Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre chefs shine in back to back accolades

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) sous chef Mathew Lee has taken out the title of Queensland Chef of the Year.

The competition is regarded as one of the most respected competitions in the country with 28 competitors from around Queensland racing against the clock with only one hour to prepare dishes from a mystery box of ingredients.

Lee snared the title with his entrée of seared Hervey Bay scallops and Moreton Bay bugs with a citrus salad, fennel, gooseberry, avocado and finger lime salsa, followed by an Asian inspired main course of pork cheeks, ears and loin, with pecan, apple and potato puree with soy pickled mushrooms.

Lee is no stranger to the competition scene winning a gold medal as part of the BCEC team in the Australian Culinary Federation’s Restaurant Challenge in 2018, a silver medal in the Australian and Pacific Competition of the Global Chefs Challenge for the best young chefs in the world and making the national finals in Luke Mangan’s Appetite for Excellence in May.

This latest accolade for BCEC chefs follows the centre’s executive chef, David Pugh being crowned Icon of the Year at the Courier Mail Food Awards last month.

Described as one of Queensland’s culinary legends, Pugh was praised for continuing his advocacy of the state’s finest produce and the farmers, fishermen, and artisans behind it, driving the use of sustainable and ethical ingredients in his current role.

Lee will now go on to compete in the national championships in Sydney in May next year.