Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre is set to showcase local food and produce with the appointment of international chef Desmond Davies.
Leaving his role as executive chef at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Davies joins Te Pae Christchurch with over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector across Malaysia, Africa and Europe.
Born in South Africa, Davies worked in convention centres in Borneo and Durban after time spent as part of the catering team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Durban, which saw the team cook more than 45,000 meals for VIP clients over seven days.
“I like to use local ingredients where I can, to ensure that the meal is the best quality it can be. I also enjoy creating classic dishes that really make the local ingredients stand out,” Davies said.
“To sit alongside the top convention centres, you obviously need to have excellent food. But it also comes down to being flexible and having the ability to customise menus to each client – and being able to say ‘yes’ to all their requirements.
“We want to be a leader in the city and work alongside the local hospitality scene to be on top of our game. We have some great restaurants in Christchurch and I think the expectations of delegates will be surpassed by what we have here in the city.”
Davies joins Christchurch local Sandra Hintz in the Te Pae Christchurch culinary team. Hintz was previously events and administration manager at Christchurch Casino.
Davies said he has big ambitions for the culinary team at Te Pae Christchurch.
“I would like Te Pae Christchurch to be put on the culinary map,” he said. “I want it to be a convention centre for foodies – where you get to experience local produce from the Canterbury region.”