Recognising food excellence …. At a snail’s pace


    By Alison Peake

    Slow Food Melbourne have been operating farmers’ markets in the west for over four years, first in Spotswood and now also in West Footscray but just who are we?

    The ‘slow’ tag has now been applied to everything from travel to cooking to lifestyle choices and while we are constantly reminded to adopt a ‘slow’ pace of life no-one seems to think to ask just what is Slow Food? 

    Is it a casserole club for swapping recipes for crockpots and slow cookers? Is it just a cutesy name or fancy catch phrase to suggest a club taking their time preparing or growing food or having very long lunches? 

    The truth is it is actually an international organisation which was formed to protest fast food … get it? Anti fast food = slow food! D’oh! 

    The name was coined by a bunch of Italian journalists who were horrified to find a McDonalds was opening in Rome. They saw this as a challenge to the Italian way of life so in protest they sat on the Spanish Steps eating bowls of pasta. And so the Slow Food movement was born. These protestors wanted to protect their cultural heritage which they saw intrinsically connected to their food culture, and yes, that includes the habit of taking the afternoon off work to eat a leisurely lunch, usually with family and friends, maybe followed by a little nap, or siesta. 

    It has grown over 30 years to become a global movement working to protect the rights of producers, supporting sustainable food production and aiming to combat climate change and its effects on the food chain.

    As the local chapter, known as a convivium, Slow Food Melbourne operates farmers’ markets to support and profile the role farmers and artisan producers play in providing healthy food and making it directly accessible to local community.

    In recognition of this Slow Food has created an international award for primary producers, artisan producers & chefs called the Snail of Approval. With slow as the message the movement has adopted the snail as its logo and mascot so only fitting that the snail denotes the recognition of excellence. In November 2023 Slow Food Melbourne awarded the first round of Snail of Approval to local producers, food artisan and chefs. 

    Slow Food works closely with all of these producers and most attend the regular farmers’ markets at Spotswood and West Footscray. For more information go to

    In an awards ceremony held in Williamstown local MP Katie Hall officiated to present awards to the first round of Melbourne Snail of Approval recipients.

    Presented in the following categories were …. 


    Rosa Mitchell , Matt Wilkinson , Luigi Pozzoli 


    Julie Bennett Montalto, Villa Pileggi , Gs Bees, Rose Creek Estate, Save Our Soil, Isola Chianina, Carboor Harvest, How Now Dairy 


    Gigis Gelato, Autonomy Distillers, Travelling While Standing Still, The Meat Room Salami, Motte Patisserie, Acide Pickles & Vinegars, Timor Coffee Roasters, Lard Ass Dairy 

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