron milk.
BYO drinks as the restaurant doesn’t have a license.

When:  Thursday 29 June, 6.30pm

Where:  By the Sea Cafe, 72 Terralong Street, Kiama

Cost:  Slow Food Members: $88, Non Members $98

To book:

For any more information, please contact Celia Wade at

Chocolate at the Old Schoolhouse in Gerringong

Let’s Learn about Chocolate!

Slow Food Saddleback is having another interesting event to introduce you to one of our special local businesses  – Tilda & Cacao, artisan chocolate makers based at the Old Schoolhouse in Gerringong.

Erik Lau and Sarah Cromwell will share the story of their chocolate business, its trials and excitements and why they are different from many other small producers.

We will have a delicious High Tea with their product included and get to mingle and watch a short demonstration from Sarah.

When:  Friday 26 May at 3.30 till 6pm

Where:  The Old Schoolhouse, corner of Belinda and Victoria Streets, Gerringong

Cost:  Slow Food Members – $40, non Slow Food Members – $50

To book:

This will be a delicious afternoon with treats and a chance to meet another pair of young producers in our area.

Optional goodie bags will be available to take home for $10.

Preserve and Pickle Workshop

Good food, Good fun

Long term Slow Food members were pleased to welcome several of our newer members to the Preserve and Pickle Workshop held in Kiama’s Uniting Church Hall on Saturday 22 April.

It is the first time we have used this venue and it certainly ticked all the boxes in terms of cost, size, facilities, location and access to nearby parking. Thanks to Rev. Kath for being so accommodating.

Thanks also to Monica Armstrong from Culinarius Catering who was most generous in donating her time and sample produce as well as her expertise to run the workshop. From her prepared notes the Committee had selected Country Garden Chutney, Spiced Vegetable Pickles and Barbecue Sauce recipes for the workshop. The group divided into three and, at the conclusion of the day, everyone was able to take home a jar of each, lots of recipes to try and some new skills.

After the workshop we shared a delicious Ploughman’s lunch featuring some of Monica’s pickles and dried fruits, sourdough bread, ham and cheeses. Lots of opportunity to get to know each other better.

Thanks to Shoalhaven Flavours in Berry for a generous donation of Tilba cheeses. The Queen Street shop is definitely worth a visit if you love fine food and the Slow Food philosophy.

We also enjoyed a variety of delicious sourdough breads donated by a local breadmaker. There was much discussion about which variety was the best. Lots to look forward to.

Our district continues to attract new artisan businesses that are working to give us access to more good, clean and fair food and Slow Food Saddleback is pleased to introduce and support these businesses.

Recipes used for the yummy cakes served can be found at

Slow Food Saddleback invites you to a preserve and pickle workshop, led by Monika Armstrong from Culinarius Catering.  Monika has been cooking and producing wonderful food events for many years.  She has owned cooking schools and been a TAFE teacher – the perfect person to lead us on a pickling adventure.

We will learn new ideas and hints to transfer to your favourite produce.

Recipes will be supplied to take home and we will end the workshop with a Ploughman’s lunch featuring local products and delicious bread made locally by a master sourdough maker, who will hopefully visit us and tell us of his new venture.

When:  Saturday, 22 April at 11am to 2pm

Where:  Uniting Church, Bong Bong Street, Kiama

Cost:  Slow Food Members – $50, non Slow Food Members – $60

To book:

Numbers will need to be limited to ensure that we can all participate in the preparation of the pickles, so book early.

Please bring 3 cleaned jars (not too big!) and we can do last minute sterilisation on site, and bring an apron!

Ginger Cake with Lemon and Pistachio Icing

For the cake

1 cup golden syrup
¾ cup caster sugar
¾ cup sunflower oil (I used olive oil)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp ground cloves
dash white pepper
2 tsp bicarb soda
2 large eggs
100g finely grated fresh ginger

Line base and sides of a 22cm springform tin with double layer of baking paper.

Combine golden syrup, sugar and oil in a bowl and mix well. Sift flour, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.

Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a saucepan then add bicarb soda, then stir gently into sugar mixture and stir to combine then stir in ginger. Gradually whisk in flour/spice mixture then add eggs one at a time mixing well.

Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake at 1700 C for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 10 mins. Before turning out.

For icing – below is the actual recipe. I used a container of sour cream instead of butter and cream and just whipped it then added much less sugar to taste as well as lemon zest and juice

125g butter, diced and at room temp.
2 cups icing sugar
1 tblsp lemon zest
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp cream (I think this maybe wrong you would need more)
¼ cup chopped pistachios

Whip butter and gradually add sugar beating continuously on low speed. Add lemon zest and juice beating till smooth. Add cream till it is in a spreading consistency. Ice cake and sprinkle with pistachios. Slice with a hot knife.

Paddock to Plate lunch event at Mountain Range Farm

Slow Food Saddleback invites you to a Paddock to Plate lunch event at the farm.

Join Frank Marzano from Mountain Range Farm for a 3 course Italian style meal – antipasto plate, pasta and dessert and a glass of wine and coffee. Using all products from the vegetable patch!

Frank will lead the walk around the gardens, prepare lunch, all the while telling us about his personal stories and passion for food and farming.

When:  Saturday, 25 March at 11am to approximately 2pm

Where:  Mountain Range Farm, 29 Drakes Road, Dapto

Cost:  Slow Food Members – $45, non Slow Food Members – $55

To book:  TryBooking

Vote early and join your fellow Members for a fun and informative meal.

For the Diary: In late April there will be a preserving workshop in Kiama, and mid to late May will see a Chocolate event in Gerringong, details to follow.

Bring and Share to welcome 2023

Slow Food Saddleback members and friends will get together at Killalea State Park, and enjoy our own well prepared good food after an informative and comfortable walk with members of the Gumaraa Aboriginal Experience.

Our hosts will show us some of the traditions of the area and local bush tucker ingredients.

Killalea is an area of significant importance to the local indigenous people. Killalea has magnificent views, a grassy picnic area and beaches to share and enjoy.

This is a bring it all event. You will need to bring your food, utensils, and drinks – we will provide shade covers, and tables and some chairs. This will cope with drizzly weather too.

For those who are new to our Bring and Share tradition, the idea is to make a biggish plate of food that can be shared. We showcase our skills and local produce. All the food goes on the table and the creators let the rest of us know what they have prepared …it is fun and delicious!

You can do main course or dessert, just remember it is a picnic!!!

There is plenty of parking in the car park next to the Kiosk, where you can purchase extra goodies if required. The Kiosk is run by local indigenous members under the management of Mark Olive a well know chef specialising in bush tucker ingredients.

If the weather is really bad we will have to cancel, but we will do our best and there is plenty of shelter. Ring 0438447326 if it looks too wet to continue.

When:  Sunday 26 February at 11am for the Gumaraa Experience followed by the picnic.
We will commence the experience as close to time as possible.

Where:  Killalea State Park

Cost:  $25 to cover the expenses for the Gumaraa Group

To book: TryBooking

See you at the picnic, it will be good for everyone to catch up in a relaxed atmosphere.  Obviously, children are welcome and free.

2023 Business Development Grants

The 2023 Snail of Approval recipients were entitled to apply for a Slow Food Saddleback Business Development Grant. Two grants of up to $2,500 were awarded by the Committee with funds that are raised through Slow Food Saddleback’s many events, and Membership fees.

These grants were presented to the following special local farmers to further their activities on Friday evening, 9 December at the Terra Madre (Mother Earth) Day Celebration Dinner.

Kel and Mahlah Grey of The Pines Dairy in Kiama will use their funds to contribute to their project The Pines Whey Fed pigs.

This addition of pigs to their farming system will complete the full circle evolution in their regenerative farming methods. As cheese makers they have excess whey, a huge source of protein for the pigs that will combine with systematic grazing. Pigs will be rotated through different areas, where their natural foraging abilities will benefit the land. Pigs will later be processed ethically and sold locally as the Pines Whey Fed Pork.

The second grant went to Adam Walmsley and Fiona Weir from Buena Vista Farm at Gerringong, to enable them to attend an Artisan Cheesemaking, 5 day Masterclass at The Cheese School, Castlemaine.

Fiona and Adam farm a small acreage intending to use the resources they have been given in line with sustainable agricultural principles. For long term viability it is essential to train up the second business owner in the crucial part of the business model, cheese making!

Snail of Approval 2023 recipients

Slow Food Saddleback has had an annual program of Snail of Approval Awards begun in 2019. The awards recognise local businesses, producers, restaurants and providers who follow the Slow Food principles of good, clean and fair food.

The awards also recognise a concentration on recycling, sustainability and regeneration. Applicants are required to demonstrate all or most of these criteria.

In December, the following 12 businesses were presented a Snail of Approval for 2023 to display at their place of business to show locals and visitors alike that they are worthy of support:

  • The Pines, Kiama
  • Loquacious Kombucha
  • The Blue Swimmer at Seahaven, Gerroa
  • Ola Chola Food Van
  • Bagnell Organics at Dapto Community Gardens
  • Buena Vista Farm, Gerringong
  • Gung’s Gourmet Thai
  • Husnu Yeniceri at Mountain Range Farm
  • Silica Restaurant, Kiama
  • Little Earth Café, Kiama
  • Moonacres Kitchen, Robertson
  • Moonacres Farm, Robertson

Congratulations to our Snail of Approval recipients. These local businesses reflect the principles of Slow Food in the food and products they create and deliver to the community and we encourage all our members and readers to support them.