Ballarat World’s Longest Lunch - Damien Jones

David Thompson is not the only celebrated Thai chef in this year’s Festival.

Damien Jones, head chef of hatted restaurant Catfish Thai, has been in the food industry for more than 25 years, and Catfish has been dubbed one of the best Thai eateries in Australia by critic John Lethlean.  He also worked a stint at Bangkok’s Nahm under Thompson’s tutelage.

Catfish Thai first opened in 2013 and Jones also teaches a range of classes on the art of Thai cooking out of their kitchen.

With a regularly changing menu using seasonal produce directly from the market, Damien, who leads the kitchen alongside his wife Danielle, creates his dishes from scratch using traditional recipes and techniques.

“Making a dish from scratch gives you complete control of flavour and quality.  Having a relationship with your local supplier gives you the chance to buy ingredients at their very best.  It’s a great place to start your menu planning.”

Damien and Danielle attribute the restaurant’s success and popularity to “work, work, work and just a little bit of luck”. With the food scene changing and evolving more than ever, particularly in Ballarat, they work harder to make sure they are still a favourite in the region.

Damien is collaborating with five other local chefs for the Regional World’s Longest Lunch in Ballarat on 31st March. The lunch will see Ballarat’s finest chefs join forces to produce a five-course feast matched with award-winning wines from the Pyrenees Region and local brews from Ballarat’s breweries. The lunch will be held in one of the city’s iconic laneways.

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This event is just one of 24 Regional World’s Longest Lunches taking place in spectacular locations across the state on the opening day of the Festival. View them all.

Learn from Damien’s tutor, David Thompson, about Thai cuisine and his techniques at MasterClass on April 1. Grab a seat now.