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The lunch is one of the key regional events of the annual 2010 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and has been months in the making after Slow Food Ballarat was invited by festival organisers to be part of the internationally-acclaimed event.
Slow Food Ballarat committee members have seized the opportunity to present an unforgettable grazing extravaganza in the beautiful surrounds of the 150-year-old gardens.
Members of Slow Food Ballarat, led by local chef, Peter Ford, will publicly demonstrate their unwavering support for local produce growers by serving-up a mammoth five-course lunch to be created from ingredients sourced almost entirely from Buninyong and surrounding Ballarat districts. The event enables visitors to smell, taste and eat their way through the Gardens, sampling the district’s finest fare on offer. Visitors will have the rare chance to meet those often hard-to-locate growers and purchase fresh produce directly from their stalls.
The menu will feature a tasty paella dish with local wild rabbit, Wurrook gourmet barbecued sausages, free-range chicken, roasted whole pork with various locally-made condiments in sourdough rolls, pizza with a range of toppings including locally produced ham, salami and prosciutto and local vegetables, along with the Harvest blueberry and hazelnut petite cakes for dessert. The feast will be washed down with locally produced wine, beer and mineral waters.
Locally sourced ingredients will also include flour from Powlett Hill Mill, onions, peppers, Tuki smoked trout, fresh herbs, Yendon tomatoes, Meredith cheese, along with ham, salami and prosciutto from Istra Meats. The menu will also feature pork from Mt Mercer, organic vegetables from Spring Creek and Captains Creek, yabbies farmed in Learmonth, locally grown blueberries and hazelnuts, and free-range eggs.
For the past three months, David Tatman of Spring Creek Organics has been tending four large mobile garden plots which are brimming with a variety of organic vegetables. ‘We’re auctioning these mobile vegetable plots, with proceeds to support the revitalisation program for the Buninyong Botanical Gardens which have been a vital part of the local community for some 150 years,’ Peter Ford says. ‘The plots will make an ideal garden for a local school, community group or homeowner who hasn’t had much luck in the garden.’.
Slow Food Ballarat has summoned some of Ballarat’s finest talent to entertain the hundreds of diners expected to gather at the Gardens. Among the performers is the colourful Ballarat Community Circus with its line-up of tumblers, jugglers and stilt-walkers aged from just three to 30-something. In another corner of the rambling gardens, acapella group, Ratburger will entertain. Cooler than a Ballarat summer and hotter than a Ballarat winter, these four male singers plunder the treasures of medieval and renaissance music to produce their unique sound.
Peter Ford says: ‘Slow Food members live by the motto ‘good, clean and fair’, which encompasses the message Slow Food Ballarat would like to send out about the importance of eating fresh, healthy food and, in turn, promoting biodiversity in food growth and supporting sustainable production practices; all helping reduce the increasing rate of diet-related illness in the community. Bring along the family with a picnic blanket and folding chairs, then settle beneath the majestic trees of the Gardens while enjoying your lunch and being entertained by local musicians and performers’.
Date: Sun 14 Mar 2010
Time: 11:30am – 4:00pm
Fee: $30 Slow Food members, $35 guests, $14 children
Bookings: Regent Ticketing T 03 5330 5555 or via the website and follow the links www.slowfoodballarat.org.au (a booking fee applies)
Supporters: City of Ballarat, The Courier, Studio Peace & Quiet, Ballarat Community Telco, The Real Meal, Central Highlands Water and other local sponsors
Proceeds revitalisation of the Buninyong Botanical Gardens and its 2011 sesquicentenary celebrations