Slow Food Australia wraps up its second national congress

14 Mar 2003 | English

Slow Food’s second congress was held last weekend, March 7-9, at the Victorian town of Mildura. Present were 140 Slow Food members, convivia leaders and food and wine journalists from across Australia. From Tasmania to Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, representatives traveled for thousands of kilometers to represent their region and have their say. Held at the historic Mildura Club on Saturday March 8, the congress was an opportunity to take a number of important decisions that will shape the development and future direction of Slow Food Australia. Delegates voted to approve the implementation of a new structure for Slow Food in Australia.The new structure will implement state associations to be led by steering committees that will help facilitate convivia and membership growth in each state. James Broadway was re-elected as the Governor of Slow Food Australia and Dr Barbara Santich, professor of Gastronomy at the University of Adelaide, was elected to chair the first official Australian Ark of Taste scientific commission. Dinner that evening was held in the atmospheric setting of a local vineyard, where one long trestle table seated around 150 people by candlelight. The Victorian government’s Minister of Tourism the Honorable John Brumby was present. On the Sunday morning, he and one of Australia’s favorite food personalities Stefano Di Pieri, launched the Slow Rivers project on Di Pieri’s newly opened paddleboat cafe and bar, The Avoca. The full support of the Victorian government was pledged to the Slow Rivers concept and Mr Brumby also spoke of the government’s commitment to host a major Slow Food event in Melbourne within the next couple of years. He also launched the locally produced book, The Source‚ a collection of recipes contributed by the region’s diverse ethnic community. The afternoon was spent in discussion about the Australian Ark of Taste, Slow Rivers and the Farmers Markets movement. Presentations were given by food writer and SBS journalist Joanna Savill, Mildura chef Stefano Di Pieri, The Agejournalist Rita Erlich and Farmers Market representative Miranda Sharp. To conclude a long, successful and rewarding weekend , Stefano Di Pieri and his talented team of chefs, notably Executive Chef Brigitte Hafner, created a memorable dinner in the Grand Hotel’s Chandelier Room.

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