Sunday, 14 December 2014

Slow Food in Holme and Norfolk events

Slow Food Norwich had our first workshop and talk about the new Slow Food in East Anglia area and organisation in Holme next the sea on the north Norfolk coast last November evening which proved very popular and well attended by both local residents and other interested members of the public.
There was a tasting of a range of Italian wines introduced and hosted by wine consultant Damien of Bircham Stores in the village of West Bircham and a tasting of two olive oils from Italy, one from Arezzo in Tuscany and the other from the Italian region of Le Marche.
The evening also had a small selection of both Italian and local produce including cheeses from Norfolk, honey from Italy and an excellent smoked salmon which is produced near Cley on the north Norfolk coast.

We are now pressing ahead with plans for several talks and workshops in Norfolk to promote our new Approved scheme for food and drink businesses in East Anglia, the next workshop will be in the historic town of Holt in central Norfolk on Saturday 14th february where we will be sharing a platform with a producer of organically produced olive oil from Tuscany.
This will be followed by a promotional and tasting event in Kings Lynn to be held at a prestigious venue near the Quay in March and another in Holt at the Easter weekend.
Our next Slow Food members evening will be held in Norwich in February and more news with details of dates, times and venues will be on our Blog in January.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Slow Food in Holme next the Sea

Slow Food Norwich and East Anglia will be holding a promotional event at the village hall in Holme next the Sea on Thursday 11th December, with a talk being given about the new Slow Food England region and also the recently established Slow food East Anglia.
The evening starts at 7.30 pm and will finish at 10 pm and as well as several short talks about Slow Food will also include a tasting of six wines and two olive oils from Italy, most of which are made by producers in Italy who belong to the international Slow Food organisation.
This event will be the first in a series of monthly tastings, talks and workshops concentrating on promoting Slow Food in East Anglia, other events will also be held in villages and towns all across the north Norfolk coastal area, these will include the villages of Burnham Market, Brancaster, Thornham, Wells next the Sea, Cley, Blakeney as well as the towns of Holt, Hunstanton and Fakenham.
The members of the Slow Food groups in East Anglia are all very excited about the creation of a new dedicated region in the east of England which will be part of the larger Slow food England, this new entity gives us a wide range of new opportunities for fundraising in order to support the promotion of the Slow Food ethos.

We are very pleased to be holding these special evenings with the co operation of Damien from Bircham stores in north Norfolk who will be organising the wine tastings for the event. Damien who is French has many years of experience in the wine trade and will be tutoring our guests at the event about the fabulous Italian wines he is showcasing that evening. The wines being tasted on the night will include a dry Prosecco, two white wines, three red wines and a lovely Moscato d'asti dessert wine.
There will also be a tasting of two organic extra virgin olive oils from Italy, one from Arezzo in Tuscany and the other from the Cartoceto area of the Le Marche region. There will also be the opportunity to taste some other fine Italian foods, including a range of honeys and also chocolate from the Le Marche region which are all produced by Slow Food Italy members.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Slow Food and Proper Pizza Company event in Norwich

Where possible Slow Food Norwich tries to be involved in many of the local food and drink events in Norfolk and we were pleased when we were approached in September by James of the Proper Pizza Company based in Norwich to see if we were interested in taking part in a food and arts event to be held at the historic Dragon Hall in Norwich on 1st and 2nd of November.
The Hallows Jamboree is to be held on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons and each day to be followed by an evening "Feast" where up to 120 guests will been served a three course meal cooked on wood fires and served on wooden platters while they are seated on long trestle tables which are very much how guests at meals would have eaten at the Dragon Hall during most of its long history.
This exciting food and arts event is a first of its type to be held by the Proper Pizza Company and Bullit Guerilla Dining at the Dragon Hall and Slow Food Norwich will be taking part along with members of the new Slow Food in East Anglia.

Olivaverde has been involved with promoting small Italian food and wine producers including working with Festivaldelgusto in Italy to hold markets and fairs in the east of Italy for some years and has also been connected with several Slow Food projects and workshops both in Norwich and London. Slow Food and Olivaverde share the same ethos, promoting good food, produced by passionate farmers and producers by methods which are sympathtic to the lands on which they are grown and made.
The Proper Pizza Company has only been trading for a few years but have built up a formidable reputation for providing excellent food at many different types of events all across Norfolk and also as far as London. They use authentic wood fired pizza ovens and cater not just for large and small outside events but also for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions and they are very much in demand throughout the year.

Slow Food Norwich will be at the event in Dragon Hall to promote not only the Slow Food groups and organisation in East Anglia but also in the new Slow Food England where the new structure is already leading to an increase in membership numbers and also more events to pass the message about good locally produced food to the wider public.
We also are now working closely with Slow Food London and in early 2015 Slow food East Anglia will be in a new grouping with Slow Food London and a new South Eastern region.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Slow Food Norwich, Slow Food Marche in Italy and Festivaldelgusto

Members of Slow Food Norwich were very pleased to be present at the prestigious artisan food and drink fair,the Festivldelgusto which was held near the Adriatic resort of Senigallia in Italy a few days ago at the Castello di Monterado.
The festival is dedicated to small local Italian artisan food and wine producers and since it first started the Festivaldelgusto has been held in the Le Marche region of Italy each autumn but there are plans for it to be held in other regions of Italy and also on the Island of Malta in 2015, also we hope to involve both Italian and Maltese Slow Food groups in the setting up and running of these artisan food events.
Slow Food Norwich is very much involved in the creation of the new Slow Food in East Anglia region which will then have the necessary membership and geographical size to work with other regions in both the UK and in Italy. The new regional entity will be in place before Christmas 2014 and will mark the beginning of a new focus on increasing membership numbers, also increasing the number of educational talks and workshops in the region.

In eastern Italy Slow Food Marche is a collection of the many groups present throughout the Le Marche region of eastern Italy, and we have been pleased to have been approached by the Ugo Pazzi the President of Slow Food Marche and also other members to start a co operation with them in 2015.
We met Sig Pazzi when he came to the festivaldelgusto in Senigallia in September with other representatives of Slow Food Marche and we will be meeting them again in Italy soon to sign a joint protocol of co operation between Slow Food in East Anglia and Slow Food Marche.
Both groups will be working together to promote Slow Food in the Marche region and specifically to help foreign residents now living in Le Marche to meet local members of local Slow Food groups, become members of their local group and also for new residents to more easily obtain information about local artisan food and drink producers, also markets and events in their area.

Several members from Slow Food England will be attending the Salone del Gusto in Turin at the end of October and will be meeting other Slow Food groups from throughout the world which will provide many further opportunities to forge closer links with other like minded groups.
2015 will be an exciting year for Slow Food Norwich working with the  many new contacts that we have already made and will make in over the next year.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

North Norfolk Village food events

The rural nature of north Norfolk is famous throughout the country and with so much diverse and wonderful local produce it makes it an ideal place to hold workshops and events to showcase local producers and farmers.
With much of the county taken up with intensive industrial farming which includes large amounts of land being given over to crops such as sugar beet and rape seed it is uplifting to find so many small local producers making a wide range of fantastic produce and others keeping alive local traditions used in making food, some of which almost died out in the 1970's and 80's.
there are a large variety of wonderful food produced in Norfolk, including a large variety of cheeses, fresh meat, smoked and cured meats, fruit, vegetables, jams and honeys,
North Norfolk also has a beautiful and wild coastline, the coast with its sandy beaches and large expanses of mud flats stretches from Kings Lynn in the west round to Cromer in the east, and because of the large fishing industry in this area, fish and shellfish have also played a large role in the diet of the local population over the centuries.

Slow food Norwich has been in touch with many of the local artisan food producers and also with local village halls and community centres to organise events throughout the north Norfolk area where producers can take part in special events to promote their produce to local and visitors to the area.
We have several of these events planned for the autumn and winter period including talks and workshops in several of the larger villages including Docking, Ringstead, Holme,Wells next the Sea and Burnham Market.
The first of these events will actually be in the city of Norwich on the 1st and 2nd November and the first in the north Norfolk villages will be a joint Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food produce from Italy on Thursday 11th December.
In the city of Norwich we are currently planning to co operate with small food and drink businesses in that city to hold artisan markets and workshops in November and December of 2014 and possibly in Kings Lynn in the early spring of 2015.
Further news and details of these events, workshops and markets will be found on this blog and also on our Twitter and Facebook pages over the coming weeks and months.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Slow Food Norwich in East Anglia

With the recent changes to the structure of Slow Food in the UK, with the creation of Slow Food England, Slow Food Scotland, Slow Food Wales and Slow Food Northern Ireland there has been a move toward having even smaller regional entities one of which would be called Slow Food in East Anglia.
New members would join this larger regional grouping and if and when there was a large enough membership base in a particular city or town they could then also set up a group in that town or city, such as a new Slow Food Cambridge or a Slow Food Kings Lynn in Norfolk.
The changes in the regional structure came after several years of discussion and debate with the Slow Food membership in the whole UK and also with lengthy consultations with Slow food International in Italy. There were many debates in this time within the groups and wider membership about how and when the devolution of decision making to the four regions from Slow Food UK would take place and the new structure was finally in place in early 2014.

We at Slow Food Norwich are looking forward to an exciting future within the new Slow Food England structure and will be working closely with other groups in East Anglia to also establish a vibrant and enthusiastic membership throughout the Est of England.
In the near future we also hope to be able to establish new groups in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, these would include Slow food groups in Cambridge, Ely, Peterborough, Kings Lynn, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich. We are also working with Slow Food in England to obtain funding for a dedicated educational advisor who will also arrange and manage events and carry out fundraising activities. Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food in East Anglia will then be able to be in the position to organise more local workshops and events as well as carry out a much larger educational role by giving talks and lectures at schools, local communities and colleges throughout the eastern region.
As part of these exciting new developments we are already committed to taking part in several food and educational events in the region in the autumn and winter months with several more in the planning stage for 2015.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Norwich Restaurant week

Slow food Norwich has been involved with food and drink related businesses and small food producers over the past four years and we are pleased to have been asked to be involved in the Norwich Restaurant week as part of the Norfolk Food and Drink Festival which is held in September and early October.
Members of Slow Food Norwich will be present at the well known Library restaurant which is part of the Raffles Restaurant group on Saturday September 6th along with up to twelve local food producers and small businesses from Norwich and other parts of the county of Norfolk. As well as assisting the producers we will also be present to promote the Slow Food organisation, its ethos and aims but also to update visitors about the recent changes to the structure of Slow Food in the UK and the creation of new regions including Slow Food England, Slow Food Scotland, Slow Food Wales and Slow Food Northern Ireland.

Slow Food Norwich is now a member of the Slow Food England region and is working with other East Anglian Slow Food groups to create a dedicated Slow Food East Anglian region which will work within the Slow Food England structure.
The exciting changes to Slow Food within the UK has given rise to a rapidly increasing membership and groups are now supported by a newly enlivened central office in London which is much more orientated to helping groups with events and educational projects throughout the country.
Slow Food Norwich has an ongoing programme of events in both Norfolk and also other parts of Eastern England over the coming months including a Slow Food evening in October at the Thornham Village hall on the North Norfolk coast and another event featuring Norfolk food producers at the Forum in Norwich in November.

Among the local Norfolk producers who will be present at the Library will be Peter Burgess from Kitchen Garden organic box scheme in Sisland, Peter set his business up over twelve years ago and grows and delivers all his own produce to customers in Norwich and the surrounding area. Peter is an excellent example of the type of small food producer who has a passion for his products and the type of good healthy food that is part of the Slow Food ethos.
As well as our promotional and educational roles in Norfolk with local Norfolk producers, Slow Food Norwich also works with Olivaverde to promote small artisan producers of olive oil and other fine Italian foods which are made by Slow Food members in Italy.
Olivaverde will be present at the event to represent several small Italian producers who are passionate about promoting their products and the Slow Food movement as a whole.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Eat out healthily but also cheaply

The international Slow Food organisation is founded upon the idea that people should have access to good local food and where possible this should be sourced as locally as possible, we at Slow food Norwich are part of this growing movement and always support local producers and markets where possible.
We were contacted last month by Julie Broadfoot who introduced us to an article about how to eat out but still enjoy good healthy food that is also inexpensive, very much fitting in with the Slow Food ethos.
We very much support the ideals and ideas that Julie has put into her article that she sent to us and very  much hope to co operate with her in the future. 
Julie has worked in the past in the food industry, is now a mum and writes articles about subjects she enjoys, such as good food, good health and home budgeting and below is part of the article that she introduced us at Slow food Norwich.....

Eating healthily doesn’t have to be the end of your social life. In fact, there are plenty of options and steps you can take to ensure you eat healthily when you eat out at a restaurant. Choosing the type of restaurant you go to, specific meal and way it’s prepared can all contribute to a balanced lifestyle and ensure you don’t sacrifice seeing friends and family for the sake of your health. In addition, this way of eating doesn’t have to be expensive and forward planning can ensure you don’t over-eat and over-spend next time you eat out.
In 2014, there are plenty of healthy restaurants around; fast food chains are no longer the only option. Look online and research the healthiest restaurants open in your area, often these offer incredibly healthy options for reasonable prices. The majority of restaurants have a menu available online, so read this and pick what you’d like beforehand. This way, you won’t be faced with a menu full of unhealthy food which you want to eat – you’ll already know what you’re ordering. This can also allow you to budget your money for the evening.
The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to overeat at your next meal. This is a huge problem when it comes to diets, as many starve themselves and this can lead to binge eating later. Eat a normal lunch and have a healthy snack, like grapes, before going out for dinner. This will ensure you’re not starving when you get to the restaurant and therefore tempted to over-order. Similarly, don’t drink too much alcohol, as this can inhibit you, as well as making you feel more hungry later, so this can result in over-eating. The cost of alcohol eating in a restaurant is not cheap so making your bill much larger than you budgeted for
A lot of meals offer a choice of different sides to have with your meal. These will usually include chips, new potatoes,salad and steamed vegetables. It’s up to you to pick the best option for you. Chips are usually deep fried and loaded with trans fat, which can cause high cholesterol. Therefore, these are obviously the worst option for a healthy meal. However, the other sides depend on your dietary needs. For example, if you eat a low carb diet, the new potatoes aren’t a good option but for many, new potatoes can be a great source of carbohydrates without over-doing it on the fat. Vegetables are always a fantastic healthy option and don’t cost any more than the less healthy options; just make sure that any dressings or butter is left off to ensure you know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
Remember, a healthy diet is about balance, so the odd portion of chips isn’t going to do much to steer you off track. Don’t become obsessed with tracking calories, just listen to your appetite and how your body feels so that healthy eating becomes a way of life rather than a diet. The best way to eat healthily on a budget is to ensure you don’t get so hungry you binge eat on expensive junk food. Keep a supply of healthy snacks in your home to keep your sugar and hunger levels topped up.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Slow Food and Maida Hill Place London

Slow Food Norwich is always pleased to be involved in promoting good local food in Norfolk and East Anglia but we also promote produce from other countries throughout the world that are made by other Slow Food Convivia members.
So we have teamed up with Olivaverde are very pleased to be holding one of our promotional and workshop events together with a networking evening at a great venue, Maida Hill Place in west London on August 21st. Part of the evening will be given over to a talk about the new Slow Food regions in the UK, this has been a major step forward for local groups with the recent launch of Slow Food England, Slow Food Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The evening will also be promoting our new Slow Food olive oil schools that we are setting up in the Le Marche region of Italy and also on the Island of Malta with the help of Slow food members in both countries.

This beautiful venue is in west London ia an important part in the regeneration of this area of London, and is close to both the popular and world famous Portobello Road Market and also the very exclusive areas of Little Venice, Maida Vale and Queens Park.
This makes it makes a perfect place to hold some of our London based events when we co operate with Slow Food London and other Slow Food groups, we also hold many of our events in East Anglia as well as at other venues in London over the summer and autumn.
Maida Hill Place was only opened less than two years ago and has already become a popular venue which is available for hire for food, music and art based events as well as becoming a well known film location and a centre for the local community in this part of west London.
The centre has a full professional audio and lighting system and is popular with musicians and artists who wish to hold concerts and shows in this very well equipped contemporary space.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Slow Food at the HUB Westminster

Slow Food Norwich and England are holding a workshop, talks and lectures about sustainable artisan produced foods this August at the prestigious HUB Westminster in central London. The HUB was launched in 2001 and is one of a large number of global locally owned collaborative working spaces which support early stage organisations and individuals to grow and prosper.
The HUB Westminster is one of three located in central London and there are now over forty similar HUB'S with over seven thousand members spread throughout the world, these include twenty six locations in Europe, fourteen in the USA, three in Australia, three in Africa and four in south America. Workshops and talks at the HUB Westminster offer a wonderful opportunity for organisations such as Slow Food and other other community based groups to reach a wide and diverse group of individuals who make up the HUB membership base.

Slow Food in the UK is undergoing a series of exciting changes, most of the most important is the new regional network with the establishment of a new Slow Food England, Slow Food Scotland and Slow Food Wales with an increased emphasis on localisation in the decision making process. One of the major changes to be present in the new structure will be to allow local groups to access local funding which was either extremely difficult to access or was impossible within the old Slow Food UK structure.
As part of the changes Slow Food has embarked upon a new drive to recruit new members, promote the Slow Food message in the UK, and the event at the HUB will be part of this new emphasis on engaging with members of the public who have a real interest in how their food is produced.

The event to be held in August will be jointly hosted by Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food London and there will be a series of talks, tastings and workshops totalling four or five hours, space will be limited to a maximum of sixty guests, which will mainly consist of members of the HUB community but also Slow Food members from both London, Norfolk and also a select number from Slow Food Italy and Slow Food International.
As well as the talks to be given by several Slow Food leaders there will also be tastings of locally produced foods, as well as artisan produced olive oils from Italy to demonstrate the diverse nature of food products that Slow Food promotes and the small producers who require support by the general public in the face of increasing pressure by the supermarkets.
Dates of this exciting event will be published at the end of May and we hope thet this first eevent at the HUB will be followed by similar events both in London and other cities in the UK this year and possibly Italy in 2015.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Slow Food Norwich and Wendling Food Fest.

Slow Food Norwich is very pleased to be holding an event in the beautiful village of Wendling in Norfolk in  June 2014 in conjunction with the new Slow Food in England and Olivaverde. This is the first food festival that will be held together with the Fire Pit team at their venue in the village of Wendling, this great venue is just outside the town of Swaffham in central Norfolk and much of the event will be based on the Italian Sagre food events which are held all over Italy each year.
The owners of the Fire Pit are very proactive in organising popular events at their venue and also work closely with the local community to promote both the village and local small artisan food businesses. Over the past couple of years the site has been transformed and there is now a large field which is used as a campsite,a wonderful hand made hazel dome bender tent, a purpose built shower and toilet block, as well as converted double decker bus which is used for childrens parties and more recently there has be the addition of a new cafe unit.
Several local sponsors and supporters have already come forward to offer to supply produce for the event and also with help and we are hoping to attract several hundred guests to this first Wendling and Slow Food Food Fest and Italian themed food event in central Norfolk.

The joint Fire Pit and Slow Food Norwich event has already attracted many stallholders and small artisan food producers including the Proper Pizza Company and Mr T Catering. Our good friends at Slow Food in Italy are sending one of their members to host the organic olive oil and Italian artisan sauces tastings and workshop, which will include tutored tastings of 6 organic olive oils from different regions of Italy.
The day will also include arts and crafts stalls, local Norfolk food stalls, a kids fun area, also some great music and the new Fire Pit Cafe will be open offering refreshments and cakes.
Slow Food Norwich members will  also be holding a talk about the Slow Food movement in the UK and the International movement which now has over 100,000 members in over 150 Countries. There will also be a workshop on how to support and nuture new local food producers and how good locally grown and sourced food is increasingly important in the Uk and the rest of the world. 

Other events that Slow Food Norwich will be planning along with our partners at Slow Food London and Olivaverde in 2014 will include a food fair at a well known hospital in Berkshire located near the world famous town of Windsor, this will be a celebration of local Berkshire and Buckinghamshire food producers and will include local cheeses, breads, honey and meats. But Norfolk producers are also interested in taking part and have confirmed to take part and we look forward to popular joint co operation with other Slow Food groups in this exciting food event.
The venue has been reserved, several producers have already confirmed and more details of the event will be available later in 2014 and we believe that this will be one of the highlights of our event calendar next year.
We will update this blog as the details of other exciting events unfold and we are looking forward to working with our many friends and also different partners in the coming year.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Great Bircham Country stores

Slow Food Norwich members are always pleased to find excellent small food producers and retailers in both Norfolk and also in the rest of  East Anglia and recently we have come across a really excellent small local food and wine shop in the pretty village of Great Bircham in North West Norfolk.
Great Bircham Country stores is managed by Damien who is originally from Brittany and it is the only shop left in this small village and it caters for both locals and the many passing visitors on the way to the north west coast of Norfolk. The village of Great Bircham is located in a very popular holiday area, being very close to the remote beautiful beaches and villages on the Norfolk coast and is also just fourteen miles from the historic city of Kings Lynn.
The village of Anmer is only three miles away from Great Bircham and this is where the new country home of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Anmer Hall, is currently being renovated. It is planned that they will divide their time between London and Norfolk from 2014 onwards, Kate has already seen visiting local shops in many  of the local towns and villages and it is hoped that the couple might also be seen in Great Bircham in the coming months!

North Norfolk is a beautiful and remote part of England having a long sandy coastline with many world famous nature reserves as well as being one of the main grain and pork production areas of the UK. Villages have changed little over the centuries but since the 1960's there has been a steady decline in small shops serving the local communities.
Great Bircham Country stores has also changed hands several times over the past few years as the small food shops in rural settings have found it increasingly difficult to survive with the growth of home deliveries by large supermarket chains, but with Damien and the new owners now concentrating on stocking a wide selection of both local foods and also enlarging the existing new wine shop, the future now seems to be more secure.
As well as stocking many products made by local artisan producers including home made cakes and breads they also plan to expand their range of wines and hold promotional events for local producers and farmers to help promote and market good local Norfolk produce.
At the start of 2014 Slow Food Norwich is very pleased to be able to help promote this outstanding small food business and we were pleased to find that Damien is also a member of Slow Food in England and a supporter of the goals and ideals of Slow Food International.