January 17, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

One of the things that delights the culinary teams at major venues and restaurants is the opportunity to experiment with new flavours and produce.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Executive Chef, Peter Haycroft, has had this great joy with the rollout of the centre’s 2022 menu.

Haycroft says he is proud to lead the kitchen’s highly creative team to produce the new menu.

He says the team has drawn on influences from the world around them and also what customers are placing increased importance upon.

“Colour and flavour are of high importance as always, but sustainability and a focus on vegetarian, vegan and gluten friendly options has been really important in the development of this menu,” said Haycroft.

The 2022 beverage selection includes house-made cocktails using spirits from Victorian distilleries as well as Seltzers from Melbourne-based Moon Dog Craft Brewery.

MCEC has maintained options such as Ecoboxes and the 100 Mile Menu, a three-course plated menu with main ingredients sourced from farms and markets within 100 miles (161km) of MCEC. This approach supports Victorian food producers while reducing the carbon footprint.

Green mango, tofu, edamame and sambal rice paper rolls with nam prik and truffle mushroom, whipped Meredith goat cheese and lemon thyme tart are highlights from the new cocktail menu.

The gala menu includes seared Wimmera duck breast with spiced carrot puree, pan fried panisse, crisp seasonal greens and red wine jus and seared Victorian 3030 barramundi with saffron potato, baba ganoush and herb oil.