Golden Plate Awards search for Ballarat's best

THIS year’s Golden Plate Award judges are already looking forward to all the food they’ll be sampling from the Ballarat region.

The 2013 awards, launched at the Art Gallery of Ballarat last night, will see Victoria’s most acclaimed hospitality venues going head-to-head in a battle for regional supremacy.

They will also see judges, all with top food pedigrees, eat their way through more than 180 restaurants, hotels and cafes before June.

Senior judge Kevin Moloney said he would have to pace himself, but he was excited to experience some of the new restaurants to come on board in Ballarat this year.

“There are some premier restaurants in this region that really fit the Golden Plate criteria very well,” he said.

“You’ve got to have a full meal so you can’t do more than two in a day – that’s my rule.”

The awards will focus on 36 criteria with the five major categories on food quality and presentation, customer service, value for money, coffee, wine quality and ambience.

Judging panel president Rita Erlich said Ballarat was developing into a thriving food hub.

“With lots more great restaurants and cafes expanding and opening new operations these are exciting times for the city and surrounding areas,” she said.

General manager of the awards Pamela Jewson said each venue was judged twice without notice over several months.

The winners of the 2013 Ballarat-Daylesford-Pyrenees region will be announced at a gala celebration in October.

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