Ballarat’s food scene is booming. Thanks to new openings, a steady influx of boutique producers and a growing awareness of the town’s personalised fine-dining experiences, Ballarat is having a moment.
This year a new festival backs that sentiment. The aim of the inaugural Plate Up Festival is to unite local growers, producers, venues, and beer and wine merchants from the region throughout May.
Here’s a selection of the best of the rest to snap up before they’re gone.
Stay Healthy, Eat Green
Tuesday 22 May
Sit down with Lucy from Saigon Allee to hear her share her mother’s secret recipes. Lucy will explain the health benefits of fresh and seasonal vegetables and herbs, and the balance of taste between salt, sweet, sour and bitter in Vietnamese cuisine.
The Wild Game Feast
Friday 25 May
Sit amongst the works of local female artists in the Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery while enjoying a degustation-style dinner inspired by the food of the 1800s. Many of the ingredients will be hunted, foraged and scavenged locally or provided by Goldfields Farmhouse Cheese and John Harbour Quality Butcher. The booze is local too, sourced from Red Duck Beer, Kilderkin Distillery, Warrenmang Winery and Nintingbool Vineyard.
Lunch with Nancy Panter
Friday May 25
Direct from the Grampian Range, Nancy Panter of boutique winery SubRosa is gracing Eclectic Tastes on Lake Wendouree. A former journalist and marketing professional, Banter has turned her talents to winemaking. Have a yarn with Nancy, drink a few glasses of SubRosa and enjoy a two-course meal.
Thursday May 31
With winter just around the corner, those fabulously pungent little pearls are ready to dig from the earth: it’s truffle season. Just 10 minutes from the Ballarat CBD, the Truffle Hunt invites guests to forage for black gold at Black Cat Truffles on Wattle Flat. When you’re done hunting, kick back with a complementary Trufflicious burger and a Red Duck beer at the Black Cat Farm Gate Cafe. If the prospect of finding your own truffles isn’t lure enough, 20 per cent of all ticket sales will go to the Ballarat Soup Bus.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Visit Ballarat.