The team at S.L.O.W. Food are dedicated to creating real change in Melbourne's catering scene. By using tailored menu design, each menu is crafted to fit the clients needs and budget.
Eating ethically in this day and age is incredibly important, yet also incredibly confusing. There are so many options and confusing misinformation out there, so many companies will claim to be ethical yet when it comes down to it, can't really back up the claim. That is why I have chosen to create my business around the principals of eating food that is Seasonal, Local, Organic & Whole. This combined with using as little single use plastic as possible and composting all food waste, is in my opinion, a great step in the ethical direction.
About SLOW Food Catering
SLOW Food Catering was established in 2018 by one chef who was sick and tired of witnessing the incredible damage, waste and lack of thought in the hospitality industry. Knowing there had to be another way and unable to find it anywhere, SLOW was born. A catering company that put emphasis on minimising waste, composting, using local ingredients, featuring produce from local farms, attentively watching the seasons and the produce that was available and above all, creating food that tastes absolutely incredible.
About Home Delivered Meals
When the pandemic hit, we lost a years worth of bookings in a matter of weeks. SLOW had to pivot to survive. Watching friends and family struggle to feed themselves nutritious meals, we were inspired to create SLOW Food Home Delivered Meals. From the humble beginnings of just 50 meals per week, all placed via sms ordering, we now deliver to hundreds of regular clients each week.
Well First..what is SLOW?
I believe that there is inherit wisdom in eating the food that grows in each of Melbourne's many seasons. This not only leads to better health, far superior flavour but also the ability to pass on lower costs to you, my customers. My menus reflect the current season and what produces is in abundance, by using local growers, staying up to date with market supply and allowing flexibility in all of my dishes I am able to keep costs low whilst providing meals at the highest quality . Warmer months are filled with fresh vibrant salads and raw dishes, cooler months comes with slow cooked grains, root vegetables and an abundance of citrus.
In my opinion, using locally grown ingredients, supporting local businesses and providing catering locally is one of the biggest ways to reduce your impact on the environment. Minimising food miles also ensures the produce is fresh, ripe & full of flavour, the further fruit and vegetables have had to travel the more under-ripe they have been harvested. Every quote comes with the option of using exclusively locally grown produce (through Ceres Fair Food & Joe's Market Garden)
Eating organic minimises the amount of toxic chemicals entering waterways and our bodies. It often comes with superior flavour and higher nutriet content. That said, if the produce isn't Australian organic, it's possibly doing as much harm as good. It is always my preference to use Australain Organic produce, however, I understand that this is often something that is not finacially and so I cater according to your budget, using as many Australian organic ingredients as I can squeeze in.
As with everything I make, as much as possible is made from scratch, for my whole foods is synonymous for 'real food' . This means the final product is made with real ingredients, not fillers or chemical enhancers. This results in a meal that's easier to digest and has real depth of flavour. I balance meals using complete proteins and the majority are plant-based meaning that you'll always get a balanced and satisfying meal.
Slow food is the antithesis of fast food, it sounds simple because, well, it is. I take my time to prepare nourishing food properly, everything is made from scratch. In the current climate we are living in, the choices we make are everything, which is why I create all my menu's using as much Seasonal, Local, Organic & Whole produce as your budget allows.
So how slow is it?
Well as an example my method for cooking legumes is as follows- soak legumes for at least 24 hours, rinse them and bring to a gentle simmer, rinse again and place in fresh water with wakame seaweed, aromatics such as bayleaves & fresh herbs, olive oil and sea salt, then gently simmer till tender. This process means the beans are much easier on the gut to digest and have a real depth of flavour. Rest assured though, all this is done ahead of time, so it can be delivered on time & fast.
S.L.O.W. Food Catering is the creation of the owner and head chef Chase, who has 10 years of experience in high end restaurants. Here is a bit about my story:
"From a young age I was always in the kitchen, reading through my Mum's cookbooks and I would then spending hours trying to perfect recipes (making quite the mess in the process).
As an adult I found myself studying Urban planning at RMIT, yet more and more I found myself dedicating myself to a weekly dinner party I would put on for my friends, one day was reading books and picking out recipes, the following day I'd go shopping and begin cooking. After serving the 20 plus people I'd host for dinner the following day I would then spend nearly a full day cleaning (cleaning as I go was a skill i was yet to learn). This obviously began to impact my studies and I made the decision to dedicate myself to my passion and began an apprenticeship in commercial cookery.
My apprenticeship at Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne's Crown Casino taught me traditional french techniques and not to be afraid of butter, my time at Coda & Red Spice Road opened me up to flavours of South East Asia and the difference fresh & vibrant herbs can make to a dish. These lessons I learnt, the basics of flavour creation and how to take raw ingredients and transform them into a dish that 'pops' are something I am truly grateful for, yet commercial kitchens left a lot to be desired.
It became more and more apparent that working in the fast paced world of food production comes at a cost, both to the chefs and the environment as a whole. The incredible amounts of waste i witnessed, the unsustainable produce selection and an industry-wide unbalanced approach to mental health left me wondering if there might be a better way.
It was at this point that I discovered Lentil As Anything, a Not-for-profit community organisation that was dedicated to making real change in the world. I was blown away the first time I walked in, by the community, the smiling faces and seemingly endless possibilities of operating outside of "the norm".
After volunteering a few shifts i was offered to join the team as one of their regular chefs and before i knew it i was the Catering Manager/Head Chef. Lentils was an entirely different world to what I was used to, I really had to slow down in order to guide the volunteers to produce food at the required professional level. I also helped to set up the Inconvenience Store, a Pay-As-You-Feel supermarket dedicated to reducing food waste.
Inspired during this period, I took the time to study a cert 3 in Permaculture where I learnt, among other things, that the best way to enact real change is to start close to home with the choices we make everyday. I also studied to become a Lomi Lomi practitioner (traditional spiritual Hawaiian massage) this taught me the importance of intention and presence, something I quickly put into practice while preparing food.
With all of these lessons I had learnt and using my passions and inspirations as fuel, I started S.L.O.W. Food Catering. A grassroots way to enact real change in the world around me. I create mouthwatering feasts, single-use plastic free, tailored menus with reliable service with the core values of highlighting and focusing on Seasonal, Local, Organic & Whole Foods."
About Carol Aka MUM