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Australia Day celebrated in colour at SCEC


The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre helped celebrate Australia Day in vivid colour last week, hosting the nation’s largest corporate lunch to mark the special day.

Event organisers from the Australia Day Council of New South Wales conceived a theme based on the Australian identity and culture, and presented the Centre’s Executive Chef Uwe Habermehl with a detailed colour palette from which to draw inspiration for the menu.


The annual Australia Day lunch, held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre is the nation’s largest corporate lunch
Image credit: Shane Schipper

With 1400 prominent Australians attending the lunch, the menu had to push the boundaries of creativity on a grand scale.

“The palette reflected the Australian way of life – lots of vivid colours, big bold blues and greens and reds,” Uwe said. “It was very Sydney.

“The challenge for the Centre was to incorporate all this colour while still maintaining our own philosophy which doesn’t involve any artificial colours or flavours and puts the emphasis on local NSW produce.”

Using locally grown ingredients Habermehl created strong colours in every course. An amuse bouche of cherry tomato gazpacho involved a tricolor of red, green and yellow tomatoes, presented in layers in a macchiato glass. A main course of Hereford beef tenderloin was served with a bright pumpkin tarte tatin and NSW white asparagus.

With a guest list ranging from business leaders to prominent academics and political figures, the Australia Day Lunch is one of the most prestigious annual events hosted by the Centre.

It was held in Hall 5 of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday January 21 as a precursor to the national holiday on January 26.