This year’s Foodservice Australia is supersizing its offering over with 250 exhibitors, giving foodservice operators the chance to taste the new trends, try out the latest equipment and meet the people behind the brands.
Foodservice Australia will also be bringing the National Restaurant Conference to Melbourne for the first time, as well as a brand new event, the Australian Seafood Summit.
Event director Tim Collett says there will be more exhibitors, more products and more features to see. “It is exciting to see the show grow and bring major events like the Patissier of the Year and the National Restaurant Conference to Melbourne,” he says.
“However the focus will remain on foodservice, which means buyers and sellers can get straight down to business.”
Over three days Australia’s most talented professional chefs will compete in the Chef of the Year and the Bocuse d’Or Australian Selection at Foodservice Australia. Savour Patissier of the Year is also coming to Melbourne for the first time with some of the biggest names in pastry to make an appearance including Jordi Roca from Spain, Antonio Bachour from the US and Christophe Michalak from France. The Australian Pizza Championships also returns featuring an international judging panel.
Competition director Gary Farrell says Chef of the Year has grown over the last decade to become one of Australia’s leading competitions for professional chefs. It also has one of the richest cash prizes of $10,000.
“This is a highly regarded and competitive event,” says Farrell. “This year we have had over 200 entries which will be narrowed down to 32 finalists.”
This year’s event will be surrounded by stadium-style seating for the first time, allowing spectators an unprecedented view of the action.
Where the winner of Chef of the Year takes home a trophy, cash and prizes, the winner of the Bocuse d’Or Australian Selection receives something arguably even more valuable – the honour of representing their country.
“The Bocuse d’Or is the most prestigious competition in the world for chefs, held in Lyon every two years,” says Tom Milligan, president of Bocuse d’Or Australia and executive chef at Atlantic Group.
“This year we achieved our best result in 30 years of participating, with Dan Arnold and his commis Ryan Cosentino coming eighth out of a field of 24 countries.”
The winner of the Bocuse d’Or Australian Selection will be announced at a luncheon at Foodservice Australia on Tuesday, followed by the Chef of the Year grand final.
Talkfest with the best
The National Restaurant Conference is coming to Melbourne for the first time addressing the issues that are top of mind for foodservice operators around the country – attracting and retaining quality staff, harnessing the power of technology, and workable ways to cut costs and boost profits are just some of the topics on the agenda.
“The National Restaurant Conference is aimed directly at restaurateurs, managers and professional chefs,” says Collett. “If you are looking for new ideas to boost your business bottom line, then this is an amazing opportunity – you get to network with industry leaders and hear it straight from the experts.
“Last year’s inaugural National Restaurant Conference in Sydney was a sell-out – clearly the format of short, sharp sessions featuring speakers at the top of their game was a winner for restaurant owners and senior managers.”
This year’s line-up of high profile restaurateurs and caterers includes Chris Lucas from The Lucas Group, Daniel Vaughan from The Pantry, Bruce Keebaugh from The Big Group and Hatem Saleh from Atlantic Group.
Gail Donovan from Donovans and James Gibson from The Baths at Sorrento will discuss the challenges and opportunities as they rebuilt their restaurants following devastating fires; while Carlo Grossi, Michael Lau and Nathalie and Edouard Reymond will share their insights as second-generation hospitality business owners.
There will also be a range of industry insiders including Melbourne Food & Wine CEO Natalie O’Brien, Deliveroo’s Levi Aron and Stevan Premutico, founder and CEO of Dimmi.
John Hart, CEO of Restaurant & Catering Australia, says restaurateurs work long hours, making it hard to get out and discover new food and business ideas.
“This one-day event will offer a series of short and sharp sessions on key issues and will also be an opportunity to network with industry leaders.”
WHEN: Monday 29 May 9am-4pm
COST: $249 includes lunch and entry to Foodservice Australia