Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is tackling the rising demand for unique dietary requirements during events with the establishment of a dedicated Special Dietary Kitchen in a bid to streamline the process, improve the product offering and enhance the dining experience for clients.
According to a media statement from the venue in the Queensland capital, some 20 to 30 per cent of all meals today are subjected to dietary restrictions due to medical, cultural or lifestyle choice, and this is an increasing challenge for catering venues.
The Special Dietary Kitchen will be helmed by David Pugh, former Queensland Ambassador Chef, who has taken taken up a new role as executive sous chef, development for BCEC.
He will work alongside the venue's consultant nutritionist, Kerry Leech, who advises on the diet for the Australian netball team, Queensland Firebirds.
Pugh will also have the support of the other BCEC executive and senior chefs, considered one of strongest and most experienced senior kitchen management teams in the country under the leadership of long term executive chef, Martin Latter.
The Special Dietary Kitchen is one of several significant changes and enhancements in F&B operations at the venue since it opened in 1995.
Through its improved approach to catering, BCEC's new Fill up on Life Menus cater to special dietaries in that 75 per cent of the entrees and mains are deliberately structured to be gluten-free to address increased demand.
Also new in its F&B enhancements is an online ordering feature, which is believed to be a first for Australian convention centres. BCEC has been trialling online ordering to streamline the dietary process for both the venue and clients.