Introducing our el presidente – Ms Lee-Anne Mundy (LA for short) a local dynamo with her heart in Italy!!
Please tell us who you are?
I’m a Tasmanian born and bred and grew up in the Huon valley on a farm overlooking the sea, I’ve always known where my food comes from; I’ve fished and farmed it. I value home grown produce.
As the daughter of a home economics teacher and granddaughter of two fabulous country cooks I also make my own, although I’ve never perfected a light as air cream filled sponge cake. I spent endless summers at our family shack catching fish and crayfish and dream of having my own ‘tinnie’ and doing just that in my retirement. With all this food and cooking skill surrounding me I wanted to be a chef but after a ‘checkout chick’ stint at Kmart then a ‘real job’ I loved the independence that provided. The chef dream faded into the distance. A turning point whilst competing in aerobic competitions was the assistance from a dietitian. This sent me on the road to university to train as a Dietitian and a desire to be involved with community food programs and the people involved in growing, cooking and sharing. I’ve been a dietitian and worked in various fields to do with nutrition for 17 years.
There is a lot to know and do in getting; preparing and eating good food first you need to have access to it. I was keen to delve into the nitty gritty of every aspect of food and follow the gastronomy of it all….
- the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food
- the cookery of a particular area
I love the regional history, food customs and traditions of Italy. I’ve cycled solo around many Italian regions several times [just me, my bike and camping gear] it was a “no brainer” to enrol. I enrolled in the now infamous Italian founded Slow Food organisations linked University of Science and Gastronomy, the bonus it was in Italy I’m a big time italophile; a person who admires Italian customs, traditions.
The two gastronomy and living in Italy for a year; were a match made in food culture heaven. I came away with a Masters degree in food culture and communication and an up close and personal experience that food tradition and culture is alive and well. This year away showcased many community food projects within Italy and other European areas on various study trips; it was an experience many friends and colleagues desire and admire.
What role do you fill on the PttP board and what strengths do you bring to that position?
Elected ‘el presidento’ here; together with a professional background in talking good food and good eating I’m pretty familiar with and help making sure we have some good measures – the numbers and stats involved with PttP. That is the measures used in talking about health and capturing and using produce to the people numbers ‘n stats to get things across to bods with money or general information about what we do and how well we do it. PttP founder Penelope Dodd does a pretty good job at making those numbers speak to people through her tweeting, blogging and posting!
I was founding President of the cradle coast farmers market just after I came back from Italy [until leaving April 2015]. There was a gap in the North West for a market provided only those fruit vege and other food related goodies grown and made only by the person behind the table or in the tent. This was the difference between someone who buys stuff from another farmer, then sells it to us the consumer. So I’m not bad at putting events together that share and promote good local fresh seasonal veg! I’ve pretty knowledge as to what’s grown in the North West [and elsewhere in Tasmania] and was the contributing editor for the North West section of The Field Institutes The Field Guide to Tasmanian produce. I write the odd piece about great places I’ve eaten and drunk […coffee of course] in the North West of Tasmania [occasionally I might write about the North or South] for the Tasmanian Food Guide.
I also don’t mind talking in the media however Polly and Penelope are megastars at that. I add value in running a health ‘lense’ over what we do at PttP too. I also see the role big in trying to alleviate Penelope from being the one that does everything – sharing the load and the love to ‘grow gather and give’.
How does being a part of PttP enrich your life?
Anything that saves food from being dug into the ground or thrown in a bin and can make good quality, fresh, seasonal, local food available to people who can’t always get it for whatever reason, gives me more than a few warm and “fuzzies’. In many projects I’ve experienced as part of my Italian university, travelling and living experiences the addition of being able to provide valuable tangible skills in food production makes for a product that can make a difference in people’s lives in more ways than one. The openness to anyone who walks through the Pttp hub door and far reaching relationships with farmers, backyard veggie patchers, bakers, makers and other like-minded organisations such as share the dignity is why PttP enriches my day to day humdrum. The never say no attitude, down to earth grounded values and social media savvy also add a bit of pop to my day.
There are exciting times ahead for PttP that is clear from the skills, brains trust and like-minded people that have gathered to form the PttP committee will see Pttp packing more punches for our community in the near future.
What is your favourite vegetable and why?
Eggplant [melanzane] – the Sicilian superstar veg [well one of them] it’s so versatile and well, its generally not well loved by some for the same reason as me we don’t best know how to cook it!! After time spent in Sicily with a famous Sicilian wine making family eggplant was my new best friend. I never cooked it up until my time in Sicily because all that salting and waiting for water to come out; that takes way too much time. But as Anna Tasca Lanza said “you get a fresh one no need to salt it” so I’ve never salted an eggplant in my life that the old saying ‘fresh is best’. The humble eggplant comes in short fat and long purple varieties as well as a streaky purple and white, white and light green colour too all.
Recipe share – the one thing you cook over and over again?
Eggplant of course ~ Pasta alla nonna a traditional Sicilian recipe served in many trattorias. It’s a simple, quick to prepare, rich, tomato based dish and given it’s with my other favourite food ricotta a match made in heaven and a good winter comfort food.
Pasta alla nonna serves around 4
400g eggplant diced
Olive oil to fry
4 garlic cloves crushed
1/2teaspoon chilli flakes [or fresh if you have it]
2tb tomato puree [= 1 satchet if you buy them in the four satchets per box]
1 tsp dried oregano [or fresh if you have it]
500g dried pasta
125g crumbled fresh ricotta from the deli is much nicer [vs in a tub]
Putting it together
Fry eggplant, garlic and chilli until golden brown about 5-7 minutes. Turn heat down then add tomato paste and oregano & cook until eggplant are soft about 10minutes. Add a little water if it sticks. Once done add in the ricotta warm it through then serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Best pasta to use in this penne or rigatoni [tubes]
If money was no object, what would be your PttP dream?
Mm a tough one; enough money to allow us to be self sustaining versus having to haggle or hassle governments for funding. Like Polly a cool mobile kitchen set up to get amongst the NW people, who can’t get to us. I can see us choofing through the hills of the North West in a black and lime green VW combie, or food truck garden! It would also help us do a few megastar things in our community [plus make us some dosh too] and have fun while we do it! Gotta love an old caravan or combie that’s made groovy again!!…. here’s some of my real food dreams we could tackle when we get bigger!
- There is definitely room for improvement in government run organisations and institutions hospitals, prisons, nursing homes to provide home grown veges and fruit or develop on site garden plots rather than relying on imported, or poor quality coolroom held, out of season produce for the daily menu.
- Easy access to veg and fruit for employees. Help time poor people with veggie deliveries to work when they aren’t near a supermarket for their job. A new look vending machine – providing veg and fruit snacks [some exist but they still aren’t main stream] instead of highly refined sugar and fat filled sweet nothings…that drop out of a vending machine PLUS knowing that money goes back to a local NW business.
I agree these are big food dreams for a little organisation it’s always good to have plans for when opportunity arises. I think this little saying which I came across taped to the back of a toilet door in a Launceston park recently; say’s it all
“The GREATEST DANGER for most of us is not that our AIM is too HIGH but that it is too LOW and we reach it” – Michael Angelo apparently!
The ability to get out and about and be self sustaining will help PttP share and increase our food literacy and for many more to access good food here in the North West. Food literacy in case you’ve not heard of this before is having the:
- skills and behaviours that help us to plan and manage, select, eat and prepare good food – this little wheel gives us a quick overview..