It was a busy few weeks leading up to our very first Ballarat Food Jiggety Jig Indoor Farmers Market and we are thrilled that the local community came out in droves, on such a brisk winter morning in Ballarat, to show support for our local producers. Our resilient stall holders were pleased to be able to offer their fare in a sheltered setting on what turned out be the coldest morning so far this winter.
In the prime of autumn we celebrated the best of the region's produce at the Rural Lifestyle Expo at The Ballarat Showgrounds. The variety of quality produce being grown and made in the Ballarat area is astonishing and thanks to Natures Cargo's Graham Wilkie the hard work and dedication of producers dedicated to creating quality fare is being acknowledged and their businesses supported.
The Taste Ballarat Produce Dinner 2015, the third incarnation of an event created by Andy Beyerle, based on the local produce grown in our region’s backyards and gardens, was held at the Lydiard Wine Bar Friday night. The spirit of celebrating and sharing local food grown and produced in our region was a tribute to everyone involved. The energy and passion of growers, producers, chefs, hospitality professionals and lovers of quality ethical food ensured that the event was a tasty success. It was epic.
Now before I announce the Bestie Awards for 2014 I need to give creds to the people I call the Village People. You must all remember The Village People, a group of amazing musicians who shared a passion and discoed their way into our hearts. Y.M.C.A. and You Can’t Stop the Music are you with me?
This Wednesday 23rd July, Prospects Restaurant at Federation University will be serving a menu based on the awesome theme of French Bistro.
The 'Buncha' as it's known to locals is a hotel situated on the corner of Pleasant and South Streets in Ballarat. Although it is quite close to where I live I had never made the trip to try their fare. A couple of years ago the fabulous old hotel which was built in 1906 underwent some major renovations and there was a bit of a buzz around town about it, as there often is in this town when a hotel gets a make over.
The Taste of the Region Festival was held last Saturday 5th of April as a part of the Rural Lifestyle Expo held at the Ballarat showgrounds. After quite a dark and wet week the weather in Ballarat was spectacular for the event. We had been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the day was filled with tasty offerings and foodie entertainment from the Ballarat region and our local Ballarat Food network did not disappoint.
I am a firm believer that the more things I commit to doing, the more things I will accomplish. Well that’s how I psyched myself into getting through the last few weeks.
In 2013 the Ballarat food scene certainly heated up. What a wonderful selection of fine places we have here in Ballarat and surrounding regions, with another six or so venues opening up early in 2014 we certainly are on a culinary journey and I look forward to adding many food adventures to your to do lists in 2014.
The Restaurant of the year is of course Catfish Thai. We waited till late in September, nearly a whole year without Damian Jones in the mix. I’m glad it took so long as this restaurant is blowing people away all over Australia, not just us locals. A few weeks ago I spoke to the former hostess of Melbourne’s Longrain, the first thing she asked me was, ”What’s this new Thai place in Ballarat everybody is talking about?"