Last night the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) hosted two simultaneous large scale events where almost 3500 guests savoured some of Victoria’s finest produce and wine served by MCEC’s in-house chefs and catering staff.
While a gala ball for 1000 guests was held in the convention centre’s grand banquet room, 2500 international guests enjoyed a sit down dinner in the exhibition centre.
MCEC’s Chief Executive Peter King said: “Our spaces are so versatile that within a few days the exhibition centre can transform from a public show like ‘Grand Designs Live’ into an intimate dining space complete with two purpose built kitchens on the floor. MCEC is truly the envy of the world in this industry!
“Service for both events commenced at the same time and each was made up of three courses. Without a hitch we served over 10,000 courses in three hours. What a testament to the skills and experience of our 200 floor staff that worked last night.”
MCEC’s in-house kitchen team, headed up by Executive Chef Tony Panetta, were all hands on deck with 20 chefs and over 100 kitchen staff cooking and plating up.
Panetta said: “I work with an incredibly skilled team of chefs and together our focus is creating memorable food and wine experiences, regardless of size and scale, using the freshest local ingredients and our in-house made produce.
“Yesterday evening was a perfect example of this in practice. These events are a celebration of Victoria’s quality produce and giving international visitors, many who are new to Melbourne, a true taste of our regions from their first sip of wine to dessert.”
Here is a snapshot of the range of Victorian produce the guests experienced:
- Yarra Valley: 4000 bottles of sparkling, red and white wine from four different wineries
- Bendigo, Hazeldenes: 2300 chicken breasts
- Mernda: 270kg of field mushrooms
- Yarra Valley Gourmet Greenhouse: 3000 baby heirloom carrots
- Northern Victoria, High Country Pork : 600 pork cutlets
- Wimmera, Luv a Duck: 800 duck breasts
- Yarra Valley Salmon: 200+kg
- Maryborough, Milla’s Olive Oil: 50 litres
As Australia’s premier business events venue the MCEC is an important asset to Victoria by providing jobs, buying from regional farmers and suppliers, promoting local produce and injecting millions into the Victorian economy through hosting business events.
photography by Stewart Donn