Slow Food, founded in 1986, is an international organization whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenization of modern fast food and life. Though a variety of initiatives it promotes gastronomic culture, develops taste education, conserves agricultural biodiversity and protects traditional foods at risk of extinction. It now boasts over 100,000 members in 153 countries.

Slow Food Waitakere is registered as a charitable entity. Registration Number: CC38263, please click here to read our Rules and Regulations

Monday, July 27, 2015

Liquid Cacao - meet Ms Sunshine Farms

After a very delicious Liquid Cacao evening with Floris from Ms Sunshine Farms we asked her share her inspiring story. So here it is, along with a few photos from our Cacao tasting. 

Meet Floris

Ms Sunshine Farms, Tuana’i, Samoa - Our Story

From the age four while growing up in Samoa, part of our daily chores was to pick up the cacao leaves from under the “Chocolate Trees” on our family plot.
We learned from our mothers, aunties and sisters, how to roast, peel and grind these magic beans. I can still remember the heady aroma of roasted cacao, long before I knew about such a thing as “chocolate”.
Mum and Dad said that cacao beans (koko) were money. So we children, would help Dad to harvest the pods off the trees, crack and deseed them into palm frond bags between banana leaves, and leave them for days to ferment and develop their complex flavours. Then they were washed and massaged out onto flax mats… out in the sun to dry….
Samoan Cacao 
On the tree

A life changing visit to Samoa

Fast-forward to 2013, I went back to Samoa to check out the family plot my brother had been working on for a year. A few months earlier, a phone call from an old friend who owns a chocolate company in Christchurch sparked the chocolate ad-venture we are now on.
But like any new venture, there are sure to be challenges. We decided to focus on a different market, boutique and organic. It is difficult, but we can see the rewards ahead as we are not willing to compromise our values and the true vision for our venture.

Ready to be treated
Cacao and chocolate treats

Chocolate Swizzlers

Farmers and families first

We put our Farmers and their families first. Few growers are dedicated to traditional methods and maintaining a pure strain quality of beans. This is our Mission. Village elder and grower Faletoeifo Aigoa is teaching us to listen to the land, the cacao trees and to our hearts as the source of our inspiration and actions.
We are only working with our Village community because we have a lot to improve in this small place first; School buildings, Access road to the plantations and Fresh running water in every household. We believe it only takes a village and an idea to influence a nation.
We are also passionate about empowering our young men and women to see a future in Agriculture and more about anticipating a world shortage of food sources in the near future, which could put small nations like Samoa at risk of losing what little resources we already have.
Finally, we want to put Samoa on the World Map for growing the best quality trinitario beans for local and export markets.

The winner of the chocolate hamper

 Support She Universe Samoan products

We aim to build a centralised fermentry on our farm so that our growers without transport can process their beans in the village and not risk losing profits on carting their goods into town. Furthermore, the quality of our product is then consistent and efficiently despatched to the markets.
We want to provide employment for the 70% un-employed population of our village, of which more than half are Youth.
She Universe has helped in achieving some of our goals so far, and as our values align, we will continue to work together for this common vision.
Whenever you buy She Universe Samoan based products, know that you are making a colossal contribution to our efforts.

Fa’afetai tele lava, ma ia manuia!

Floris Niu (Founder Ms Sunshine Farms, Samoa)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

After the Olives ---- Be in to Win!

Celebrate the Olive Harvest was the brainchild of Greg Scopas of Salumeria Fontana. He wanted to let people experience what good, local olive oil is all about. Slow Food Waitakere were delighted to help him do just that. Read to the end and see how to win a bottle of Salumeria Fontana 2015 Olive Oil.

Having fun

Supporting our growers and artisan producers is at the heart of Slow Food and Celebrate the Olive Harvest showed us just how much fun it can be. Being invited into Greg's world and that of our local olive growers was a real treat.
We had a great turnout (much bigger than expected).

Our Italian guests
Meet the food writers

Learning lots about olive oil

We got see to how to make the oil from beginning to end - Greg's passion and expertise are inspiring. Our Slow Food team loved the opportunity to work with him.

Greg Scopas and Anutosh
Olives in
The press
Liquid gold

Lots of sharing

As well as Greg sharing his expertise we got to taste the 2014 and 2015 Salumeria Fontana oil and to eat some fantastic food.

The oil was very good.

Greg shares his knowledge
Tasting the oil

The food was delicious. 

Pizza with Massimo's mozzarella, Salumeria Fontana Sausages, pumpkin soup, sweet treats and coffee and Daily Organics kombucha kept everyone happy.

The pizza oven was working overtime

Piero serves the chocolate brownie 
Time to eat

Win a bottle of Salumeria Fontana Olive Oil

Ruth was the winner on the day so now its your turn to be in the win.

All you have to do is LIKE our Facebook page.

Finally, big thank you to everyone who helped make Olives such a great event.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Celebrate the Olives - still room for you.


Ready for taste of ITALY in Hoteo North on Sunday June 28th?

Good news - Greg has room for more people, so it's not too late to get your ticket. 
Meet the growers, see the oil being pressed, taste the oil (and you can buy some).
And great FOOD is included in the ticket price- starts at 1pm.  
Tickets are $25adult/$20members/$5children
Buy a ticket now!                                                                                                 


Here's how!

It's an approach that embraces complexity and change. It's about developing the capacity to listen, to grow new connections, and to build solidarity among animals, plants and people.
And it's about SCIENCE!

Monday, June 8, 2015

What's "Celebrating the Olive Harvest" all about and why should you come?

What's "Celebrating the Olive Harvest" all about and why should you come?

It's about connecting with and supporting our growers and food artisans while having a very good time.

That means seeing the olive oil being pressed, meeting the producers, tasting some local oils (and buying some if you want), eating great food (included in the ticket price) and being immersed in all things olive.

Come along and enjoy yourself and help change our food system for the better -  one bite at a time.

Tickets are now on sale at


Friday, May 29, 2015

You Invitation to the Olive Harvest Celebration

From Modern Bites to Olives

Modern New Zealand Bites was delicious.
Spelt scones with cream and guava jelly, raw chocolate cake, mini brie muffins, vegan 
chocolates, rye bread with vegan cheese and quails egg, smoked fish and parsley 
mayonnaise bites and so much more.

Our heritage apple sale was a hit- golden delicious, fuji and winesap all grown on West
Coast Road.

The discussions on good, clean, fair food for all were fun, inspiring and at times challenging 
- all good.

The work of Oxfam is very aligned with Slow Food so it was great to be able to support the 

Thank you to Johanna for welcoming us and to everyone who contributed. 

All the money is in and we raised $300.

And we have drawn our prize - congratulations Kirsten the selection of Free Trade goodies are yours.

And here's your sneak preview of our next event - the Olive Harvest Celebration .

Monday, May 11, 2015

Win a Fair Trade Gift Pack 
Make a donation and be in to win

Still a few places left for Modern Bites
Just let us know you want to come

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bel pranzo o beautiful lunch March 29 2015

The Long Italian Lunch

Celebrating a visit by our friend Saverio from Perugia and Slow Food Umbria 

Organic Greens from Sally and Fresh Gardens in Kumeu 

Meet Saverio - lover of beautiful food and an expert in all things olive. And now he has added New Zealand to his list of loves after 5 weeks of fishing, walking, eating and exploring.  

Fi and Saverio at the Otara Markets 

Fi and I were feeling a little bit daunted about cooking for and with an Italian but we needn't have worried as our local food impressed with freshness and flavour and the focus was always on sharing and enjoyment. The Italian and New Zealand way of life are very compatible. 

Jenna setting up in the sun

Our lunch was an (over)sellout and we were a bit nervous on the day as lunch was al fresco and come 9am it was pouring. Then the weather gods smiled on us with sunshine and just a bit of rain help people get to know each other. 

Alessandra and Saverio cook

We had a fresh, simple menu with a focus on using local and organic ingredients including Sally's organic greens, Fi's home grown tomatoes, Wild Wheat and Crafty Baker bread and heritage golden delicious apples from Dragicevich Orchard in Oratia. This orchard is key to preserving the iconic Oratia Beauty apple.

So what did we eat?
Bread and olive oil, panzella salad, pasta carbonara, barbecued free range chicken with greens, Italian heritage apple cake and a beautiful brie cheese.

No croutons to be seen as the panzella was made with soaked bread 

Saverio's pasta demonstration

Pasta carbonara

Divine and absolutely no cream

I managed to impress by cooking the chicken on the bbq - so easy

Food, wine and friends 

It was great to see people connecting and reconnecting and having fun, to share what Slow Food is all about and to welcome some excited new members. You can check out what we are all about right after the cakes!

The heritage apple cakes were a hit - there were 4 of them made by 3 cooks so it felt a bit like the A&P show but with much less rivalry - they were all delicious

What is Slow Food all about?

Enjoying and sharing good food, wine and company.

Connecting the people who produce our food and the people who eat it.

Preserving and restoring the relationships that make our food system work.


Bringing people together to help change our broken food system for the better.


A grazie tante to everyone who helped us make the Long Italian Lunch so conviviale.

The next day Saverio got to experience olives in New Zealand. 

Greg and Saverio in his olive grove near Wellsford

Thank you to Greg Scopas for hosting myself and Saverio and giving us a great insight into New Zealand olive growing and olive oil production. And for serving his award winning Sicilian Fennel sausage for lunch.


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