the Italian tour…

DSC_7355

A group of Italian cultural enthusiasts gather at dusk to dream a little dream of Italy. There’s bruschetta with salsa verde.  There’s Vermouth Bianco served with crushed sage, a slice of lemon and a dash of soda.  Prosecco, prosciutto e melone and stars in everyone’s eyes.  Ingrid points to an image of impossible beauty projected onto the cafe wall and everyone sighs.

It’s behind-the-scenes at Origini, as prospective participants gather to dream their In giro tour into being (‘origini’ spelt backwards, ‘in giro’, means ‘going around’).  There’s talk of castles and villas and mock Medieval battles and truffles and private tastings of every kind of Piemontese wine:  Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barolo…  A salt bath in the Grotta del Sale of a seventeenth century monastery.  A view of the Torino skyline from the former Fiat factory’s rooftop test racing-track.

So we dabble in the promise of Piemonte, this undiscovered gem lying at the foot of the Alps in the northwest corner of Italy – the birthplace of the Slow Food movement and the reason for Origini’s being… the unfolding of one journey giving shape and flavour to the unfurling of another…

DSC_7226DSC_7248DSC_7264_2DSC_7382_2DSC_7378_2DSC_7404DSC_7454DSC_7433_2DSC_7257

Contact: ingrid gaiotto on 0418 418 288 or ingrid.gaiotto@bigpond.com

Photos by http://www.heleneathanasiadis.com/

the Italian tour…

The Community Dinner…

DSC_7684

They were always being told “business is business”.  There’s generosity and community and relationship – and then there’s business.  But they suspected otherwise.  What if in the soup pot, the flavours infuse and the small generous gesture engenders something much greater; something wonderful…

They thought, let’s open the doors in the evening, once a month.  Let’s make a big pot of minestrone and let’s make it on the house – no charge; no “business is business” – and, soon enough, this attracted a pumpkin and ginger soup with coriander pesto, then a dahl, then cakes and bread and music and singing and all sorts of people rubbing shoulders, sporting a niggling feeling of goodwill…

Until, in early December, we found ourselves woven into the potent story of a beautiful woman with a strong voice and an iron will.  Baharej, fearing for her life and fleeing her home in Iran, made for the supposed safety of our Australian shores.  She was held in detention centres on Christmas Island and in Brisbane for 12 months, before being sent to Australia as an asylum seeker.  It was our privilege to bear witness to her story.

For many months now, through the generous donations of people sharing in these community dinners, nearly $4,000 have been raised.  This money has gone towards supporting the work of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, through programs offering material aid, health, legal, counseling and casework support as well as a foodbank.

 

Thank-you to all who have played a part in this humble adventure…

DSC_7681DSC_7677DSC_7706DSC_7696DSC_7724DSC_7722DSC_7693DSC_3882DSC_7701DSC_7727DSC_7731DSC_7734

Photos by http://www.heleneathanasiadis.com/

Status

the origini story…

cafe collage 2

Ingrid lived in Biella, in Piemonte, Italy until her family moved to Melbourne when she was eight years old.   Every few years her family would return to Biella to visit their relatives. When she was 16 Ingrid met Luca who had lived in Biella all his life. The next visit, they were 18 and became good friends. At 23 they fell in love but chose to return to their respective worlds.

But Ingrid couldn’t forget Luca. At 28 she returned to Biella and to Luca. Soon after, they moved to Australia, were married, and had three boys.

In search of a place to lay their roots they chanced upon Castlemaine, a former gold mining town in central Victoria. A vibrant and welcoming community still offering adventurers untold wealth. It was like chancing upon a great secret: a small country town not far from Melbourne, with generous lashings of heritage, an iconic Australian landscape, a thriving arts and gourmet scene and not yet overtaken by rampant tourism.

… and so Origini was born. A cafe celebrating their shared Italian origins and the bedrock for their new life in country Victoria.

DSC_6256DSC_6191DSC_6250DSC_6164DSC_6233DSC_6162DSC_7609_2DSC_6225DSC_6209DSC_6295DSC_7316_2DSC_3807DSC_3836

Photos by http://www.heleneathanasiadis.com/

 

the origini story…