Iconic lane to host longest lunch event

Laneway gourmet: Chef Peter Ford, MP Sharon Knight, winemaker John Harris, brewer Peter Parry and MP Geoff Howard talk all things food.

Laneway gourmet: Chef Peter Ford, MP Sharon Knight, winemaker John Harris, brewer Peter Parry and MP Geoff Howard talk all things food.

Come March 31, one of Ballarat’s key laneways will be transformed into a food and wine Mecca.

There will be up to 150 guests, a five-course meal, and one of the longest tables Ballarat has ever seen.

The gastronomic event will be held in aid of the 25th anniversary of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The aim is to bring the best of regional Victorian food to 25 World’s Longest Lunch events to be held across the state.

Five local chefs from various restaurants across the city will combine their talents to make the event one to remember.

“We’re joining forces with four other chefs from restaurants around Ballarat, delivering a menu that reflects the seasonal food around, primarily local and regional food,” one of the chefs, Peter Ford, said.

“It will be a five-course lunch and all the crews will push each other’s meals out in a collaborative style.

“The important thing is for all the chefs to come together and have a balanced view so everyone is not running their own race.”

Similar events had been held in the past in Sturt Street, at the former Jacksons and Co, and beside Lake Wendouree.

Buninyong MP Geoff Howard and Wendouree MP Sharon Knight joined Mr Ford, wine supplier John Harris from Mitchell Wines, and beer supplier Peter Parry from Athletic Club brewery, in launching the event.

“We’re keen to see the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival come out to Ballarat,” Mr Howard.

“It both promotes Ballarat as a destination for great food and wine, and makes some people who might be Melbourne-based know that Ballarat is a great place to come to.”

Ms Knight said events such as the World’s Longest Lunch weren’t just great for a day out, they also helped create jobs in Ballarat.

“More visitors to our bars and restaurants means more local jobs – and that changes people’s lives for the better,” she said.

Ballarat’s World’s Longest Lunch costs $150 and will be held March 31 from 12pm at the Hop Temple laneway. Tickets at www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au