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July 1, 2009
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Celebrity chefs praise cuisine of Melbourne venue




Internationally acclaimed chef Gordon Ramsey, renowned for uncovering kitchen nightmares, was in dreamland recently, as he lauded the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) for its quality cuisine.
 
The MCEC was given the task of cooking Gordon Ramsay’s cuisine for the Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show. On tasting the dishes, prepared by the MCEC’s in-house team of experienced chefs, Ramsay applauded the venue for its cuisine, describing it as “brilliant”.

“We have the easy job to cook one portion in 45 minutes,” he said. “It’s a hard task to transform that into 400 or 500 a day at restaurant standard, and the MCEC managed to do it.’
 
Ramsay’s sentiments are echoed by one of Australia’s leading chefs, Guy Grossi, who owns and operates, among others, one of the country’s best Italian restaurants Grossi Florentino.
 
A television presenter, author, judge and successful businessman in his own right, Grossi described the MCEC’s version of his dishes as “perfect”.
 
“From the facilities here and the quality of the people, obviously that translates on the plate,” he said. “They know what they are doing and can clearly put out quality.”
 
The MCEC is committed to using fresh, local, seasonal produce and prepping everything on site, including curing and smoking its own fish and meat.
 
“By sourcing produce from local farmers and suppliers and bringing it back on site to prepare, we can ensure its quality and freshness,” said the venue’s food and beverage manager Frank Burger.

“This paddock-to-plate concept, where we source, prepare and cook food on site specifically for each client, is one we pride ourselves on.”

Good Food and Wine Show exhibition director James Laing explained that it was this commitment to food that helped to convince him to hold the show at the MCEC.
 
“The team at the MCEC have the innate ability to continually serve five-star cuisine, regardless of the size of the audience. They are always thinking outside the square, and instead of a ‘one size fits all’ menu, will literally cater to whatever we ask them to do,” he said Laing. “If it’s cooking Gordon Ramsay’s dishes, no problem. Nothing is too hard.”
 
The venue has already secured its place as a force to be reckoned with, receiving both the state and national accolades for its food and wine at the MEA (Meetings & Events Australia) Awards 2009.


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