Friday, 16 December 2016

Slow Food Norwich and Anglia AGM

Slow Food Anglia and Slow Food Norwich will be holding their annual general meeting at the well known Louis' Deli in Upper St Giles Norwich on Friday February 17th. This well known Deli in the centre of Norwich is also owned by a member and active supporter of Slow Food in East Anglia, and all current members will be contacted in January with an update of the date and time of the AGM.
The AGM in Norwich next February is a requirement set by Slow Food International for local groups as part of its commitment to local communities and members. It is to always have the highest standards in regards to the way the local groups are organised and run by Slow Food members in order to be able to cooperate and work within the areas where they are based.
Slow Food is an organisation run by volunteers and each groups constitution specifies they have full range of officers and the annual AGM is an essential part of the efficient running of the group as well as a chance to discuss plans for future events and activities.

The AGM next January will discuss our plans for the Holkham Hall Slow Food festival in north west Norfolk on April 8th 2017, the Kings Lynn festival in May and also the part the Slow Food Anglia group will play together with other Slow Food groups from mainland Italy, Sicily and Malta at the Slow Food Mediterranean festival on Malta next July.
In 2017 Slow Food Norwich are planning another small food festival in Norwich, and working together with Slow Food Anglia members we will start work on obtaining a second Presidia for an East Anglian food or drink, two are already shortlisted for the project.
On the night of the AGM after the meeting there will be drinks for the Slow food members present and also later drinks and a presentation of Slow Food Presidia olive oils from Italy and Sicily, and we hope that many of our members living in Norwich and across the region will come along to Louis' Deli on the evening.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Slow Food Norwich Christmas Food Fest on Terre Madre Day

Slow Food Norwich and Anglia are very pleased to be one of the supporters of the Christmas Feast event organised by the Norwich based Feast on the Street group of street food traders which is being held at the Shoe Factory Social club in Norwich on Saturday 10th December. The Shoe Factory is a large warehouse space given over for community use, with plans to redevlop the building in 2017. Norfolk Food and Drink a major promoter of Norfolk food and producers are also a supporter of this first event of this type to be held by Feast on the Street in Norwich.
The event is being held at this fantastic venue near the centre of Norwich and will be open from 4 in the afternoon until late and there will be a wide range of traders and street food vendors on site during this early Christmas themed party!
Feast on the Street is a large group of independent collective of street food traders based in the city of Norwich and the surrounding areas in Norfolk, the group came together in 2013 and there are now over 15 members including Natural Born Grillers, Proper Pizza company, the Duck Truck, Totem and The Nags Head mobile bar.

Slow Food Norwich and Anglia have been invited to have several of their members who are also food producers take part at the event including Debby from Chilli Fundamentals who are one of our Slow Food Anglia Approved business scheme members. We will also have two other Slow Food producers coming to the event including the local olive oil company Olivaverde who import olive oil from Italy mainly sourced from Slow Food Italian members.
The Christmas Food Fest event will also have music later in the evening and the whole festival will have the feel of it being much more like one big Christmas party that just a regular food and drink festival.
The event is already priving popular with Norwich residents and community groups and the Facebook Page for the Christmas festival has full details of the traders and others taking part, all of us at Slow Food are looking forward to being part of this exciting evening in Norwich!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Hallowen Pumpkin Waste Festival Norwich 2016

Slow Food Norwich are again taking part in the Pumpkin Waste festival in Norwich this October, we were first approached by the London based charity HUBBUB in spring 2015 to see if we would represent Norwich in the Pumpkin Rescue project which is being held in cities all across the UK.Pumpkin Rescue began in 2014 in the city of Oxford where over twenty groups took part in events across the city and with more than 2,000 people attending these varied events, which included workshops, dinners and other food related events on the day.The event last year included input by the well known Fire Pit Camp near Swaffham and this year we will have volunteers from Slow food Norwich taking part with the events to be held at the Forum on October 29th.
This year Hubbub is again involved with setting up pumpkin rescue festivals in more than 20 cities which includes our city of Norwich in East Anglia, our region being one of the largest growers of pumpkins in the UK and with that we have a large amount of waste left over after the October celebrations of Halloween.

The City Council has this year team up with several supermarkets including Sainsbury and Morrisons to provide wast collection centres at their stores in Norwich as well as centres to be set up by the Council throughout the City.

We are very pleased that it was because of Slow Food Norwich and Anglia that this scheme was introduced to the City and hope it will spread more widely across Norfolk in the coming years.
HUBBUB has been very supportive of groups across the UK to help promote this festival this year and they hope that this will grow both in size and importance over the coming years, and already a city in the US has joined in this years activities.
The Pumpkin rescue is an example of where Slow Food in Norwich and also across the UK can be involved on the ground with important environmental projects, our ethos at Slow Food Norwich is to both protect good clean local foods and also promote responsible sustainable initiatives in the city and Norfolk.

We had several speakers who focused on food waste issues when we held our first dedicated Slow Food festival in Norwich in August, this was only possible because of the backing of the Environment team from Norwich City Council, as well as members of Slow Food Anglia and Slow Food England, We will help promote this important event with our members and other community groups across Norwich so as to make the 2016 Pumpkin Waste festival widely known throughout the city of Norwich.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Slow Food at the Fire Pit Camp, Norfolk

Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food Anglia members have been involved with the food, drink and lifestyle festivals that are held at the Fire Pit Camp in the village of Wendling near Swaffham and we will be present at the Breks Food Festival in September which is being held in conjunction with the annual Slow Food festival that has been held at the Fire Pit Camp over the past three years.
One of the Slow Food Norwich and Anglia's main aims is to be involved with local communities and events in the area in which we are based so we are very pleased to be involved with the Breks food festival for the first time.
The Fire Pit Camp is an independent family run campsite with 15 pitches for campers, a large decorated warehouse which can be used for parties and social events as well as a large cafe bar, and has been featured in several national newspapers as one the the top campsite destinations in the UK.
The one day festival will include many food stalls all with local artisan food producers, live music, DJs, talks and workshops, the event is sponsored by Beeston's Brewery and supported by Norfolk Food and Drink Ltd.

This first joint Slow Food and Breks Food festival will be held on Saturday 17th September starting at noon and as before it will attract visitors from both Norfolk and further afield and over the past three years events held at the Fire Pit Camp have rapidly increased in popularity as they offer the perfect family day out and also a showcase for some of best that local Norfolk food and drink has to offer.
Local artisan food producers who are taking part include Chilli Fundamentals who are based in west Norfolk as well as street food vendors from several local well known companies based in and around Norwich.
There are several excellent play areas for children all across the campsite and many of the activities taking place during the day are specially focused on younger children, and there is also a special converted Double Decker bus which always proves popular with both adults and children.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Norfolk Saffron and Slow Food Anglia

Slow Food Norwich had heard of Norfolk Saffron several times over the past few years but my friend Aviva then took part in a workshop with Sally from Norfolk Saffron near Burnham Market in north west Norfolk, Aviva was then able to tell me more about this interesting artisan saffron producer and I managed to meet Sally for the first time in 2013 and she told me then about her very interesting business and the very interesting history of saffron growing in north Norfolk.
Sally who started and runs Norfolk Saffron is an Oxford trained botanist with a doctorate in plant pathology, she is helped in busy periods by her family and especially by her mother Jill who is the reason that saffron growing has returned to Norfolk.
Norfolk Saffron is based in the family smallholding in the pretty village of Burnham Norton on the north west Norfolk coast, the land has been in the family since 1935, but Sally only started growing Saffron there in 1997 after her mother gave her 20 saffron corms as a birthday present. By 2009 there was too much saffron being grown just for personal or indeed for use by the whole family and Sally decided to go into commercial production and with the help of RDPE funding the new business was born.

Norfolk Saffron continues the ages old practice of growing saffron on the north Norfolk coast, in the past much of the saffron grown and processed in this part of Norfolk was sent across to Holland via the small port of Wells next the Sea but this stopped many centuries ago.
Sally now sells her bottled saffron, two types of saffron flour and her saffron liquor at local farmers markets, large annual food and drink festivals, also some is sold in shops in north Norfolk and increasingly she is selling her saffron on line, she also has set up a small saffron museum in Burnham Norton.
Slow food Anglia is now planning an application to Slow Food International to get the saffron granted Presidia status from the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity and we hope to start the process whicl attending the Salone del Gusto Terre Madre held in Turin in late September.

Aviva Leigh who originally introduced me to Sally from Norfolk Saffron is based near Norwich, she designs and makes contemporary textiles that celebrate artisan skills, using natural dyeing including saffron, hand weaving and also felt making. She currently has a studio in a beautiful old merchants house in the centre of Norwich and runs courses and workshops both in Norfolk and other parts of the UK.
Aviva is inspired by a ‘slow making’ ethos that embraces the use of sustainable and zero-waste processes and considers the provenance of all materials that she uses. She works mainly with natural dye stuffs, often grown locally, and is passionate about connecting personally with the process of creating colour, from sowing the seeds to processing the pigment and dyeing the fibres.
Last year Aviva opened a new workshop and studio in Happisburgh on the north Norfolk coast but also continues with some work in Norwich as well.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Slow Food Festival in Norwich

As an active community based organisation we were pleased that Slow Food Norwich together with Slow Food Anglia were invited by Norwich City Council to take part in the One Planet Festival at the Forum in Norwich last month and that we also sponsored a prize at the Eco Awards, where winner of our award was Mrs Temples cheese from north Norfolk. Slow Food Norwich is an autonomous Slow Food group but is also one of several Slow Food groups in East Anglia and is affiliated to the larger Slow Food Anglia regional organisation.
Slow Food Norwich are pleased to be working in partnership with Norwich City Council as part of the One Planet Norwich project and are holding a Slow Food Norwich and Anglia artisan food and drink festival in Norwich starting on the 18th of August, and it will be held over three days in the historic St Margaret's Church on Benedict's Street in the Lanes area of the City. We have chosen this famous Church of Art in the City as we believe it is the perfect venue for our artisan festival, it hosts many different exhibitions and organisations during the year and is very well known throughout both Norwich and also this part of Norfolk

The Festival will be held at the Church from the launch evening on Thursday 18th August to late on Saturday 20th August and there will be a meal provided each evening for up to 70 guests, with the majority of the produce used in the meals coming from Slow Food producers in East Anglia and prepared and cooked by Mark and the guys at the well known Norwich based BitetheBullitt who have been Slow Food supporters for many years. We also are pleased to have the great team at Slow Food Anglia Approved business member Louis' Deli the popular and well known artisan cafe and delicatessen in the city, and Damien from Les Garrigues wine involved in planning and taking part in this exciting event.
Slow Food promotes good, healthy clean food that is produced in a way that is good for the consumer, good for the producer and also importantly is good for the Planet and biodiversity, so our event in Norwich will be promoting this message to visitors and members who attend over the course of the three days.
We have invited members of other Slow Food groups in England, with Slow Food London already having confirmed that some of their members are coming to Norwich to be part of the festival, and because Slow Food Norwich is part of the wider Slow Food International organisation we have invited members of groups in Europe to also come to the festival. This includes Italian olive oil artisan producers who belong to Slow Food Italia who will have a stand of organic olive oils and there will be French wines from small producers that are showcased by Les Garrigues, along with wines from Italy that are produced by members of both Slow Food and Slow Wine in that country.

We have invited many of the local food producers from Norfolk we already know and work with to take part in the festival, but we also will offer a wider range of activities, including talks and workshops given by local organisations involved in sustainability and environmental issues, such as food waste and healthy eating and living.
Slow Food Norwich and Anglia are very pleased to have the local Norwich based Michelin starred chef Richard Bainbridge from Benedicts restaurant and Carmelo Carnevale the famous Sicilian chef based in London, both will be doing cookery demonstrations. Mark from Bullitt and Stewart from the Madder kitchen will also be doing a cookery demonstrations as well as several other Norfolk based chefs and other locally based food producers are coming including Norfolk Saffron will also be present at the event. As Slow Food as an organisation has its roots in Italy another Italian supporter of Slow Food Anglia will be coming from London to support our festival, Etna Coffee now based in Victoria will be present over the two days and will serve authentic Sicilian Arancini and fabulous Cannoli as well as other great Sicilian foods.

Claudio Bincoletto the well known wild food expert and professional forager who works with the RHS and several other environmental groups will be holding workshops and cookery demonstrations on the Friday and Saturday afternoons and we will also have local community groups including Norwich Farm Share and the FirePitCamp  who will also be involved on both days.
As the Festival is in partnership with Norwich City Council we will also be focusing on issues which affect the population of Norwich and the County of Norfolk so we are inviting organisations that work in Norwich to take part in half or full day events and hope that this will widen the scope and appeal of the Festival.
Slow Food Anglia will be helping us in Norwich to organise and help run the Festival and we already have the help of several of their members who will work with our members and our committee to make this a very popular and exciting event.
A full update with details of all the those taking part will be available at the end of July and more details including the evening meal menu and ticket prices are on our Facebook page. Please do get in touch with us at Slow Food Norwich or Slow Food Anglia for more details of how to take part in this interesting and exciting event in Norwich this August.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Pumpkin Waste Festival in Norwich

Slow Food Norwich held the first Pumpkin Waste festival in Norwich last year after being approached by HUBBUB a charity based in London which had already helped organise similar festivals and special events in over twenty cities in the UK and one in the USA in the previous years. We were very happy to be involved in this important project and we contacted the Norwich City Council environment team to aks if they would be willing to help us.
The members of the team were keen to help us with promoting the event and they gave us support and help with distributing posters around the City to raise awareness of the thousands of tons of Pumpkin waste that is discarded after Halloween each year.
We were also helped by Sarah and Rachel who run the The Firepitcamp near Swaffham which is one of our Approved Business scheme members and they then held a very successful and popular Pumpkin Waste festival at their base in Wendling at Halloween to spread the message to their friends and to the local community. 

This year Norwich City Council are setting up special waste collection points across the City in late October and the environment team will also be hosting special events in the city as part of  the Councils year long One Planet Norwich series of special Eco events aimed to educate the wider public in Norwich about sustainable living practices and food waste.
The environment team at Norwich City Council are very involved with making the Pumpkin Waste festival more well known across the city this year and are already working on their plans to promote the event.
Slow Food Norwich are very pleased to have the Council take part in the Pumpkin Waste festival again and hope to work with them in future years both on this important event and other Eco events where we already have an interest as part of the work Slow Food carries out both in the UK and Internationally.

Members of both Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food Anglia are now working on plans for events to be held this Halloween across Norfolk promoting the Pumpkin Waste festival again, we hope to involve more villages and towns in this important and exciting project and believe that the festival will grow in size each year as the public become more informed about the problem of food waste in our society.
We will also be  approaching other community based organisations in Norwich to get them involved in the Pumpkin Waste festival and several of our members have already confirmed their participation in helping with both waste recycling and also promotional events this October.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Slow Food UEA festival with Slow Food Norwich and Anglia

The first festival to be held by the new Slow Food UEA group together with Slow Food Norwich and Anglia took place on the University campus on Friday 6th of May and proved extremely popular with students and staff alike.
The event started at lunchtime near the LCR building on campus and finished at 7.30 in the evening, we were pleased that as well as our Slow Food Norwich and Anglia stand several of our local Slow Food business members cam and took part in this exciting event, they provided both locally sourced food to the students as well as holding workshops and talks which took place throughout the course of the day.
During the day there was a steady stream of students and staff to our stands and most were very keen to learn more about the event and also Slow Food and the projects and work we carry out both in Norwich and also across Norfolk and indeed the whole of the UK.
We also promoted our Sustainable Fish City initiative which Slow Food Anglia together with Slow Food Norwich are working with the London based charity Sustain to make Norwich the first Sustainable Fish City in East Anglia.

The University of East Anglia in Norwich is a relatively new University and was established in 1963, it now has over 17,000 students and staff and is ranked as one of the tenth best nearly created Universities in the world and is also in the top twenty rankings of all current UK Universities,
The University authorities are now going to actively promote Slow Food Anglia on the campus and which will offer students the chance to hear about the ethos, projects and events that Slow Food Norwich together with Slow Food Anglia and England has to offer to communities and food producers and consumers in the county of Norfolk.
Slow Food Anglia is the regional body for the larger Slow Food England organisation in the UK, Anglia was set up in 2015 with Slow Food Norwich having been in existence in the city of Norwich since 2009.
Slow Food UEA is working closely with members of the Slow Food Norwich group to promote both the new group at the University to help bring awareness of Slow food to both students, staff and also residents of Norwich and this part of the county of Norfolk.

After the success of this first Slow Food UEA festival we hope to hold another festival at the University later this year and we have invited two of our members whose work is in the field of sustainability and environmental issues to take part, and they will hold lectures and practical workshops on campus for the students.
Our aim at the next Slow Food UEA festival is to be able to offer a much larger range of workshops and talks on local food issues by Slow Food members who are from both Norfolk and other counties in East Anglia,
There will again be local Slow Food business members taking stands and we hope that there will also be a representative from Slow Food England to give a talk on the history and future projects that Slow Food carry out both in the UK and internationally.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Slow Food Approved Buisness scheme

Slow Food Norwich is part of the wider Slow Food Anglia region which now hosts the Slow Food Approved business scheme in our area for our members in both the city of Norwich and also across the county of Norfolk. Members of Slow Food Norwich can belong to this great scheme which gives them many benefits and also helps promote both their businesses and Norfolk food and drink.
We are pleased that we have recently had new members join the scheme from a wide range of small food producers, Deli's, food retailers and food related businesses in Norwich and also right across the County of Norfolk.
Membership of the Approved business scheme has grown quickly since it was launched nearly a year ago, we now have over forty five members across East Anglia and once Slow Food Anglia achieve eighty members we can approach Slow Food International to have the whole Anglia region put on the Slow Food Planet App which of course will include Norwich and Norfolk. Our aim is to have at least thirty members in Norwich and Norfolk by the end of the year and over one hundred in the Anglia region as a whole.

Members of Slow Food Norwich who belong to the Approved Slow Food Anglia Approved business scheme are included on our  Snail Trail Map on the Slow Food Anglia website, they receive invitations to both our Norwich events as well as other Slow Food group events across England, also members can take part in markets and workshops we organise, receive the monthly business newsletter and can attend the International Slow Food events such as Slow Cheese which is held every other year in Italy.
We also have close ties with Slow Food London and do cooperate with them in events that are held in the Capital, also working with Borough Market as well as many prestigious markets across the south of England.
Slow Food London has over one hundred and thirty members of their Approved Business scheme and they are the first group in the UK to be included on the Slow Food Planet App, and we aim to be the second!

Slow Food Norwich is now working with Slow Food Anglia on our plans for an artisan food and drink festival to be held in central Norwich in August, the event will be held over three days at the historic  Church of Art in St Benedict's Street. Slow Food Approved members will be invited to take part and we look forward to many of our members being present at the event in August.
We are inviting several groups from other parts of England and also Europe to come to the Norwich event and we also hope to have a presence from some Slow Wine producers in Italy.
We have already been approached by several food businesses, restaurant owners and chefs who will be meeting with us over the next few weeks to sketch out a list of events, talks, cookery demonstrations and workshops to be held at this great venue by Slow Food Norwich, and there will be more details about this exciting event in Norwich in our next Blog post.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Education and Slow Food Norwich

One of the several projects that Slow Food Norwich is involved with this year is bringing the highly important topic of food education to schools, community groups and organisations in Norwich and across the county of Norfolk.
The projects include a series of workshops and talks given by experts in their fields to children and other interested groups about the wide variety of local foods that are available in this part of England and the benefits of eating only food that is in season.
In this country the rise of the supermarkets has led to an acceptance that a wide variety of foods from all around the globe are available twelve months of the year and part of our project in Norwich and Norfolk is to teach about sustainability of food supplies and also the nutritional value of locally sourced food.
In the east of England we live in an incredibly fertile and productive part of the UK and we are very lucky to have many small independent food producers as members of Slow Food Norwich who will be working with us on this project during 2016 and into the future.

We have been contacted by Norfolk County Council and also a representative of two Unions in Noroflk to put together a series of talks and workshops for staff working at the Council offices throughout Norfolk and also Union members in the County.
As well as these courses designed to give a wide range of topis on food education we will also have talks by a professional forager for the groups to learn about wild foods and how to distinguish them and cook them.
The forager who is based in the east of England will teach groups of children about foraging for wild foods in our region and will also hold cookery demonstrations and classes with small groups in various locations in Norfolk.
We have several members who are involved with colleges in Norwich and also the University of East Anglia and we are working with them at present to try and set up a new Slow Food group at the University later this year, hopefully before the summer break in June.

We will also have special courses where groups of children can visit the East Anglian coast and spend time with people involved with local fishing communities we are working with and they can learn about many of the types of fishing activity that takes place along our long and diverse coastline, including close to shore dredging for oysters in Essex and fishing for crab in Norfolk.
We also hope to involve groups of children and other community groups in the three large food festivals we are organising in 2016, one in April and another in August in Norwich one in Colchester in September and one in London next November, where much of the focus of these events will be on sustainability in the local food chain in counties across east Anglia.
There will also be many other smaller food events throughout the year in towns throughout the east of England organised by members of Slow Food groups working with us at Slow Food Anglia.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Terre Madre Salone del Gusto and Slow Food Norwich

The Slow Food movement hold the Terre Madre Salone del Gusto, the large international event held in Italy once every two years which brings farmers, food producers, Slow Food members and the public together from over 150 countries, this year it is being held in Turin this September. As this year it will also be Slow Food Italy’s 30thBirthday and the 20thAnniversary of the first edition of the Salone del Gusto the organisers together with the Italian Region of Piedmont have decided to mark this special year by throwing open prestigious venues all across the City of Turin rather than the event just being based in a large convention centre that has been used in previous years. The organisers of this years Turin event believe that the philosophy of good, clean and fair food, which involves the Slow Food and Terra Madre worldwide network, belongs to everyone and so should be enjoyed by the broadest possible spectrum of public, so opening up venues across the city is the perfect way to proceed with this exciting event.

We at Slow Food Norwich will be present and hope that many of our members will also attend this fantastic gathering of Slow Food members, Slow Food producers and the public, in fact all our members are invited to go to Turin in September so we hope for a large turn out at this years event. Slow Food England will be hosting a stand in Turin and Slow Food Norwich as well as Slow Food Anglia will be represented on this dedicated stand during the four days that the event is taking place. The planning of this years Terre Madre Salone del Gusto has been going ahead in Italy by the organisers at Slow Food International for many months and we will be taking part in the consultations with Slow Food England on the exact details of our participation over the next couple of months. We hope that many of our members will take the opportunity to visit Turin and also help us at various events will be attending during the days that they will be there.

The production and consumption of good, clean food cannot happen without our responsibility and increasingly produced by sustainable methods and to shed more light on food communities acroos the world this year the Turin event will be renamed Terre Madre Salone del Gusto. It will be held in Turin from the 22nd to the 26th of September which will be a month earlier than previous Terre Madre events, this will give delegates, producers and visitors the chance to enjoy the warm weather of the late summer and early Autumn in The beautiful city of Turin. This year it is expected that over one hundred and fifty thousand visitors will come the Turin to take part in the Terre Madre Salone del Gusto over the four days that it is being held and we know that members of Slow Food Norwich and Slow Food Anglia will find this prestigious event exciting and inspiring.