Co-Lab chefs create three-course meal

September 8, 2021 BY

Synergy: Damien Jones of Mr Jones on Main Road is one of the six chefs collaborating on the special experience. Photo: SUPPLIED

A NEW Plate Up Ballarat initiative is bringing the talents, recipes, flavours and creativity of restauranteurs together on one table.

Co-Lab Kitchen is a three-course lockdown dinner experience, cooked up by the chefs of three Ballarat hospitality businesses at a time.

Plate Up Ballarat director Kate Davis said Mr Jones, The Shared Table, Roy Hammond, Restaurant Lola, Mitchell Harris and Peter Ford Catering are all part of the “truly special occasion” that locals can enjoy in their own home.

“We work with the chefs, they nominate whether they would like to do entrée, main or dessert, and then they work together to create a menu,” she said.

“The chefs provide simple and easy heat, eat and assembly instructions, and diners can either pick the Co-Lab Kitchen dinner package up from Lola, or it can be delivered.

“Wines have also been curated by Regional Wine Sales Victoria to match the meals, and we’ve created a playlist we recommend people listen to as they assemble the food, tuning out the rest of the world.”

In bringing together some of the region’s biggest names in cuisine, Peter Ford said the “sense of camaraderie” has been “marvellous.”

“We’re all in the same boat, are good competitors, and there’s a lot of love between us all,” he said.

“The biggest benefit is that people who want to support hospo can support three restaurants in one booking. It literally shares the love, both with us putting out great food, and our loyal followers enjoying a variety of tastes and food styles.

“Everyone’s loved it so far, and the Instagram feedback with people sharing photos of their dinners has been quite a hoot.”

Ms Davis said the project is an opportunity for Ballarat chefs to share their talents and “create some positivity within the industry” while events cannot go ahead due to the pandemic.

Plate Up Ballarat was launched to “shine a spotlight on venues.”

“There was a desire from the chefs and restaurant owners to do something like this,” she said.

“The six involved jumped on board straight away, and because it’s takeaway, it’s something they could all manage.

“It’s also a chance for restauranteurs to talk to each other, and they’ve enjoyed having conversations and sharing stories when we’ve all been on calls together.”

Co-Lab Kitchen Ballarat launched last weekend, and will have its second run this Thursday, 9 and Friday, 10 September. Thursday night’s entrée is by Roy Hammond, main is by Mr Jones, and dessert is by The Shared Table.

On Friday night, Mitchell Harris is on entrée, while main and dessert are by Restaurant Lola and Peter Ford Catering respectively.

Visit for more information on how you can enjoy Co-Lab Kitchen at home.

Co-Lab Kitchen Ballarat has been inspired by a Bendigo collaboration between Mason’s of Bendigo, The Dispensary Bar & Diner, Ms Batterhams and Gold Mines Hotel Bendigo.

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