Let’s Talk Tomatoes

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2 years ago
Community fundraising and awareness EVENT

Let’s Talk Tomatoes

Let’s Talk Tomatoes

An event that combines all the things we love—food, family and good causes—Let’s Talk Tomatoes will take place on Sunday 27 March in Farrer.

Part cultural celebration, part fundraiser, Let’s Talk Tomatoes will give you access to some of the world’s most formidable home chefs (Italian nonnas) and raise awareness for mental health charity Let’s Talk, which aims to break down the stigma of talking about mental health. Did we mention the $20-a-head three-course Italian dinner served in a laneway under the stars?

Hosted by local produce delivery service Alpha Fresh and Farrer’s Fox and Bow café, Let’s Talk Tomatoes kicks off at 1 pm on Sunday 27 March and will follow the form of a traditional ‘Italian tomato day’, where tomatoes are slowly turned into passata across the course of a few hours.

Helming the process will be local Italian Nonnas, who will use Alpha’s specially-grown ‘sauce’ tomatoes to demonstrate to guests how to make passata at home. The demonstration will take place in the laneway next to Fox and Bow, but while this will be open to the public, you’re going to want a ticket for the next part.

Nonna Rosa Lanzetta.

At 5 pm, gather in that same laneway for an Italian feast under the stars, with antipasti from Mawson deli Tutto Delicatessen and fresh authentic pasta from Nonna Maria’s Pasta with a homemade sauce created by Fox and Bow, topped off with house-made Tiramisu for dessert. All for $20 per person.

Inspiration for the event came from conversations between Fox & Bow’s Alex Piris and Alpha Fresh co-owner Giuseppe Iannelli about the mental health benefits of community activities.

“It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to gather together which we know has had a detrimental effect on our mental health,” says Alex Piris, owner of Fox & Bow, who has long campaigned for mental health awareness.

“Our communities have never been forced apart for so long. We wanted a reason to bring people together to talk and what better way to do that than over good food?”

“February through March is tomato passata season for the Italian community so centring it around sauce making was a no brainer. After all, this is how people came together to talk about life’s ups and downs. Then, they would enjoy a big bowl of delicious fresh pasta at the end. It was an event essential for good mental health and it’s about time gatherings like this were brought back.”

Giuseppe Iannelli and Alex Piris.

“Alex was inquiring about the availability of sauce tomatoes this season. Like everyone, we got onto talking about the ongoing effects of COVID this year and how exhausted we already feel so early in the year,” says Giuseppe.

“That’s when Alex had the idea to do a community sauce day. An event that gathers people together again over good food and good fun, all in the name of mental health.”

Alex Piris and Giuseppe Iannelli.

The mental health charity that Alex and Giuseppe have chosen is Let’s Talk, an organisation that creates community engagement activities in local areas, which is where the Let’s Talk Tomatoes funds will go—towards creating a Canberra sub-group to drive the charity’s initiative in the local community. To that, we say, bellissimo.

Better yet, the sauce made on the day by those talented nonnas will be available for purchase on the day and from Alpha Fresh’s home delivery website (shop.alphafresh.com.au) until sold out, so you can take a taste of Let’s Talk Tomatoes home with you.


What: Let’s Talk Tomatoes

When: Sunday 27 March. Sauce making demonstration starts at 1 pm and the dinner starts at 5 pm

Where: Farrer Shops, Farrer

Tickets: $20 from Eventbrite

FMI: https://hercanberra.com.au/food-drink/food-wine/meet-the-20-three-course-italian-laneway-dinner-raising-money-for-mental-health/?fbclid=IwAR2B6BY27tNt7DzEJUUyY_lnVBAgvzPVa0b86zSDIAYfQbZrekrpHgwFVM0