Meet the Chef – David Pugh

by Samantha MacKenzie

Meet The Chef – David Pugh

Another amazing night out in Brisbane sampling some of the most delicious food. I’m so thankful to to have attended a special menu tasting by Executive Chef David Pugh and his talented team. Just talking about the food doesn’t do it justice so above is a gallery with photographs by Josh Woning, showcasing the incredible things we got to try. From tiny Watermelon and Goats Cheese bites to the best peanut butter brownie dessert I’ve ever had, it as just the most incredible spread!

The Event:

Last Friday night at the famed Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Executive Chef, David Pugh unleashed his haute cuisine skills and love of fresh local produce on the Centre’s newly released menus – his first since stepping into the role earlier this year. And the result was simply decisions, and beautiful! Tow hundred invited guests from the corporate, conference and food worlds sampled the incredible canapés and dishes, before listening to an “In Conversation” with two local growers in Steve Moffatt from Moffat Fresh Produce in the Scenic Rim, and Andrew Mitchell from Rockliff Wild Caught Spanner Crab on the Sunshine Coast.

About the Chef:

Chef David Pugh, who reigned as Queensland’s Ambassador Chef for four years and was recipient of numerous chefs’ hats during his restaurant career has set his much-acclaimed culinary talents at work celebrating the freshness, flavours and variety of local Queensland produce in this latest menu offering. Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), has a long history of advocacy for quality and the provenance of Queensland food, sourcing the very best of available and accessible local seasonal produce.

Recently named Icon of the Year at The Courier Mail Food Awards 2019, David Pugh is continuing this advocacy in his new role. BCEC sources 80% of its produce from Queensland – from the Far North of the state, west to Chinchilla, east to the Fraser Coast and south to the New South Wales border. Pugh likes nothing more than to visit local farmers on their home turf, discovering an up and coming artisan producer or a hidden gem such an ethical chocolate maker around Brisbane suburbs.

His most recent visit was to Moffatt Fresh Produce in Queensland’s Scenic Rim, named Australia’s outstanding region of the year in the recent delicious Awards. The Centre uses 4 tonnes of carrots from the fifth generation of Moffatt farmers to meet the demands of some 800,000 visitors to the Centre each year.

Chef Pugh describes his first menu as ‘honest food’. “We have focussed on fresh honest food where flavour, simplicity and freshness are the main ingredients. Citrus and fragrant salsas and dressings have replaced some of our heavier sauces using our very own local limes, lemons and capsicums, while vegetables – sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots, are at times the hero of the plate.”

A lifelong advocate of healthy eating, Pugh has also fulfilled his promise on stepping into the role of Executive Chef earlier this year to continue the Centre’s focus on nutrition and responsible eating. The new menus, created by Pugh and his team of talented chefs, now include more than 30% of dishes that provide the necessary nutrition to focus mind and energy for a healthy conference experience.

All good chefs have a story to tell and with his unabating passion for local produce, David Pugh’s is Edible Queensland. Queensland has long been the food bowl of Australia and David has spent a lifetime advocating the many varieties of local produce and continues to do so.

BCEC facts:

  • Held over 20,000 events and seen more than 17.5 million delegates through our doors since opening in 1995
  • Hold an average of 1,200 events per year
  • Served more than 20 million meals since opening
  • Total of 744,851 guests through the Centre in the 17/18 financial year
  • 1,459 event bookings into the future, 470 of those are conferences
  • Won 171 industry awards in total including 69 for catering
  • Ranked World’s Best Convention Centre by the Association Internationale des Palais de Congres (AIPC) for Excellence in Convention Centre Management 2016-2018
  • AIPC award is based on client evaluation and that of industry professionals, BCEC received the highest ratings in key performance areas including Overall Experience and Overall Value, in an independently assessed global survey
  • BCEC has EarthCheck Gold accreditation. The global certification program acknowledges the Centre’s compliance to the highest environmental standards
  • Partners with Foodbank, Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation, donating pre-packaged meals on a regular basis
  • With a total of 44 meeting rooms, BCEC is capable of hosting meetings and events of every size from 8 to 8,000 people
  • All its facilities under the one roof offering a wide range of in-house services including its award-winning Catering and Audio Visual Production Services


You may also like