The new kids on the block
Ballarat has welcomed a new wave of foodies with 1816 Bakehouse, Lola, Griffin Burger, and Pancho among the many additions. Alongside tried and tested restaurants like Moon and Mountain, Mr Jones and Underbar, our choice for dining out has never been more appetising.
Just ask Ballarat’s MasterChef semifinalist, Tim Bone.
The young entrepreneur is embedding himself in the emerging Ballarat foodie scene, with a series of ‘pop up’ food experiences.
After returning from the MasterChef house, Tim’s calendar remains full, with appearances booked at key events including the Ballarat Beer Festival and the regional farmers’ market circuit.
Ballarat residents will have the opportunity to see his talents in action when he presents a series of cooking demonstrations at the 2020 Ballarat Begonia Festival.
“I received so much support both during and after my time on MasterChef that I am inspired to give back to this beautiful city and help put us on the map,” Tim says.
“Ballarat has come such a long way in the food scene, in fact, we’re spoilt for choice.
“Melbourne people are coming here to check us out as a food destination.”
A number of Melbourne visitors were attracted to Tim’s sell-out five course dinners at the Hydrant Food Hall, a renovated heritage warehouse in Ballarat, where he cooked all his favourite dishes, each course carefully matched with local spirits, beers and wine.
He is genuinely excited by the variety of food experiences now available in Ballarat and the potential to further capitalise on the popular Armstrong Street North food precinct.
“Imagine in summer closing off Armstrong Street to traffic from 5pm, with outside dining and string lighting across the street. There’s no reason why Ballarat can’t create its own summertime central food hub.”
Tim is making a conscious decision in his own cooking to showcase Ballarat, partnering with local and regional suppliers and producers to ensure his food is fresh and tasty, whether it’s smallgoods from the Salt Kitchen, fresh mushrooms straight from the farm or bread from the local baker.
One of his valuable collaborations came about partly by chance, discovering the 1816 Bakehouse on Armstrong Street, one of the newest additions to Ballarat’s food scene.
The owner now bakes a custom-length sourdough loaf for Tim’s tasty range of gourmet market stall toasted sandwiches – known as ‘Tim’s Toasties’.
“What we really like about Tim is that he is as passionate about food as we are and about sourcing local to deliver good quality produce.
“There’s a real synergy there,” says 1816 Bakehouse co-owner Josh Chapman.
Tim believes collaborations, like the one he has forged with 1816 Bakehouse, and the willingness of Ballarat businesses to work together, is what sets Ballarat aside.
“Really, the sky is the limit where food is concerned and while we have amazing restaurants in Ballarat, there is still room to grow,” Tim says.
Looking ahead to his own future, Tim hopes to create a bricks and mortar food business of his own in Ballarat. We’ll toast to that.
The City of Ballarat’s Ballarat is Open strategy will further cement our reputation as a food destination and as the ideal place to live and work, where you can enjoy a lifestyle of great food, coffee and wine.
Go to mysay.ballarat.vic.gov.au.