A Delightful Duck Dinner

26 May 2017

Today I had the pleasure of attending a lunch hosted by Victoria's own Luv-a-Duck and 3AW. The lunch was a presentation of beautiful dishes with duck as a feature with the 3AW team broadcasting live from the room.

I was excited to get an invitation because I have often used Luv-a-Duck duck fat on my famous roast potatoes since I realised it was readily available in supermarkets. Previously, I had been ordering french duck or goose fat from the Richmond Hill Larder who would ship it to me. It was a frustrating extra step to organise every time I wanted to cook a roast.

The food isn't the only reason why Luv-a-Duck is a familiar name in our lives. Jobs offered by the company at their location in Nhill drew up to 160 Karen refugees to settle in the city. Nhill is a small regional Victoria city which had a population of under 2,300 in the last Australian census. The influx of residents to the city had a flow on effect which has a number figure attached: $40m contribution to the local economy as well as 70 new jobs. Before the influx of Nhill residents, the kindergarten had nearly closed down and the school was not full. Both are now full and new houses are being built. The way the city and company worked with the refugee program is now an example being used to advocate for more programs across Australia.

The lunch was held at Craig's Royal Hotel. The 'Royal' in the title comes from time when Prince Albert came to stay in Ballarat. Tonnes of famous people have graced the building's rooms including Dame Nellie Melba, who would sing across the road at Her Majesty's and stay in the hotel, sometimes coming out on to the balcony to sing to fans below.

To start we had carpaccio of duck ham with labne, pomegranate, cucumber and torn mint. The main was assiette of Wimmera duck, pickled cherries, roasted beetroots and walnuts with duck fat roast potatoes in garlic and rosemary. Dessert fancies were provided by Craig's, which was also exciting because they do a pretty delicious High Tea. We were chuffed to see Lucy from Ballarat Lifestyle Magazine there as well. As usual, I hung out with my sister and bestie Goldfields Girl. She took all the photos with me in them.



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