“The easiest part of my job is cooking, at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC). The Centre takes its food very seriously, having been named the best in the world for Food & Beverage, receiving double the ratings of other international convention centres in the AIPC international client survey.
As part of the ongoing effort to stay at the top, BCEC has established a dedicated dietary kitchen, to deliver the best quality dietary dining experience for all clients including those that have dietary requirements. Headed by former Queensland Ambassador Chef David Pugh, whose much acclaimed Restaurant Two was the recipient of multiple chef’s hats and remained at the top of Brisbane’s fine dining scene for almost two decades, the dietary kitchen will serve the 20 to 30 per cent of dietary requests that come through for each event.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of David’s talent, an iconic chef around Australia, investing into the whole concept, concentrating purely on the dietary developments,” says Latter.
“It’s about making sure that the quality is the same as everyone else. We are so strict with everything we do. You can’t just put something on the menu and cross your fingers.”
Gluten free is the single most popular request, so much so that 75 per cent of the entrees and mains of the new “Fill upon Life” menu are gluten free.
“We monitor every bit of information, including the environment, machinery, the utensils, the chefs, and put all the data into a program that tells you the traces of gluten at any given time period [of production]. It really is a science,” says Latter.
To support this new initiative and in another first for the industry, BCEC has also introduced online ordering for dietary requests to streamline the process for both clients and the venue, which will eradicate “the middle man”.
The new system also means the BCEC can accurately monitor every request they get as raw data.
“It gives us opportunities to analyse the different trends based on international clients, interstate and local,” says Latter. “We want to make sure you are sitting there and you have the same quality as everyone else.”