Hello, readers! Today, we have an exclusive interview with none other than last year's Top Taste Challenge winner, Kate Ames, a woman of many hats - a mother, widow, chef, farmer, designer, creative force, and entrepreneur. The force behind Baller Food, a local food sensation in Prince George, Kate is reshaping the local food scene, literally and figuratively!
Interviewer: Kate, can you tell us a little about Baller Food?
Kate Ames: Certainly! Baller Food is all about serving food in a unique shape - balls. Think along the lines of meatballs, served in a bowl, on a bun, or over noodles. We offer a range of accompaniments including caprese and pickled cucumber salads, fried gnocchi with dip, and a selection of artisan drinks like lilac and rhubarb lemonade and island iced tea.
Interviewer: You won the Top Taste Challenge last year. How did that feel?
Kate Ames: Winning the challenge was incredibly affirming for me, especially as a newcomer in the food business scene. It validated my efforts and has given me an even greater drive to keep innovating.
Interviewer: And what has changed since then?
Kate Ames: Well, I started Baller Food out of desperation to save my house from foreclosure. But this year, it's a different story! I have a new partner, my family is growing, and I've even hired my first employee. I’m very excited about the expansion plans we have for the future.
Interviewer: Do you have a strategy for this year’s competition?
Kate Ames: My strategy is simply to keep doing what we're known for: making good food shaped like balls. I’ll focus on the flavors in the secret ingredient, Spruce City Elixirs’ Haunted Peach hot sauce.
Interviewer: Any words for your competitors?
Kate Ames: (Laughs) Good luck to them, but they should prepare for some friendly competition.
Interviewer: Where can our readers find Baller Food this summer?
Kate Ames: We will be at a variety of events and markets, including Canada Day, Indigenous Day, Trenchfest on June 17, Love Local Events Night Markets, Studio 2880 Night Markets, the weekly Farmers Markets, Foodie Fridays in July and August, Hunniford Gardens Fall Festival, and Downtown PG Summerfest Saturdays in July. We also cater weddings, parties, staff lunches, and special events, both indoors and outdoors, even in remote locations thanks to our full propane set up. And if you're looking for something easy for dinner, we sell freezer take-home meals at the market and at Birch and Boar.
Interviewer: How can people stay updated with Baller Food?
Kate Ames: They can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok at @ballerfoodcanada.
Interviewer: What is your food style?
Kate Ames: I would describe it as home-style cooking with a burst of big flavors.
Interviewer: Lastly, what's your favorite thing to eat?
Kate Ames: Oh, it’s a tough call between spaghetti and meatballs and a full turkey dinner with all the fixings . . . because gravy!