Pattie-flippers here for our tasty reputation

INCREDIBLE burger specialists came to Ballarat because they had heard about us.

Their aim was to show us a flippin’ good time but mostly to experience the exciting foodie culture here in Ballarat.

This city was the first regional visit for Big Burger Biannual, a festival from St Kilda-based Hank Marvin Market.

While traders were predominantly Melbourne-based, Hank Marvin founder Paul Wesolek made clear this was very much a two-way deal.

Hank Marvin wanted to give us a taste of what their traders were about, but they wanted to learn a lot from Ballarat and what good food means in regional Victoria.

Hank Marvin wanted to promote and build on the foodie culture Ballarat has already got.

Quality food from different perspectives is a big part of Ballarat’s character that continues to fast capture attention across the state. We should all be proud to have such a delicious reputation.

The Forge’s expansion into central Ballarat really heated up the Armstrong Street foodie precinct with their woodfire pizzas and attention to detail in using top local produce and craft beers.

The changing culture inspired the likes of Holy Smokes chef Ben Kulman to invest in an amazing one-tonne smoke oven that can cook up to five metres of meat for his Sturt Street cafe-style shop a year ago.

Mr Kulman wanted to bring a little of the barbecue tastes and flavours he brought home from South American travels.

Victorians are becoming more discerning foodies and Ballarat is definitely helping to lead the way.

Producers, particularly those meeting shoppers at farmers’ markets, say people are increasingly wanting to know and learn more about their food and where it is grown.

Harmony Garlic’s Brian Woodstock, from Gordon, has told The Courier this is also about educating people what locally grown means and how higher grow standards create more flavour and safer produce.

Ballarat likes good food and in the past couple of years has really started to become a real destination for food festivals, including Ballarat Beer Festival and the Food Truck Carnival.

This is even why Western Bulldogs pushed to have homegrown food truckers Dinkum Foods take charge in catering for an AFL crowd at Mars Stadium, rather than shipping in the AFL’s usual traders.

Hank Marvin traders had a taste of Ballarat food culture with a Bakers’ Exchange in July, now it is considering a return with new flavours early next year.

The best part? Their traders are keen to spread the word how tasty a crowd and culture we have here.