Ballarat will transform into a grazing table of food, wine and craft brews as part of the inaugural Plate Up Ballarat. Running throughout the month of May, the food festival will showcase the finest producers, winemakers and brewers of the western region.
Here are five ways you can make the most out of this food festival.
1. The pie competition
20 of Ballarat’s eateries have created special pies as part of the Plate Up festival pie competition. Take a look at the list of offerings and eat your way around the town as you indulge in a pastry (or few) conjured up using fresh and local ingredients. With a focus on local produce, each pie must feature three local ingredients, must be true to type, and served as a plated meal. The competition will include the People’s Choice Best Pie (so don’t forget to cast your vote!) as well as the Critic’s Choice Best Pie judged by a team of food experts including Richard Cornish and local culinary genius Peter Ford.
2. The dinners
Whether it’s a food truck fiesta, a warehouse festoon, an exclusive fine dining event or an immersive art experience, Plate Up Ballarat will have a dinner event to delight the palate and excite the senses. Make sure to coincide your visit with at least one of the festival’s dinner events, and secure your place pronto because they’re selling out quickly!
3. The workshops
Harvest your own produce, create a pizza, bake your own cakes, create an authentic Thai curry or get insights into the beer brewing process. Whatever your end game, you’ll get there, with an array of workshops taking place throughout the city for foodie lovers and budding chefs alike.
4. The parties
Grazing tables featuring all the charcuterie and cheese you could hope for, Sunday sessions with locally-produced cider, brews and live music, grand openings featuring the wine and spirits of the region, and speed dating events with the wine connoisseurs of the West – there’s a party for all to be had!
5. The brunches and lunches
The fun doesn’t only begin after dark. Plate Up will feature a whole host of events to kick-start your day or liven your afternoon, so make sure to familiarise yourself with the program, and include a little bit of everything!
Plate Up Ballarat will be held between May 1 and 31. For more information, visit plateupballarat.com.au.