Published on : Wednesday, April 10, 2019
The Adelaide Convention Centre’s (ACC) commitment to innovation was celebrated at the prestigious 2018 Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) National Awards in Brisbane on 2 April, with the venue claiming top honours in the ‘Banqueting & Catering’ category. The award comes on the heels of a tremendously busy 2018 for the venue, which saw the Centre launch its innovative Honest Goodness menu and food philosophy, while serving up more than 11,000 breakfasts, 125,000 lunches and 62,000 dinners.
The MEA National Awards are considered Australia’s premier awards for the meetings and events industry; the ACC’s win saw the venue beat off strong competition from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
“Food plays such an important part in the event experience; to be recognised as ‘Australia’s Best’ when it comes to banqueting and catering is a wonderful honour. This award not only reflects our team’s continuous commitment to innovation but stands as a terrific endorsement for our Honest Goodness philosophy, which is all about celebrating food that not only tastes good, but is good for you in every sense,” says Simon Burgess, General Manager, Adelaide Convention Centre.
Gavin Robertson, Executive Chef at the Adelaide Convention Centre adds, “Designing Honest Goodness was certainly not without challenges – it completely changed the way we do business, particularly in the kitchen – but our team embraced these as they believed in the concept and public nutrition is important to us all. We’re humbled by this award and extend our thanks to MEA; it provides fantastic recognition and ongoing motivation for our team and South Australian producers as we continue to grow our Honest Goodness concept.”
HONEST GOODNESS: FEEL GOOD, WHOLE FOOD, MADE FRESH
Launched in July 2018, the ACC’s Honest Goodness menu philosophy was developed by Chef Gavin in collaboration with leading nutritional experts from the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), University of Adelaide and CSIRO, Health and Biosecurity. Best described as ‘feel good, whole food, made fresh’, the menu brings public nutrition to the forefront, transforming the event culinary experience with its strong emphasis on ‘house-made’, minimal intervention foods and conscious reduction of processed elements. Among key features of the menu, Chef Gavin and his team have reduced salts by replacing them with rubs and spices, and swapped out sugar-laden drinks for house-made ice teas and fruit-infused waters. Instead of using ingredients featuring nitrates, synthetic food preservatives or other additives, the Honest Goodness menu uses natural rubs and house-made marinades to enhance flavour.
The MEA award also recognises the ACC’s commitment to sustainability as part of its banqueting and catering operation. The ACC has a comprehensive food redistribution program in place which has seen more than 160,000 unused meals donated to OzHarvest and Foodbank to help feed the hungry. In addition, the Centre has a strong local food policy with 97 percent of produce sourced from local, sustainable environments. This not only ensures guests at the Centre are treated to a ‘taste of South Australia’, but helps support local business and reduces the venue’s food miles.