MCEC enters partnership to provide restaurant-quality meals at home

The centre has found another creative way to utilise its vast spaces.

Continuing its business transformation in response to the pandemic, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) is utilising its commercial kitchens and culinary team in a new food partnership.

MCEC has joined forces with Victorian food distributor Flinders + Co., to support its wholesale food project, the Home Chef Series.

Available in supermarkets across Victoria and NSW, the Home Chef Series is a range of restaurant-quality, slow-cooked meat, giving consumers the ability to serve up premium meals in their own home.

The new range is made in house by MCEC chefs using the same quality meat that Flinders + Co. supplies to many of Australia’s top restaurants and chefs.

Flinders + Co. managing director James Madden said the partnership came from two businesses both feeling the significant impacts of COVID-19.

“The Home Chef Series is a great example of how an open and collaborative brainstorming of ideas can lead to innovations that we never would have thought possible prior to the pandemic,” he said.

“The idea of bringing restaurant quality product into a supermarket is not new – but COVID has been a catalyst that has spurred our two separate organisations on to innovate, and to turn the idea into a reality.”

MCEC executive chef Peter Haycroft says as well as the economic benefit, the partnership fills a need within the community.

“Our core business is about creating culinary experiences in an event context but working with Flinders + Co. made it clear we could offer restaurant quality food at home,” he said.

“This fills a gap we identified in the retail segment, creating a genuine additional revenue stream and helping kick start the local economy.

“Both businesses are very excited about what we have created together and are already planning the evolution of the brand.”

Other creative, unconventional ideas for utilising MCEC’s spaces have included converting space into studios for a Hollywood film and launching Australia’s first indoor drive-in cinema.

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