Snail of Approval Slides Into Noosa

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

Matt Golinski unearths Australia’s latest Snail of Approval recipients.

Customer: Is the cheese local?
Waiter: Yes sir, we bought it from the local supermarket.

In recent years, the dining public’s interest in the provenance of the food they eat has led to many chefs and restaurants claiming that they ‘only use the freshest locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients’. Sadly, and far too often, without any substance or integrity.

So, how can food consumers know the restaurants they eat at are truly committed to supporting their local farmers, cutting down their food miles, and helping the local economy?

In 2017, after a trip to Turin in Italy to attend the biennial Slow Food conference ‘Terra Madre’, Slow Food Noosa
committee members Rod and Karyn Lees and Cooloola Berries producers Kim and Jason Lewis decided to establish a recognition system for the Noosa region, based on similar programs run by Slow Food in Italy, Bali and the United States.

The not-for-profit Slow Food committee got behind the idea and launched Australia’s first “Snail of Approval” program in 2017.

Through a screening process involving a thorough questionnaire and a face-to-face interview and site visit by Slow Food Noosa committee members, local businesses – whether they are producers, farmers, chefs, restaurants or food
providers – have the opportunity to prove they meet the criteria of being committed to the global Slow Food philosophy of producing ‘good, clean and fair’ food.

If they pass the test, they become a ‘Snail of Approval’ recipient, recognised as local leaders in the worldwide Slow Food movement that has more than one million supporters in over 165 countries. Locally, this means they are permitted to display the Slow Food Snail of Approval logo to let customers know they are supporting a business that is serious about making the world of food a better place.

In January 2020, there were 13 new businesses bestowed with this prestigious award, bringing the total number to
almost 40 producers and 35 food outlets.

In an effort to connect consumers, producers and food outlets with each other, the group of volunteers from Slow
Food Noosa have also created the Noosa Foodies’ Stockist Guide.

In a region full of forward-thinking farmers, chefs hungry for the best possible produce, and most importantly,
consumers who understand how important it is to shop locally, you can expect to see that little snail making tracks all over Noosa and beyond.

To learn more about the ways Slow Food Noosa is helping the local food community through their events, producer breakfasts, and their school kitchen garden projects, and for a list of all the Snail of Approval recipients visit Slow Food Noosa.

About the Author /

Matt Golinski is a highly regarded chef with a passion for simple, produce-driven cuisine based on seasonal, fresh local ingredients. He is an active member of the Slow Food movement, a champion of artisan producers and a generous mentor to keen young chefs. He is the Food and Culinary Tourism Ambassador for the Gympie region; Ambassador and Advisory Executive Chef for Peppers Noosa; and a festival favourite.

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