THE MIDNIGHT OILS

The latest news from the Ballarat Food Network

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Jodie Kaine

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GOOD FOOD BALLARAT - MASTERS & APPRENTICES

ballaratfood gfb mastersRyan Pearce, Suzi Fitzpatrick and Chrissy De Deugd

Good Food Ballarat Festival 2015 provides a month of spectacular dining opportunities in Ballarat. A hawkers market, farmers market, brunches, lunches, suppers and degustations. What’s set to be the most talked about event to mark the end of the festival is the Masters & Apprentices six course degustation. The star studded degustation will be matched with Mitchell Harris Wines, at Federation University’s Prospects Restaurant, November 30th at 6pm.


This event, created by chef-whiz Ryan Pearce. He tantalized our tastebuds at his sellout six course degustation event at Aureate Restaurant last week. An experienced chef Ryan has attained a standard of culinary excellence working in many hatted restaurants across Melbourne. Now Ryan is bringing his skills to our region and teaching the next generation of chefs at Federation University in the Commercial Cookery school, whilst also commanding the role of executive chef at Aureate Restaurant as the team embark on bringing fine dining experiences to Ballarat.

Ryan put out the challenge to some of his talented celebrity colleagues to recruit the awesome talent to cast as the Masters of the Good Food finale. Each master is to produce a designated course and will be assigned with two apprentices by drawing straws. The dinner will be the final hurrah this year for the commercial cookery students.

THE MASTER LINEUP


Course 1 Canapés: Suzi Fitzpatrick
Course 2 Seafood signature salad: Damien Jones
Course 3 Meat/Game signature entree: Matt Dempsey
Course 4 Signature dish: Luigi Bazzani

Course 5 Signature main: Matt Germanchis

Course 6 Dessert double team: Phiilpa Sibley Cook and Daniel Southern

This collaboration will include top industry culinary skills and experience teamed with the enthusiasm and talent of Australia’s next generation of creative food professionals.

Ryan is still to learn of the dishes his masters are planning to create with their apprentices. Suzi gave us a heads up on her plans for canapés for the evening and all I can say is, this is going to be a foodie event, the likes of which you will not find anywhere else. The master chefs, each with one course to focus on, will be at the top of their creative game when it comes to composing their signature dishes for the six course degustation.

The courses will be matched with wines by John Harris from Mitchell Harris Wines. The night will be MC’d by Federation Uni’s John Hayes and Chrissy De Deugd will be managing the front of house.

Masters Apprentices

Tickets for the six course degustation event are $150 per person. To book contact 5336 8263 or email 
Starting at 6pm, Monday 30th of November 2015 at Prospects Training restaurant FedUni TAFE-SMB Campus, Lydiard Street South Ballarat.

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GOOD FOOD BALLARAT - AUREATE

ballaratfood aureate

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.

Ballaratfood chef ryan pearceAureate 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.

aureate tuna side 

Ryan has shared one of his signature dish seafood recipes with us - pdf SEARED TUNA LOIN WITH PICKLED VEGETABLES & LABNA  (313 KB)

SUZI Also can we have the details of Aureate restaurant?

Website: aureate.com.au

Facebook: Aureate Restaurant

Twitter: @AureateBallarat

Instagram: 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.

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FAIR FOOD WEEK 2015

Fair Food Week 16th October - 25th October 2015 is a self organising national event established in 2013 to provide communities to showcase how farmers, gardeners, chefs and community based food enterprises are working hard to ensure access to fresh, local and affordable produce to all Australians.

ballaratfood pigletEthically raised pig from Tarna Valley

Ballarat Food is a network of of individuals in our community who are committed to supporting food in our region, we appreciate the quality of life in our area and want to work towards a healthy and sustainable future for the Ballarat region. We became involved with the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance early this year and were honoured to have Dr Nick Rose and Tammi Jonas attend our local produce dinner and help us launch Ballarat’s first screening of the documentary Fair Food.

nick rose fair foodDr Nick Rose from The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance is a collaboration of organisations and individuals working together towards a food system in which people have the opportunity to choose, create and manage their food supply from paddock to plate. Their purpose is to is to cooperate, to create an equitable, sustainable and resilient food system for all Australians.

We were so excited to learn from such a switched on and organized group of people, who were already looking at the implications our current method of producing and consuming food were having on the health and well being of us and our planet. The Australian Sovereignty Alliance are actively setting out to remake Australia’s food system secure, fair and of benefit to us all.

Spending time with the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance helped me to understand more about the problems pertaining to our our current food system and delving into the topic of world food security I felt overwhelmed at the scale of such a task as the remaking of our food system. How I could make a contribution to such an undertaking? I have physical and economic access to all the food I need and want, but many people do not.

It seems pretty clear that we’re all waiting for someone else to take charge in order to come up with a solution, after all how can one person effect meaningful change? I often think about the things I can do to help remake our food system, and I’ve decided it starts in really little ways, so small and insignificant that unless you continue to make additional changes they may not be substantial enough to hold your attention or interest in the goal of achieving improved food security.

We need to keep asking the questions, what is threatening our food security and why? I am fortunate to be able to talk about the security and fairness of our food system with everyone involved with Ballarat Food. We have more questions than we have answers, and we have so much to learn, but we all offer our unique perspective on the subject and we know that if we continue to support each other and challenge the processes that are unfair or unsustainable, we can at least start to make a difference to our local food system.

I believe that’s how the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance affect change. They take the time to visit a lot of communities across Australia, they spent the weekend with us, the Ballarat Food group. They meet with a lot of other community groups, they spend time with individuals; farmers, gardeners, chefs, producers, small business owners and they meet with governments. They share their knowledge with us and we are inspired by their commitment to work towards change, small incremental steps.

ballaratfood springcreek organicsSpring Creek Organics

Here’s a list of the little things I do that I believe are steps towards a secure food system to benefit myself and my community.

  • I try to source local seasonal produce and whole foods as often as I can, it’s healthier for me and supports the local economy.
  • I try to buy food from the people who have grown or produced it themselves.
  • I try to cook from scratch, it tastes better and it saves money.
  • I focus on a vegetable rich diet and when I do eat meat, try and source ethically raised meats.
  • I buy food in smaller quantities to minimise waste.
  • I usually walk to buy my food, it’s good exercise, and ensures I only buy what I need.
  • I grow most of my own herbs, it’s easy to do and makes a lot of the dishes I prepare taste wonderful.
  • I eat at local restaurants and cafes who support our local quality producers.
  • I spread the word about all the great produce I find in our region to family and friends and others via ballaratfood.com.
  • I love to talk about what’s in season, and what recipes and cooking techniques others have for seasonal ingredients.
  • I have google alerts on Food Security and other related topics to help me learn more about this important global issue.
  • I help support the Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market to encourage others to experience the abundance of wonderful quality produce and food being made in our community and to help support our local producers.

There’s so much more I could do, it’s a start. I’d love to grow more of my own food and implement more sustainable energy and water systems in my home, I’d love to make a bigger impact. If only one person reads this blog article and finds out about the Jiggety-Jig I’ll be happy. I will be at Jiggety- Jig again this Saturday (3rd Saturday of every month). We have a growing number of locals who come along every month and they are buying fresh food and they love it, and we know that as the word spreads more people will see the benefits of supporting local fair food, for themselves and the community.

ballaratfood jiggetyJiggety-Jig Farmers Market at the Ballarat Showgrounds

There’s lots of events going on across Australia. Checkout the Fair Food Week Website to see what other communities are doing for Fair Food Week and in the spirit of keeping the fair food conversation alive, what are some of the little things you do in the spirit of fair food?

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PRODUCER PROFILE MARCUS DOWNES - CHARISMA COFFEE

ballaratfood marcus downes

PRODUCER PROFILE MARCUS DOWNES - CHARISMA COFFEE

WHAT’S YOUR THING Coffee

NAME Marcus Downes

PHONE 0438 233 375

EMAIL

WEBSITE www.charismacoffee.com.au

SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook

CHARISMA COFFEE STORY

The love for coffee and all things coffee came from Marcus’ experiences of travelling through the rural regions and cities of Europe. Marcus is the roaster and proprietor of Charisma Coffee.

It was not long after arriving in Italy that he was inspired and invigorated by the Italian cafe scene.
It also became apparent to him that coffee growing and roasting was akin to that of the wine industry. The two industries shared critical analysis of what was desirable, both were at the mercy of agricultural factors, they pursued sound techniques and excellence and contained an artisan approach.

WE HAVE MOVED IN DIRECTIONS

ARABICA BEANS: Charisma Coffee source and roast Arabica beans, they are grown at high altitudes and boast far superior flavours to Robusta beans which are widely used for the production of instant coffee.

Arabica coffee beans naturally grow more slowly than their Robusta counterparts and take on more characteristics of the regions in which they are grown. Charisma Coffee offers you a wide variety of single origin and organic coffee.

coffee beans

SINGLE ORIGIN & ORGANIC: Single origin coffee beans originate from one place, a plantation, an estate or pooled and graded from a single country.

Charisma Coffee offers a broad selection of beans available as both single origin or as blends to suit your needs. Each bean has subtle differences of palate, character - charisma - and intensity and the range offered will cater to every taste.

Chemical-intensive cropping may yield higher production but not flavour. Your purchase of organic coffee ensures that farmers are not exposed to harmful chemicals, traditional farming methods (rusticano or policultura traditional) are continued and that natural habitats are better preserved. All organic coffee varieties can be purchased upon request in 100% compostable bags.

Charisma Coffee have been selling coffee beans whole or ground by the bag for a while now. Did you know Charisma Coffee is now available in Nespresso-compatible capsules? These are supplied as a kit; perfectly ground, fresh roasted coffee with the plastic capsule and a self-adhesive foil cover. A kit comes with 50/100 capsules and 250g/500g of coffee respectively. Now you can enjoy Charisma Coffee using your existing Nespresso machine.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PRODUCT?

Charisma Coffee's Timor Leste Maubisse, a medium to strong coffee, a great all-rounder. It is a full-bodied drink and has a sweet, thick feel to the mouth. This is a triple award winner having gained a Silver Medal in the 2014 Compak Golden Bean Competition, and two Bronze Medals at the 2012 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Awards and the 2012-2013 Golden Bean Roaster Competition.

charismacoffeepacks

WHO CAN BUY YOUR COFFEE?

Charisma coffee website welcomes wholesale and retail orders. The good news for Ballarat locals is that you can buy Charisma Coffee by the bag at lots of locations in the region; Ballarat Wholefoods Collective, Maxi Foods, Wilsons Fruit & Vegetables, Peaches Fruit Market, Bean Me Up Mobile Espresso, Merkama Cafe, Ballarat Home Brew Centre, Ruth Howlett Collectibles, Highland Heritage.

charisma team

You will often see Marcus and his Charisma team at Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market and quality local produce markets in the region. Marcus is also a popular fixture at Taste Ballarat, Rural Lifestyle Expo. As a master roaster in the region, Marcus has created quite a local following for his specially roasted beans, he also loves to talk about all things coffee.

You can also taste the Charisma brews at the following locations; Charisma coffee vans around Melbourne, Avoca Hotel, Maxi Foods Cafe, Merkama Cafe, Bean Me Up Mobile Espresso, Prospects Restaurant Federation University Australia, Belinda Murden mobile espresso, Steptoe and Sister Antiques Smythesdale.

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ASIAN SPECIALTY FOOD SUPERMARKET IN BALLARAT

SS Traders, an Asian grocery store, opened for business at the start of 2015. I had noticed the doorway located in the lane next to Curry Star Restaurant in Dana Street, and assumed it was a small shop offering a few specialty ingredients, boy was I in for a surprise.

Inside the doorway in the laneway is a large specialty supermarket with aisles of assorted Asian grocery items, thousands of food products, many I have not seen before. SS traders is open seven days a week. They have a extensive range of specialty groceries you will not find in regular supermarkets or anywhere else in Ballarat.

ballaratfood sstraders

Open seven days a week 11am - 9pm, SS Traders are supplying fresh produce and grocery items to specialty restaurants around the region. If you are looking for a wide range of rice, flours, exotic spices or pretty much any ingredient required for Indian cuisine, you will find it at SS Traders. Every Thursday SS Traders offers fresh vegetables and produce directly from Melbourne markets including; fresh ginger, chilli, baby eggplants, gourds, drumstick, coriander and plantains. Also depending on availability they bring fresh fish from the markets, perfect for a fish curry. You can also phone ahead to order fresh goat meat, another curry specialty ingredient.

For orders or enquiries contact Venkatesh on 03 5331 1414.

ballaratfood sstraders freshproduce 2

ballaratfood eggplants

ballaratfood gourds

ballaratfood sardines

The staff at SS Traders are very helpful and happy to share ideas on how you can incorporate many of the unusual ingredients and fresh produce into your home cooking. After visiting last week I walked away with drumstick (a long green vegetable I incorporated into a vindaloo), along with some fresh chillies, coriander and the best papadums I have ever cooked. 

Many customers of SS Traders are chefs in the region. SS Traders are offering a range of products many businesses previously had to go to Melbourne to source and now food enthusiasts interested in experimenting in the kitchen can also obtain specialty ingredients. I highly recommend you visit on a Thursday to sample some of the fresh produce available on the day, such healthy and interesting food intiatives happening in our town deserve our support. 

ballaratfood mangoes

ballaratfood plantain

Recent Comments
Jodie Kaine
Hi Katherine, I do not think SS Traders stock much in the way of Japanese spices, but I am confident you might find what you're af... Read More
Thursday, 25 February 2016 21:09
Jodie Kaine
Hi Emma, They definitely stock a wide range of Indian branded candy. I am not sure they stock Japanese candy though. Thanks for st... Read More
Thursday, 21 January 2016 14:35
Jodie Kaine
Thanks Belinda. We had been meaning to pop in there for a while now and were so impressed that fantastic places like this are happ... Read More
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 08:38
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A WORLD OF CHEESE IN BALLARAT

A WORLD OF CHEESE IN BALLARAT
A few weeks ago I was invited by the team at Ryan’s IGA supermarkets to attend A Night of Cheese Discovery at the Provincial Hotel in Ballarat. I love cheese, so I was thrilled to share a night with some Ballarat locals expanding my knowledge on this ancient comfort food.
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THE JIGGETY FILES AUGUST 2015

THE JIGGETY FILES AUGUST 2015

The August Jiggety-Jig market, the final one for winter 2015 was good for us all. We had more new stall holders and a great show of support in the from of fresh food shoppers. I am always impressed when hanging up our jiggety shingles at ten to nine in the morning to see people already arriving baskets in hand to support their favourite local producers. It makes me smile and I am sure it makes our producers smile. 

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PRODUCER PROFILE CHRIS MACQUET - IDYLL FOODS/FARMS & TRUFFLEBERRY FARM

PRODUCER PROFILE CHRIS  MACQUET - IDYLL FOODS/FARMS & TRUFFLEBERRY FARM

WHAT’S YOUR THING? Permaculture, aquaculture, organic and biodynamic principles, chemical free, fresh produce, free range eggs, yellowbox honey, truffles and truffle products.

NAME Chris Macquet

ADDRESS 578 Navigators Road, Navigators Victoria

EMAIL

WEBSITES www.truffleberry.com.au

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ORDER YOUR INGLENOOK MILK AND CREAM NOW FOR JIGGETY

ORDER YOUR INGLENOOK MILK AND CREAM NOW FOR JIGGETY

Ballarat Food is committed to making the Jiggety Jig a true farmers market where you can obtain the best quality local version of all your  food requiremts. Milk and cream are key staples in most family households and Inglenook milk and cream are the very best you can buy, so order your Inglenook this week and we shall have it ready for you when you visit us at Jiggety.

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BALLARAT FOODIES NOW ENJOYING ETHICAL SMALLGOODS AT HOME

BALLARAT FOODIES NOW ENJOYING ETHICAL SMALLGOODS AT HOME
Ballarat has some beautiful fresh quality artisanal products being made right under our noses. Sebastian Jurcan’s Country Style Smallgoods is one of the region’s most popular examples. Sebastian is a Ballarat local who uses processes dating back generations from Istra, a peninsula off the northern coast of Croatia. Sebastian has been supplying his cured meats, salamis and sausages to local restaurants across Ballarat and Melbourne for years.
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THE JIGGETY FILES JULY 2015

THE JIGGETY FILES JULY 2015

A thriving community requires fresh quality produce from a sustainable food supply. Land on the city fringe is still important to our economy and we are aware that it's our obligation to support our local producers. If we can all start to make an effort to supplement our regular grocery shop from local produce markets as a priority before filling the rest of our needs from the supermarket, we can reap the health benefits while supporting our region’s economy. It may take a some more effort and planning to create our meals from the local seasonal produce on offer, but it will provide a far more tasty and nutritious diet for our families.

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FARMGATE FRIDAY BRINGING FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE TO BALLARAT

FARMGATE FRIDAY BRINGING FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE TO BALLARAT

Country Style Smallgoods and Saltbush Kitchen are bringing local fresh produce to Ballarat. Farmgate Friday will commence this Friday July 17th, 3pm to 7pm. You can order your quality locally made smallgoods online at www.countrystylesmallgoods.com.au  before 5:30pm this Thursday and pick them up the following afternoon at Saltbush Kitchen at M.A.D.E. where there will be an offering of fresh vegies, local platters and wine.

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AUSTRALIAN BUSH SPICE CLASSES

AUSTRALIAN BUSH SPICE CLASSES
We have been fans of the tasty food produced by Brigid Corcoran at Saltbush Kitchen for a while now, she has brought the tastes of Australian native bush flavours to our attention and we are keen to learn more about these native bush spices. Over the winter months (June, July and August) Brigid and her team at Saltbush Kitchen at M.A.D.E are holding Saltbush Kitchen spice classes, a chance to explore some Australian native spices whilst sharing some platters and drinks featuring these flavours.
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THANK YOU BALLARAT

THANK YOU BALLARAT

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.

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THE GATES TO THE TRUFFIERE OPEN TO ALL LOCAL CHEFS AND APPRENTICES

THE GATES TO THE TRUFFIERE OPEN TO ALL LOCAL CHEFS AND APPRENTICES

Local truffle growers Andres and Lynette Haas of Black Cat Truffles are busy preparing for an anticipated bumper season of winter truffles. On selected Tuesdays throughout June and July, the gates to the truffiere will be open to local chefs and apprentices for a truffle experience like no other. 

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CELEBRATING QUALITY FOOD IN OUR REGION

CELEBRATING QUALITY FOOD IN OUR REGION

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.

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TASTE BALLARAT FAIR FOOD

TASTE BALLARAT FAIR FOOD

The Taste Ballarat Food Pavilion at the Ballarat Rural Lifestyle Expo on Saturday 11 April 2015 was a hub of Ballarat's finest growers and producers. We were entertained with some classic Taste Ballarat events and were introduced to a community discussion of a fair food system and how we all play a vital role in the future of our food supply.

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TASTE BALLARAT PRODUCE DINNER CELEBRATING THE FOOD OF THE REGION

TASTE BALLARAT PRODUCE DINNER CELEBRATING THE FOOD OF THE REGION

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.

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FEDERATION UNI'S FIRST MYSTERY LUNCH FOR 2015

FEDERATION UNI'S FIRST MYSTERY LUNCH FOR 2015

We are excited to report that the Federation University's Commercial Cookery students are about to embark on their amazing mystery lunches for 2015. Tomorrow's first Mystery Lunch is themed around poultry.

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BALLARAT FAIR FOOD SCREENING SATURDAY 11 APRIL

BALLARAT FAIR FOOD SCREENING SATURDAY 11 APRIL

Ballarat Food is super pleased to annouce that the Australian documentary Fair Food will be screening this Saturday April 11 at midday and at 2pm in the Food Pavillion at the Weekly Times Rural Lifestyle Festival at the Ballarat Showgrounds, on the corner of Creswick Road and Howitt Street Wendouree. For anybody curious about our food system in Australia and the issues impacting it, you really must see Fair Food. A Q&A discussion panel will follow the 2pm screening.

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