Ballarat is embracing fine French food this winter. The first French Bistro Dinner evening at Federation University's Prospects Restaurant was such a success Ryan Pearce and his team will be offering the amazing French Bistro themed dinner this Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th August. Bookings advisable, keep reading for more details.
Last week I had the great pleasure of catching up with Brigid Corcoran from Saltbush Kitchen, a local business based in Buninyong producing a divine range of food using native ingredients including lemon myrtle, native thyme, aniseed myrtle, rivermint and pepperberry.
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.
Last Friday night the people of Ballarat stepped out to sample some great Ballarat food and music at the Mueseum of Democracy at Eureka. As the afternoon grew darker and the misty rain and chill settled in we were a wee bit worried the locals might opt to stay home rather than step out to the Tasters event.
We have been invited to be a part of the Backyard Tasters at Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka on Friday 21st March 5:30-8:30pm. To celebrate this wonderful event of local entertainment and produce at M.A.D.E. set in the picturesque Eureka gardens, we are creating regional plates for two, which can be purchased at the event for $20 per plate. A scrumptious selection of some of the best quality produce in our region from Goldfields Farmhouse Cheese, Country Style Smallgoods, Saltbush Kitchen, Damien Jones, Spring Creek Organics, Prickleberry Sourdough and Phoenix Olive Oil. Gluten free and vegetarian versions will also be available.
After two successful years The Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society proudly presents The Rural Lifestyle Expo 2014. Each year we exhibit and showcase the best produce from in and around Central Western Victoria with a celebration of artisan and gourmet eats and drinks.
This year’s Expo features an array of exciting new events, presentations and activities all highlighting our theme ingredient, the humble local potato. With potato fun for the kids, tutorials from industry professionals, local chef cook offs and master classes, local producer demonstrations and hands on displays, this year’s Expo is a must for all passionate food lovers and a great opportunity to join the Ballarat food movement.
2014 sees the introduction of the inaugural Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society Paddock to Plate Awards. Proudly sponsored by Nature’s Cargo, the awards will celebrate the best stall-holders who meet the judging criteria in manufacturing and producing. Competitors will be judged by an expert panel for businesses aged naught to two years old and two years old and over. Awards will also be judged for best exhibitor, best chef, best demonstration and best display.
So get down to the showgrounds April 5th and join your host Simon Beaton in celebrating the regions best produce in Ballarat’s greatest food spectacular.
I have been living a mere few blocks away from the most delicious and authentically French pastries being made right here in Ballarat for just over a year now. Why did I not know about Le Petit Patissier aka Alain, before now? Although my waistline may be thanking me I feel as if I have stumbled upon an amazing fine pastry world that is bustling with bon jours, baguettes and bon vivant. Located on Sturt Street just near the old Ballarat Fire Station, this little cafe has become my go to for the most magnificent bread baked in Ballarat. Thanks to a tip off from Yamelly and Jose at Meigas (they use Alain's baguettes for their Spanish Rolls) I wasted no time in securing myself some fresh crusty loaves to have toasted over the Christmas New Year break. Little did I know that I would be entranced by the most amazing selection of French tarts, pastries and cakes on display, and yes I have been trying an assortment of these purely for research purposes on a regular basis. In case you were wondering everything is made daily on the premises by Alain.
Today is the start of an exciting phase for Ballarat Food, as promised we are now officially taking memberships for chefs, producers and providers. The purpose of Ballaratfood.com is to catalyse the creation of a local food network that promotes awareness of the variety and quality of food and wine from the Ballarat region, to celebrate the creativity of the artisans and the producers and to facilitate the involvement of the community and visitors to the region.
Ballarat Food members will be featured with a profile on our site and inclusion in a database that is set to be the first of it's kind in our region. As we embark on our first year we have a lot of great things in store for you.
The international slow food movement was founded in 1986 by campaigner and writer Carlo Petrini. Petrini came to prominence in the 1980's by taking part in a protest against McDonalds who were opening an outlet near the Spanish Steps in Rome. He founded an association called Slow Food in Barolo in the Piedmont region of Italy that dedicated itself to the protection of traditional foods and agricultural biodiversity.
Meigas is the Spanish translation for sorcerers and the food coming out of Cafe Meigas kitchen is magical. Yamelly Perez and Jose Fernandez have only been operating Meigas Cafe since September and already their authentic quality Spanish fare is attracting a cult following. Open Tuesdays to Sundays, with a menu full of traditional Spanish favourites including the best crunchy, chewy baguettes with roast pork, chicken, chorizo or parma ham, soups, bruschetta, open platters, salads, croquettes, omelettes, flamenco eggs, the list goes on. They also have a daily specials board. I recommend you ask Jose or Yamelly for translations as they do some fabulous specials. I have lunched at Meigas quite a few times now and Jose and Yamelly have ensured I have tried something new every time, and it has all been delicious.
Three thoroughly scrumptious visits to the Curry Star on Dana street have provided me with more than enough of a sampler of the vast menu to declare Goldy Brar and his team the creators of the best Indian food in Ballarat.
I have only concentrated on the Indian section of the menu to date, and although one serving of curry with a side of rice and bread is more than plenty, the amazing selection of entrees is hard to ignore. The tandoori chicken pieces arrive on a sizzle plate with a combination of a crunchy outer with insanely moist and tasty meat, as do the barramundi pieces individually seared and sealed with tandoori goodness. Curry star also offer the usual compliment of starters to offer more variety than any other local indian menu I have spied.
Well we finally made it, Ballaratfood.com is here to bring you the latest food related goodness from the Ballarat region. This is a germinal concept that will be evolving over time. Thanks to Alphaville Web Publishing for the sponsorship for making this development a reality, we will be continuing to grow the community network to become the central hub of all Ballarat food activity. In coming weeks we will be seeking your support to become a member, stay tuned as there are a lot of fantastic things we want to offer you all.
In the meantime we would love you to subscribe to our newsletters in the main menu option to ensure you can be a part of all the good things we have planned for our area. We look forward to having lots of fabulous foodie adventures with you.
Welcome to Ballaratfood we are an online membership based network passionate about food. We are serious gastronomes, aka foodies, a switched on gathering of local chefs, cooks, gardeners, crafters, restaurateurs and people who just love food. We are about the food scene, the chefs, cooks and bottle washers, the butchers, the bakers, the dumpling makers and you. We all eat and enjoy food whether you like to experiment with your own creations or enjoy trying the exciting offerings of food artisans you will find something to tempt your tastebuds or somewhere to try with your friends and family. We will celebrate those putting their heart and soul into preparing and creating a high standard of food, we want to share the wonderful things happening in our region.