Slow Food Saddleback News

Cheese experience with Slow Food Saddleback, led by Jan Watson

Jan is one of our valued Members and an excellent cheesemaker! Jan has travelled to cheese making workshops in Europe and Australia, and brings with her vast experience and talent.

We will meet in Kiama for a learning experience followed by a delicious matching lunch, prepared by your Committee.  Jan will demonstrate how to make butter and simple quick cheese treats to make at home. Samples of these will be shared as we go!

Following the demonstrations, Jan will treat us to a general cheese tasting of some of the cheeses she has made earlier.  We may even get to see some cheese smoking.

Lunch will follow, with a themed, delicious light meal.
Tea and coffee will be available all day.

When:  Saturday, 22 June, 11.30am to  2.00pm

Where:   Kiama Uniting Church Hall, 48 Manning Street, Kiama
(plenty of parking in the carpark or nearby!)

Cost:  Slow Food members – $45,  non-members –  $55

To book:  Try Booking:

Slow Dough with Slow Food Saddleback

You’re invited to join Richard in the Slow Dough kitchen to learn how to make their famous heirloom tomato, parmesan and rosemary focaccia to take home and share with your family.

Over two hours together, we will discuss the principals of sourdough baking by looking at how to make focaccia – from feeding your starter, to mixing the dough and folding it, then finally shaping, dressing and baking.

There will be sourdough refreshments and wine during the afternoon.

At the end of the session, you will go home with a hot focaccia slab, sourdough starter, and a booklet with instructions how to look after your starter and bake bread.

When:   Sunday, 26 May 2024, 2.00pm-4.00 pm

When:   Slow Dough Bakery, 19 Bong Bong St., Kiama

Cost:  $45  – members only

To book:  Try Booking:

Please bring an apron!

Numbers are limited so please book early.

Autumn Dinner

Autumn is here and Winter will soon follow, so let’s enjoy the last of the outside evenings with welcome drinks in the Nursery, and Dinner to follow in the Conservatory at the Quarry Cafe at Burnetts on Barney.

Elizabeth Burnett will be our host for the evening and will speak to us over dinner about the Burnetts on Barney story.

The Quarry Cafe is this year’s recipient of The Slow Food Saddleback Business Development Award and Elizabeth will update us on her future plans.

Dinner will be provided by the staff at The Quarry Cafe, and after our welcome drink, please BYO for drinks with your Dinner.

When:  Thursday, 18 April 2024, 5.00pm
(we are starting early to get the last of the evening light)

Where: Burnetts on Barney, 80 Barney Street, Kiama

Cost:  Slow Food Saddleback members – $75, non members – $85

To book:  Try Booking:

Numbers are limited so please book early.

Any suggestions?

We are always on the look out for more activities and then of course people to help organise and help on the day.

If you have any suggestions or special contacts please be in touch by sending an email to or talk to us at any of our events.  Your input will be most welcome.

Our presence around the area is now recognised by many and that encourages good, clean and fair food for all

Getting to know bees – morning tea and question time

Getting to know bees is our theme for March.  Come along to a morning tea and question time to learn lots of detail about honey in a local setting.

Honey flavoured treats and tea and coffee will be shared but please bring your own mug to help us save on the washing up.

When:  Wednesday, 6 March 2024, 10.30am

Where: 7 Armstrong Avenue, Gerringong

Cost:  Slow Food Saddleback members – $20, non members – $30

To book:  Try Booking:

Any suggestions?

Your Committee spends a lot of time organising and managing funds and membership.  We are always on the look out for more activities and then of course people to help organise and help on the day.

If you have any suggestions or special contacts please be in touch by sending an email to or talk to us at any of our events.  Your input will be most welcome.

Our presence around the area is now recognised by many and that encourages good, clean and fair food for all.

Snail of Approval Awards and Business Development Grant 2023-2024

Our special producers, farmers and restaurants deserve our recognition, and your Committee now awarded the 2023 – 2024 Snails of Approval (presented at Kiama Farmers Market on 13 December 2023).

Our awardees this year are again a diverse collection of businesses, who continue to strive to produce Good, Clean and Fair food in our area and for our community.

The 2023-2024 awards go to:

Atlas and Flora, organic farmers (Facebook)
Buena Vista Farm
Gung’s Thai Food
Hywel’s Lemonade
Miss Arda Restaurant
Moonacres Kitchen
Mountain Range Nursery
Ola Chola Food Truck (Instagram)
Silica Restaurant
The Quarry Cafe at Burnett’s on Barney
The Blue Swimmer Restaurant
Top Shop Kiama (Facebook)
Tilda and Cacoa

The awardees have received a certificate and a plaque to display at their businesses so visitors and locals alike will know they are businesses worthy of support, and who are part of a world wide Slow Food organisation.

They  were also invited to apply for a Business Development Grant, the aim being to fund one of our good, clean and fair local producers or businesses to pursue a development that might otherwise be outside their means.

The Committee as usual had a difficult choice, but the award went to The Quarry Cafe at Burnetts on Barney.

The business plan for The Quarry Cafe will enable the expansion of Crop and Swap, and continue a program of taste education by connecting producers with the public –  a portable shed will be converted into a cooking space and provide room for using local producers’ excess in preserving and eliminating waste.

Your continued Membership and support of Slow Food Saddleback allows this program to flourish.

Please contact our Convivium Leader, Celia Wade  at if you have any queries.

Celebrate the new year with a Bring and Share meal

2023 – 2024 Snails of Approval have been awarded and we are pleased to offer the recipients the opportunity to apply for our Business Development Award.

Our recipients this year are again a diverse collection of businesses, who continue to strive to produce Good, Clean and Fair food in our area and for our community.

We will get together for a Bring and Share meal to make the presentation and to start another year of Slow Food Saddleback events and get togethers.

A Bring and Share meal if you haven’t attended one before is a relaxed way of contributing to a special meal – we all contribute something delicious on the night, you can do first course or dessert, whatever you choose, and plates go on the table for all to sample.
Also bring your own drinks – we will provide plates, cutlery glasses etc.

When:  Friday, 2 February 2024, 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Where: Celia and Des’s home – 15 Taylor Street, Kiama

Cost:  $10 to confirm attendance and start our finances for 2024

To book:  Try Booking:

Please contact Celia Wade at
if you have any queries.

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!

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!