Look at the produce that Art of Produce donated! The chefs working hard

Slow Food Waitakere Forage to Feast was a huge success. Many of the participants asked how it all happened, so here is a quick report, and lots of photos.

We asked Ben Barton from Pop Dining to cook for us, and we foraged and collected food and flowers from our gardens, plus asked some Slow Food friendly businesses to help us out by giving us some leftovers (to follow our slow food principle of ‘no waste’ and to value leftovers). We would like to thank Aldo from Art of Produce for all the wonderful vegetables and watermelons, Jason from Pukeko Bakery for the yummy breads (ciabatta, wholegrain, sourdough, kumara and more!), Ross and Lynn Gaia Foods for olive oil, vinegar, beans, chickpeas and couscous, Epicure Trading for the wooden eco dishes, All Good Bananas for the bananas and Fisherman Roy for offering his catch! The foragers were Sue, Regina and Alessandra (onion weed, kawakawa, mulberries, elderberry flowers, mixed edible flowers). You can find a record of the foraging and recipes here, and more photos on our FB group. We also would like to mention Freedom Farms for giving us a good price on the whole piglet (18kg!).

Also thank you to Regina for the free range eggs, rhubarb, herbs, lemons, flowers and other goods from her garden, Sue and Dan for the use of their kitchen and garden, Judith for the broad beans and parsley, and everybody who bought flowers and props.

The meal was cooked by Ben, Sue, Regina and Alessandra, serving and hosting: Penny, Fi, Yvonne, Kazuyo and Dan. The speakers on the day were Ben from Pop Dining, Linda from Calico Publishing, Helen and Linda from Sandringham Farmers’ Market, and Alessandra for Slow Food Waitakere.

Preparing the food

When working with donated food and leftovers (as well as foraged food) there is only so much planning that can be done, as you never know what you are going to get! Our chefs were able to improvise with what arrived on Saturday morning with what was sourced in the previous weeks. The best menu for Slow Food is one that it is predominately seasonal, local and ethical. To this we added the fact that we are keen on zero waste, thus using leftovers was an essential part of our cooking and eating experience.

pulled pork and porchetta

Ben and Sue in the kitchen
Roasting capsicums in the pizza oven and grilling the asparagus. Lots of hands needed for the broad beans
Judith picking broad beans, desserts with berries and flowers, canederli (Italian bread dumplings), Alessandra in the kitchen
The Slow Food prizes table, Ben cutting pork, Sue assembling salads and Regina assembling Harissa Fish
Salsa verde, starters and salads, and fresh watermelon juice with mint

The menu

To start:
Bread basket with dips: salsa verde – bread, parsley, capers, eggs, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and onion weed dip – onion weed and feta cheese. 
Home cured locally foraged olives
Fresh watermelon juice with mint

The amazing veggies:

Mushroom cake – almond, mushrooms, thyme, onion, garlic, eggs, Parmesan

Grilled asparagus – roast peppers, balsamic glaze, broad beans

Burnt broccoli – chili, cumin, slow roast eggplant, tahini dressing

Mushrooms with Asian greens – sweet soy, chili
Couscous – roast Jerusalem artichokes, charred leeks, herbs
courgette noodles – red pepper dressing, mint, broad beans


The mains

Plate of pig – head cheese, pulled pork and porchetta, rhubarb and rosemary sauce

Vegetarian alternative – Canederli – Italian bread dumpling with sage butter

Harissa fish – olive oil, spinach, red pepper, fennel and onion weed salsa
Vegetarian alternative – Onion weed Japanese omelette rolled in salted nori.

The dessert table
Angel food cake with flowers and elderberry flower syrup
Kawakawa and rose meringues
Mini banana trifles with kawakawa custard, mulberries and roses
Kawakawa biscuits
All good bananas

Mushrooms with Asian greens, Plate of pig – head cheese, pulled pork and porchetta, rhubarb and rosemary sauceGrilled asparagus – roast peppers, balsamic glaze, broad beansBurnt broccoli – chili, cumin, slow roast eggplant, tahini dressing
Harissa fish – olive oil, spinach, red pepper, fennel and onion weed salsa
Slow Food Waitakere prizes

Slow Food Waitakere AGM 2013
From the Convivium leader Penny Anutosh Cusack:

It’s possible to change the world even while preserving the concept of the right of pleasure.

At Slow Food Waitakere
We come together to share the everyday joys of food and to get to know our local foods and producers and spread that knowledge.
We play a firsthand role by organising events and campaigns and by taking part in local, national and international activities.

What we did in 2013
·      Pleasure and Enjoyment – Coming together to enjoy good food and company
·      Community and Education – working with Man Alive to help them realize their vision of a community garden for their clients and families
·      Education – food and a growing focus on reducing food waste
·      Increasing out impact – connecting with the experts, getting better at telling our story, getting more help and support   
Our 2014 Focus
*A programme  of events that reflect our global and local focus
* Enjoyment and Conviviality
* Include producer Bike Tour in February, Waste not Dinners, Food and Cooking classes
* Strengthen our education and community engagement
* Focus on how our food is produced and the producers
* Focus on reducing food waste 
*  Increase our reach  –  Funding to support community education initiatives
* Connect with aligned people, groups and experts
* Attend Salon Gusto and Terra Madre in October 2014

Slow Food Waitakere events in the past year, read by Convivium committee member Fiona Ironside:

August 2012
Bungya Raya Restaurant (Malaysian) 

Sept 2012
Modern Japanese Cooking

October 2012
Italian Festival

November 2012
Pizza Oven Building Class
Grey Lynn Community  Garden Visit

December 2012
Terra Madre Celebration Dinner and Slow Food Quiz 

February 2013
Hallertau Beer Tasting 

March 2013
Slow Food Dinner Cafe Abysinnia
Man Alive Community Garden Visit 

April 2013
Raw Food Pastry Class

May 2013
Oxfam Biggest Coffee Break – Fair Trade Fortnight Corban’s Estate Arts Centre

August 2013
Street Eats – joining  and supporting in local events and having fun 

September 2013
Slow Food Waitakere Cocktail Party – think local , act global Making a difference 
Italian Festival – reducing food waste

November 2013
Forage to Feast

The dessert table

The table, flowers from the garden, Angel food cake with flowers and elderberry flower syrup and mini banana trifles with kawakawa custard, mulberries and roses, Kawakawa and rose meringues

Thank you all for coming along, we will publish more recipes of out feast in the next few days, so watch this space!

Diners took all the leftovers home
Photos by: Fionna, Yvonne, Kazuyo, Dan, Regina, Sue, Alessandra, Penny