After more than 200 Northern Tasmanians wrote in 20 words or less what gastronomy means to them and submitted their entries, 20 finalists were chosen. Three weeks and 250 + votes later we finally have a winner... Kathryn Kahl from Ravenswood with her winning entry: "Everyone having a seat at a kitchen table to share…a good meal, recipes, and stories”.
Merry Christmas Kathryn!
Launceston Gastronomy Chair Jane Bennet said “The response from Northern Tasmanians has been extraordinary. People have written about fresh, seasonal menus sourced from local producers or from their own gardens, preparing food with love and passion, and simple meals that bring people together. They have written about being open to other cultures, and having a connection to our land, to the farmers, the makers, the chefs and the servers. We thank all our participants and voters, and we congratulate Kathryn on her well-deserved win. In only 16 words Kathryn has managed to capture what gastronomy means to many other Northern Tasmanians.”
Entries were received from all over the Northern Region and other parts of Tasmania. More than 10,000 Northern Tasmanians engaged with the three-month campaign.
Voters could only vote at ‘The the ‘Voting Wall’ in Launceston’s Brisbane St Mall, via a QR Code. The ‘Voting Wall’ was made possible with the generous support of Launceston Central City and Launceston City Council.
Supporting the star organisations in the Right to Food: our first kitchen table…
No matter whether you celebrate Christmas, or simply the end-of year festive season, it is a human right to have access to nutritious, adequate food - all year round (and an issue that falls under the Sustainable Development Goals-see below).
Last month we held our first Kitchen Table with representatives of the Right to Food movement. Sitting around the table with us were 12 key individuals representing Northern Suburbs Community Centre; Starting Point Neighbourhood House; University of Tasmania; Loaves and Fishes; Migrant Resource Centre; City Mission; School Food Matters; FaRM; 24 Carrot Gardens. A very open conversation raised several key issues confronting the right to food in our local area including the availability of land for community and urban gardens; Food Sensitive Urban Planning Guidelines for developments; and cooking as a subject being returned to the school curriculum. Also discussed was what Launceston Gastronomy can do to advocate for some of these potential solutions, including extending the conversation into the region.
EAT: Taste of Borneo: creating connections with our near neighbours
An essential part of maintaining the UNESCO designation is contributing to the Creative Cities Network. In October, Jane Bennett Chair of Launceston Gastronomy attended the EAT: Taste of Borneo Conference in Kuching, Malaysia as a guest speaker and panellist.
The conference attracted 200+ delegates from the Oceania region. Other Creative Cities of Gastronomy in attendance were Usuki (Japan – in person), Parmer (Italy), San Antonio (USA) and Merida (Mexico). Relationships have also been established with Kuching, Sarawak and with Usuki. Kuching have a strong focus on agri-tourism and Usuki have a strong focus on fermentation techniques. interest to Launceston and Northern Tasmania.
Highlights of the conference included the food security initiatives being undertaken between Kuching and Swinburn University in Kuching; Kuching’s establishment of an on-line food bank app for providers and the 40% of the community experiencing food insecurity; initiatives in creating food from waste; the revitalisation of native foods and sourcing locally, and what is happening in Malaysia in coffeology.
Top: Jane Bennett with other delegates and panelists at the EAT Conference
Bottom: Above: A Kuching Coffee House and right, indigenous foods from Borneo on display at the Conference
Creating connections with the Gastronomy Cluster
In October Launceston participated in the Gastronomy Cluster Member Monitoring Reports for three very different Cities of Gastronomy around the world; Paratay in Brazil, Jeonju in South Korea and Buenaventura in Columbia. The reports are peer group reviewed before being passed on to the UNESCO Secretariat. The cities represented a range of a very wealthy city to the very poorest cities. Feedback from the MMR working group was that we had done a thorough job, been constructive in our comments and sensitive to the different budgets of each city. There were learnings to be made from all three cities, particularly around food security programs as social enterprises, re-introducing native foods into local diets and making best use of food waste.
our 2023 Action Plan
As a Network Member, we also must also lodge an annual Action Plan. By championing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we are championing the key drivers of our own social, economic, environmental and cultural prosperity, through a gastronomic lens.
In brief, our Action Plan for 2023 includes:
• The Right to Food
• Feeding our children well
• Food Sensitive Planning in communities
• FermenTas fermentation hub, business start-ups, education, and training.
• Mapping our city and region’s food system.
• Workforce information
• Reducing and making better use of our waste
• Our city and region’s events, artists, artisans and rich cultural activities
The UNESCO designation of Launceston as a City of Gastronomy is an international acknowledgment of our region’s rich food culture: our growers, producers, innovators, makers, designers, chefs, and all those working in hospitality. In recognising our rich gastronomic culture, our membership gives us a profile we can leverage, and it is already helping us to raise awareness of Launceston as a gastronomic visitor destination.
It is also a commitment by our City and region to raise awareness, advocate, and champion the local relevance and importance the UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals in our part of the world. The designation as a City of Gastronomy also means we are Members of the Gastronomy Cluster of Creative Cities, giving us the opportunity to share knowledge with, and learn from other Cities of Gastronomy.
There are seventeen goals, shown below. Some more relevant and pressing for Launceston and our region than others. Our Network membership gives us opportunities to learn from others, build on our strengths and play our role in an interconnected world.