Tasting success together
We Are Ballarat celebrates all of us – the people who define our city – and aims to empower us to work towards the strengthening of Ballarat’s social fabric.
IF there’s one person in Ballarat who knows food, it’s Tim Bone.
So when the former MasterChef contestant says the city is well on the way to becoming a foodie destination – well that’s saying something.
“What’s so special about Ballarat is our vibrant food and drink scene,” the We Are Ballarat ambassador said.
“Over the past couple of years, in terms of our food and drink industry, we’ve come a long way. We’re a foodie destination in our own right and it’s booming. We’re lucky we live here.”
The owner of much-loved local business Tim’s Toasties, Mr Bone is known around the traps for his signature toasties – boasting fresh, local ingredients, and oozing in flavourful, indulgent cheese.
According to Mr Bone, Ballarat is perfectly located in the midst of many incredible suppliers and producers, which explains the foodie revolution taking place in the city.
“I love to use as much local produce in my product as I can… That’s what I’m passionate about,” Mr Bone said.
“We’re spoilt for choice around Ballarat.”
There’s no denying the hospitality industry suffered significant losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, with restaurants and cafes having to close up shop and some shutting their doors indefinitely.
But as Mr Bone said, the show of support from the Ballarat community was testament to its ability to rally together in times of need.
“We really are part of a team here in Ballarat, especially in the hospitality industry, and I think the lockdowns and COVID-19 proved that,” he said.
“We’re all banding together and showcasing how amazing all the restaurants and cafes are, and really trying to show people in Melbourne to come and visit.
“It’s an amazing place to be. And if you’re hungry or thirsty, you won’t be disappointed.”
While the recovery process is sure to be long and arduous for those in the industry, Mr Bone has faith that his hometown will do all it can to continue supporting its community.
“I think some ways locals can support Ballarat’s recovery is to get out there. Try and explore different cafes and restaurants that you might not necessarily have visited before. There’s a
lot popping up and this is such a great time for the hospitality industry and they need our support,” he said.
“Support local, go out, grab something to eat, grab something to drink.
“We’re very close knit here and we like to look after each other. The support that I’ve gotten since MasterChef has been amazing.
“This is my home. It’s where I’m passionate to live. It’s where I started my business. It’s where I want to raise a family. It’s a great place to live.”
By rallying the community in a spirit of support and togetherness, and with the vision of recovery firm in our minds, we can propel our city forward. We are Ballarat. And we are all in this together.
Find out more at weareballarat.com.au.