Award winning Yendon tomatoes
I knew we were going to have a wonderful time at Taste Ballarat at the Rural Lifestyle Expo the moment I walked into the giant marquee. In a setting made for celebrations, we gathered together our regions finest quality producers to share a day filled with food, food and more food. Who could not have a good time in a big white marquee filled with beautiful light, lots of smiling faces and AMAZING produce?
Sultana Girl gourmet sultana clusters
Suzi Fitzpatrick shows us how to prepare Tarna Valley pork
The Taste Ballarat Marquee was emcee’d by wonder-chef duo Suzi Fitzpatrick and Simon Beaton with special guest The Weekly Times’ Jeremy Vincent. Suzi and Simon are true supporters of the real food movement in Ballarat. They focus on quality food, ethical and sustainable practices and they strengthen the community by supporting our local producers. They shared with us their extensive knowledge regarding the quality aspects of the food in our region and how to prepare it.
Jeremy Vincent, Daniel Armeni and Simon Beaton
The guys responsible for some of the best meat in our region were on hand to share with us their mad skills and passion for real food. Tarna Valley’s Daniel Armeni on the knives breaking down a carcass, Brooklands Free Range Farm’s Jono and Salt Kitchen’s Mick Nunn on the mic giving us the lowdown on all things meat and Sebastian Jurcan at the BBQ sizzling his freshly made sausages lured locals into the marquee in record numbers.
Jeremy Vincent, Simon Beaton, Mick Nunn, Jono, Sebastian Jurcan and Daniel Armeni (in the foreground)
Following the meat frenzy it was time to hone our techniques as we were shown how to make a tasty tomato passata and truly great gnocchi by some of our best chefs and most experienced Italian cooks from the Italian Society. The winner of the Gnocchi Off competition was announced, Liam Downes from Craig’s Hotel took out the prize, although it was not an easy task for the judges to decide with so many tasty contenders. The Junior Tomato competition was awarded to the Madden sisters with their pork passata submission.
Judging the gnocchi
To complete one of the tastiest days in recent memory we announced our Artisan Pantry and Paddock to Plate Awards. So without further ado here are the winners for 2016.
Artisan Pantry Award: Basilio Sourdough
Pauline Basilio from Basilio Sourdough accepting the 2016 Artisan Pantry Award
Paddock to Plate Awards Business over 2 years: 1st Yendon Tomatoes
John Elford from Yendon Tomatoes accepting the Paddock to Plate Award from Graham Wilkie from Natures Cargo
Paddock to Plate Awards Business over 2 years: 2nd Country Style Smallgoods
Sebastian Jurcan from Country Style Smallgoods accepting the Paddock to Plate Second Place Award from Graham Wilkie from Natures Cargo
Paddock to Plate Awards Business over 2 years: 3rd Basilio Sourdough bread
Pauline Basilio from Basilio Sourdough accepting the Paddock to Plate Third Place Award from Graham Wilkie from Natures Cargo
Paddock to Plate Awards Business under 2 years: 1st Tarna Valley Farm
Daniel Armeni from Tarna Valley Pork accepting the Paddock to Plate Award from Graham Wilkie from Natures Cargo
Paddock to Plate Awards Business over 2 years: 2nd Sultana Girl
Erin Jonasson THE Sultana Girl accepting the Paddock to Plate Second Place Award from Graham Wilkie from Natures Cargo
Paddock to Plate Awards Business over 2 years: 3rd Harmony Garlic
Brian Woodstock accepting the Paddock to Plate Award from Graham Wilkie from Natures Cargo
Congratulations to everyone who submitted the their produce for this year’s event. It was all of such fantastic quality. It thrills us to see how quickly the Ballarat region has become renowned for it's exceptional produce.