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March 2024 Workshop Sri Lankan Slow Cooking with Amorelle Dempster (Maitland Showground Kitchens)

Property Address

Maitland Showground Kitchens

Blomfield St, South Maitland NSW 2320

Field Day Date: 16/3/2024

Field Day Time: 10.00am – approx. 2:00pm

Field Day Schedule:

10:00 Morning tea

10:30 Talk by Amorelle

11.00-1:00 pm Approx. Cooking Demonstration / Workshop

1:00: Lunch enjoying the food everyone has cooked during the workshop.

Event Description

Amorelle Dempster turned a field of muddy pumpkins into a slow food revolution

A passionate woman who grew up in Sri Lanka, Amorelle explains how she always ate fresh food as a child.  After moving to a farm in the Hunter Valley, she was shocked to discover that she couldn’t buy local produce. Farmers only grew for the wholesale market.

Practicing biodiversity on her own farm, Amorelle, became a co-founder of Slow Food Hunter Valley and today leads the Slow Food Earth Market Project.  She explains that the market supports small scale growers and “is run by volunteers who aim to protect the food system and reduce food waste”.

Amorelle describes how the farmer saved by the pop-up pumpkin stall only grew five different vegetables and “was at the mercy of wholesale agents”. He now grows 30 different varieties and sells to Peter Gilmore at Sydney’s Quay Restaurant.

Other initiatives stemming from the Earth Market are a seed library and a meal distribution program. People wanting to grow veggies at home can access seeds for free and then after the growth cycle they return seeds to the library for others to use. At the launch in March over 500 people signed up to ‘borrow’ seeds from the library.

Volunteers convert surplus produce donated by growers into meals for locals who have difficulty putting food on the table. Working with OzHarvest, they distribute over 4000 meals each year.

We're pleased to have Amorelle sharing her knowledge and cooking skills at our next event.

The amazing work she has achieved includes former Slow Food Hunter Valley leader, current Slow Food Earth Market Maitland chair, her tireless work on food rescue projects and the  community cooking program, and her achievement of  2017 Maitland Citizen of the Year.

On the day Amorelle will show us how to create a Sri Lankan curry powder/paste and herb salts. We will then use them to create a seasonal vegetable curry and some side dishes.

It will be hands on workshop with everyone helping to prepare meals.

HOGS will provide all ingredients on the day.


Off street and street parking at the showground via the Anzac St entrance.

No fee for this event

Please Bring

Surplus produce, seeds, or seedlings you'd like to bring for the swap & share table.

Small jars to take home samples.

Mortar and pestle or spice grinder if you have one.

Number of Tickets: 30

Supervised children are welcome.


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