With a flourish of fire and ice, the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre this week ignited the appetites of a who’s who of Australian foodies, combining art and cuisine at its spectacular Unconventional dinner.
Unleashing the creative talents of its culinary and production teams, the Centre conceived a gourmet adventure for more than 80 identities from the arts, media, wine and food industries.
The event was inspired by one of the highlights of the Centre’s extensive Australian art collection, Tim Storrier’s firey 9m landscape Point to Point. With Storrier attending as guest of honour, the Centre’s Executive Chef Uwe Habermehl added fire to ice in creating a succession of theatrical dishes showcasing the finest New South Wales produce.
Centre culinary ambassador and food identity Lyndey Milan acted as MC, introducing some of the gourmet produce suppliers who form the foundation of the Centre’s culinary offering. Centre Sommelier William Wilson introduced a fittingly unconventional selection of NSW wines, drawn from both well-known and up-and-coming regions.
Highlights of the meal included an entrée of tuna sashimi and ocean trout with hot ginger consommé and wasabi sorbet, dramatically served on blocks of ice that were illuminated from within. A main course of Robbins Island grass-fed wagyu beef tenderloin was presented beneath glass cloches that were lifted to release a fragrant smoke of applewood and white tea.
Meanwhile, the Centre’s production team had artfully transformed the city-view Bayside Terrace into a shimmering interpretation of the evening’s theme. Hundreds of tiered candles reflected the rope of flame in Tim Storrier’s famous work, while a 13m projection of another Storrier painting, Landscape (over the night road), was animated to erupt in flame as it transformed into Point to Point.
Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre Chief Executive Ton van Amerongen said the Unconventional evening was designed to showcase of the best of the Centre’s talents and creativity.
“We put our credentials on show to the world conference community every day, but our Unconventional evening is about revealing our talents to Sydney’s own food and wine fraternity,” Mr van Amerongen said.
“We want people to know we’re creating cuisine at the forefront of Sydney’s dining scene, with a standard beyond expectations and an ability to inspire exciting events,” he said.
The Unconventional dinner was first held last year in the Centre’s newly refurbished Parkside Convention Centre, where the theme revolved around another prized artwork, Brett Whiteley’s Sydney Harbour to the Spirit of Bill W.