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Cooking lunch for 750 – A photo essay

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Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is a pretty spectacular place. The Building Formerly Known As Jeff’s Shed had an extension a few years back and now wraps all the way down the Yarra to South Wharf.

Besides being a big bastard, underneath its vast corridors MCEC operates the largest kitchen in the Southern Hemisphere. Helmed by head chef Tony Panetta, dozens of chefs prepare thousands of meals around the clock in a massive space that makes the Masterchef studio look like Barbie’s kitchen. Everything is big and bold in Tony’s kitchen, a little like the man himself.

We recently tagged along to catch the flurry of behind-the-scenes action as Tony and his team whipped up a three course lunch for 750 guests at an Australia Day lunch. The menu featured Victorian produce like Yarra Valley salmon, smoked Wimmera duck and barramundi, and tasted as good as it looked.

Photography by Oli Sansom.


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