Conference Design

Brisbane Serves Sustainability, Innovation & Culture on a Platter

30th August 2023

With an enviable climate and al fresco lifestyle, Brisbane (Meanjin) - capital of Queensland - is a city alive with opportunity. Australia’s fastest growing city is optimizing its infrastructure to help deliver the world’s first carbon neutral Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032, while paying homage to its rich history and oldest living culture. The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) leads the way with its sustainable operations, innovative practices and a brand-new menu.

Words Vicky Koffa

Located in a unique riverside precinct, BCEC is surrounded by rainforest walks, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Being at the centre of the city’s major cultural and entertainment attractions and within easy walking distance to a wide range of accommodation options, gives the venue the advantage of sustainable accessibility when hosting events. 

Sustainability Through & Through

The same ‘green’ principles are applied to the Centre’s operations, from energy and water conservation to responsible procurement, food distribution and participation in community initiatives. BCEC is proud of its EarthCheck Platinum certification that recognizes the Centre operates at the highest international environmental standards. EarthCheck is the world’s leading certification for sustainable destinations and tourism organizations.

Unsurprisingly, the Centre is consistently voted at the top of world convention venue rankings and has been awarded Best in Australia for Banqueting and Catering numerous times by the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) organization, championing local, sustainable and ethical produce as well as culinary excellence and innovation. 

The Centre has invested in a new organic dehydrator, one with greater capacity to handle organic waste from the Centre’s busy kitchens, and will work with local restaurants in the South Bank Precinct to handle their organic waste. The dehydrator reduces organic waste up to 80% with the by-product being a high-concentrate soil fertilizer.

A Menu ‘Seasoned by Queensland

BCEC’s new menu strives to honor the rich culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to continue its long-held relationships with Queensland farmers, fishers and producers, including growers of local native foods.

With a long history of advocacy for regional produce, the Centre’s 2023/24 Menu is a tribute to the region’s wealth and diversity of the very best fresh seasonal produce. It is carefully crafted to align with the Centre’s role as an official partner of the Queensland Government’s ‘eatqld’ program which promotes and supports local produce and growers, nationally and internationally.

Executive Chef at BCEC, Matthew Arnold, says: “The development of the Centre’s annual Menu is a collaborative effort with our senior chefs working with the entire kitchen team. It is done through the lens of searching for new ways to embed sustainable practices, ensuring we reduce food wastage and enhancing and expanding the offering for clients. There is greater flexibility and choice for organisers in being able to select and assemble menus.

One of the highlights of the new menu (and a favorite among guests) is the inclusion of increased Native Australian flavours throughout the menu and the addition of full menu items such as the Native Australian Flavours Dinner Buffet and a five course Native Australian Flavours Degustation experience. 

Irresistibly Local Ingredients

Developed in-house, the menu offers guests an authentic and innovative experience of local cuisine prepared with the best the region has to offer according to the season. The seafood is sourced from the pristine waters of the Sunshine Coast (just an hour’s drive from Brisbane), the coastal areas of Hervey Bay, as well as tropical Far North Queensland coastal areas off the Coral Sea, home of the prized Coral Trout and Red Emperor – Kings of the Ocean.

The Centre’s vegetables and fruit arrive from Queensland’s Scenic Rim in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, including the Lockyer Valley, considered one of the 10 most fertile farming areas in the world, and often referred to as ‘Australia’s salad bowl’. The menu includes produce from a group of city fringe farmers, one being Little Acre Mushrooms who have developed innovative cultivation methods requiring a smaller footprint to grow gourmet mushrooms, leading a sustainable urban agricultural trend.

The venue’s beef comes from the famous nearby farming areas of the Darling Downs, Kilcoy and Dalby, whereas its incredible ‘quail with scale’ is sourced from Brisbane Valley.

“The Centre is committed to sourcing fresh produce from Queensland first, however depending on seasonal and environmental conditions we will source Australia-wide to secure the very best produce if not available in Queensland,” says the chef.

The new menu, under the umbrella of BCEC’s core sustainability and cultural awareness values, aims at delivering a unique culinary experience, leading by example while steering visitors towards healthy and sustainable options. 

Hit enter to search or ESC to close