Foodies on 'snail trail' to Italy
SIX of the region's top producers, farmers and chefs are preparing to represent Australia at the world's largest food fair in Italy later this year.
Part of the Noosa Slow Food movement, these locals are some of Australia's first 'Snail of Approval' recipients, recognising producers, chefs, restaurant owners and food outlets that produce, use and promote good, clean, fair practices and ingredients from the local area.
Slow Food originated in Italy in the 1980s to defend regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasure and a slow pace of life against a growing 'fast food' world.
Terra Madre Salone Del Gusto in Turin is a bi-annual slow food event attracting thousands of foodies from around the world for five days in September.
Noosa Slow Food president Erika Hackett said the event would be a great experience for the local chefs and farmers attending.
"Terra Madre will give them a plethora of knowledge and understanding that way of life and what it means to produce clean, fresh food,” she said.
"They are all young chefs and farmers going and five of them are women, which is a great coup for women and shows what's going on in the industry, especially since they are wives, mothers and farmers.”
Barenuts Macadamias' Jodie Cameron and her husband own a farm north of Gympie and she is looking forward to immersing in the Italian slow food culture.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and to learn the origins of slow foods,” she said.
"Slow food is about fostering life-long, healthy eating habits, producing good, clean, fair food and supporting locally.”
"It's great too to be going with like-minded foodie folk,” Ms Cameron said.
Chef, farmer and owner of Black Ant Gourmet, Kin Kin General Store and Mayan Farm, Jodie Williams, is also attending and passionate about fresh, seasonal produce.
"I'm looking forward to finding out how all these old cities buy and use local produce in their own towns,” Ms Williams said.
"Buying local is wonderful for food suitability.
"It's also about re-educating people on seasonal produce and changing their diet to use what is in season instead of buying imported products,” she said.
The participants will be billeted to local Italian families while they are away.
The five-day event will include workshops, forums, conferences, cooking schools, street food and thematic spaces.
Slow Foods Noosa began in 2003 with five members and now has more than 200 members, including Matt Golinski.
For more information on the Noosa Slow Food movement visit www.slowfoodnoosa.com.