Abbotsford Convent and the Slow Food Festival

John Lethlean from The Age‘s “Epicure” reports on the imminent benefits to Abbotrigines of the slow food movement’s taking up of residence in the Abbotsford Convent. (Here’s another Age article suggesting what interesting things are already going on there.) I am innately attracted to the slow food movement — I like the small shop, I wish I were slower, and I like the way the popularity of the baker in Altamura, in southern Italy forced McDonald’s out of business in the small town of 65,000 souls (20 of whom lost their jobs). The Movement itself was founded by an Italian incensed by McDonald’s opening up in a historic building near Rome’s Spanish Steps (always a foreigners’ hangout in the Caput Mundi anyway — he doesn’t seem to have been so upset about Babbington’s Tea House).
John Lethlean reports in Epicure:

“This year’s A Taste of Slow will be a taste of a far-ranging banquet, it seems. In addition to Brit chef Fergus Henderson – celebrated for his use-every-bit-of- the-beast approach to restaurant cooking – organisers of the second annual Slow Food-based eating, drinking and thinking festival have confirmed several other international and interstate talents.

Chefs David Pugh, of Brisbane’s Restaurant Two, and Jimmy Shu of the Hanuman Restaurant in Darwin will feature in a series of cooking demonstrations at Abbotsford Convent on September 9 and 10, alongside Henderson and local chefs such as Guy Grossi and Ian Curley. New Zealanders Wendy Parkins and Geoffrey Craig, authors of Slow Living, will take part in the Spoken Word discussion series, as will cattleman Jock Douglas from Queensland.

Building on last year’s events, new areas of the convent will be opened up this year to accommodate new program items, such as tea-tasting workshops, a cheese room and a beer garden. With access to the neighbouring Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers’ Market on the Saturday, organisers are aiming for an “ambling weekend” at the convent – we hope they’ve had a word to the weather gods about that.

A Taste of Slow runs from August 28 to September 10, with other events spread around the state. The full program will be released later this month.”

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