One of the premier events of 2015 Good Food Ballarat is the launch of Aureate restaurant bringing Ballarat a new level of fine dining with a six course wine matched degustation 'Terra Firma' Saturday October 31st at 6pm. A modern European style event which sold out a week ago is set to set the standard for this month long showcase of Ballarat's finest food.
We caught up with Aureate team in the busy lead up to their launch event to give us an indication of the type of food and wine locals can expect to try at Mid City's new establishment. We also hope that if we can get enough requests from locals we could convince Ryan Pearce to hold another six course seafood degustation matched with fine wines. This has to be one of the best value, high quality seafood degustations ever.
Suzi the foodie sleuth extraordinaire had the following questions to the Aureate owner Mark Finch and executive chef Ryan Pearce.
SUZI Where does the name of the Aureate come from. What is inspiration?
MARK Aureate is Latin for 'is made of gold' is, something we feel reflects the quality of effort and abilities used to create dishes. We’re inspired by the desire to bring Ballarat a cosmopolitan dining experience. We want to bring an opulent Melbourne fine dining experience with the best and most extensive wine list that Ballarat has ever seen. We're not there yet, but to use a phrase everyone seems to use at the moment, ‘we have begun our journey’.
SUZI How long have you been working towards the goal of relaunching the mid city and what can we look forward to as changes slowly take place?
MARK Kylie and I purchased the business in September 2014 and were initially stunned at how rundown the facilities were. We spent the first year and a substantial amount of money on lifting the back of house facilities to modern standard.
Three months ago, Ryan came on board as head chef at which time Josh (our food and beverage manager) and Ryan were charged with making our restaurant dreams become a reality.
Aureate Executive Chef Ryan Pearce
SUZI What type of cuisine would you be serving and will you be focusing in the food in our region?
RYAN A style of cuisine will be predominantly modern European with nod to Australia here and there. A decision to bring fresh seafood to the Ballarat dining scene does mean that most of our menu focus for local produce will be aimed at sourcing fruits, vegetables, dairy products and game items. Every product that we choose to showcase and give our efforts to will be judged from an international standpoint, so as to ascertain that it meets our expectations.
Whatever we choose to put on a menu was governed by a belief that we only use the best, and only the best is used.
SUZI Tell us a little about the Good Food Ballarat six course dinner with matched wines? What local produce will you be using?
RYAN Heirloom vegetables, goose, wild baby fennel. Being a seafood degustation we can't exactly say that stuff is "local" but it's Australian and bloody good!
SUZI Ryan where and what is inspiring your cooking at the moment?
RYAN To be honest at the moment I’m drawing most inspiration from my colleagues in their excitement about “Aureate”. That being said, I'm also trying to look around the things that are "not" being done in the Ballarat.
Working really closely with my suppliers and asking them "a lot" of questions is also giving me a really good insight into the market at the moment so as to know what's good and what's upcoming is really doing it for me at the moment.
Ryan has shared one of his signature dish seafood recipes with us - pdf
SEARED TUNA LOIN WITH PICKLED VEGETABLES & LABNA
SUZI Also can we have the details of Aureate restaurant?
Facebook: Aureate Restaurant
As the Aureate six course degustation event is sold out, we are encouraging any interested foodies to leave a comment below if you would like to attend such an event. If we can get the numbers we think we could twist Ryan's arm to put on another one.