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“Fill up on life” with Chef Dominique Rizzo at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Launch of their New Menu

 

The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre was recently named the World’s Best Convention Centre by the International Association of Congress Centres and best in the world for Food & Beverage, receiving double the ratings of other international convention centres.  With such an impressive reputation, The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre celebrated the launch of their new menu  “Fill up on Life”.

Master of ceremony at the event was Chef Dominique Rizzo, widely known for her quest to share her passion for healthy, pure food not only at Putia Pure Food Kitchen, her restaurant in Brisbane but all around Queensland and beyond.

Chef Dominique Rizzo gives a sneak preview of her experience at the spectacular promotion of the Centre’s new menu and food concepts, offering arguably the best produce Australia and Queensland have to offer.

Brisbane Convention Centre - Fill up on life food

With this launch, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) celebrated a giant leap forward in convention catering by now offering mainstream healthy dishes and options to people with dietary needs. Gone are the days of heavier, traditional convention food, instead welcoming in a new style focusing on nourishing, energy-giving foods prepared in a bespoke kitchen tailored to meet guests’ special dietary requirements; implemented in response to the high demand for dietary requests at 20% to 30% of all meals.   In another first for convention catering, the leading direction at BCEC comes from the wonderful influence, knowledge and experience of Queensland Ambassador Chef, David Pugh, recipient of many hats for his acclaimed Restaurant Two.

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre -Chef Martin Latter, Chef Dominique Rizzo, Chef David Pugh

Choosing Chef Dominique Rizzo to host the launch was a natural fit as these same principals underpin both her menu that she offers at Putia Pure Food Kitchen and their menu at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, promoting a “nourish mentality” using locally sourced, sustainable, seasonal produce. Dominique defines the convention centre’s new boutique menu as one crafted around Queensland flavours and nutrients that will feed the type of energy and atmosphere that participants want at every stage of their conference or event. This menu, for the health conscious, provides the necessary nutrition to focus minds and energy to keep going through those long conference afternoons.

 

Brisbane Convention Centre - Fill up on life

So too, good nutrition is the key to the menu choices at Putia, where there are sensational taste sensations for those who are gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan and vegetarian. That is why Chef Dominique Rizzo and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre make a great combination, sharing the same values when it comes to nourishing your mentality and filling up on life.

Getting the Know How on Perfect Lettuce Pesto and Broccoli and Cauliflower Fritters

Broccoli and Cauliflower fritters rsz 

Listen to the interview on 612 ABC Brisbane here:  Lettuce pesto and Broccoli and Cauliflower fritters

 

And follow the recipes here:

Broccoli and Cauliflower Fritters

Makes 20 -25 fritters depending on the size

These are a fantastic vegetarian fritter in which you can use just about any vegetable, I have also made these with sautéed chopped mushrooms and they taste delicious. They make a great addition to a light dinner, as a starter to have with drinks and ideal for kids for the school lunches as you can mask the vegetables that they may not like. Adapt the ingredients to suit your taste buds and make your own fantastic combinations. You could also spray these with olive oil and bake them in an oven of 180c for about 15 minutes until golden.

 

  • 250g broccoli, cut into florets (about 1 small head)
  • 230g cauliflower, cut into florets (about ½ a cauliflower)
  • 2 tbsp. Gourmet Garden Parsley or ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. Gourmet Garden garlic
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 80g cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra bread crumbs
  • About ½ cup Light olive oil or vegetable oil for frying

 

  1. Cook the broccoli and the cauliflower in boiling water until tender and almost breaking apart. Drain and rinse with cold water allowing the vegetables to drain completely before using. In a food processor pulse the vegetables until just combined but not puree; you can also do this with a potato masher, mash the cauliflower and the broccoli until just broken up.
  2. Place the combined vegetables into a bowl and add in the chopped parsley, minced garlic, grated cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs and cream cheese. Season well with salt and pepper and with your hands combine the mix until it sticks together. Taste the mix and adjust the seasoning. Cover with plastic wrap and sit the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour, you will find that the mixture will harden slightly and the fritters will be easier to manage and fry if they are a little firm.  Place the extra bread crumbs into a bowl and take a spoonful of the mixture, roll it in the breadcrumbs and then into a small ball, flattening it slightly with your fingers.
  3. When you are ready to cook them, heat a large fry pan with oil and fry the fritters on all sides until golden about 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper towel and serve hot or room temperature with a squeeze of lemon and with salad if you are making a meal out of these.

Lettuce pesto
Lettuce pesto with crackers rsz
Makes 2 cups

 

I love this pesto, it’s so easy to throw together especially if you are growing your own lettuce and have abundance and can’t keep up with the harvest. You can use any type of mixed leaves and even the softer outer leaves that are not great for a salad. You can add in some of your favorite ingredients such as olives, anchovies, chopped salami, and substitute the parmesan for feta, ricotta and even cream cheese or blue cheese… whatever you have in the fridge.  Use this as a dip, stirred through pasta, tossed through a salad… yes that’s right lettuce pesto with lettuce, you may want to add a splash of vinegar to loosen it up for a dressing. This is also great to spoon through a medley of steamed vegetables. So I will leave it up to your imagination on how many ways you can make use of this tasty pesto… it will also make a great picnic spread for bread or crackers.

 

  • 2 big handful of mixed lettuce leaves ( about 4-5 cups, try and use a mixture of leaves, Cos, ice berg, red coral, butter head, red coral, green coral)
  • 1 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Handful of lemon basil leaves or basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil, if you want a looser pesto add a little more oil
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

 

  1. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until combined and chopped together. Adjust the seasoning and store in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for about 3 weeks. If the top is covered with oil the pesto will stay fresher for longer.