German-born Mike Scheumann breezed through his first major culinary challenge in his new role as National Convention Centre (NCC) head chef, delivering a spectacular three-course menu for one of the venue’s largest annual events.
Held at the NCC every year since 1991 (except in 2007 when the venue was closed for refurbishment), the Master Builders & Boral Excellence in Building Awards dinner was attended by more than 1500 members of the local building and construction industry.
Mike brought together a sizable team to cater for the event, including chefs from other IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) properties – Crowne Plaza Canberra and Parliament House Catering. He created a menu which took six chefs two days to prepare, with the main course being plated up by a 36-strong team in less than 20 minutes.
The result was a delicious East-meets-West-inspired dining experience, featuring an entree of salmon tartar with grilled asparagus, iced seafood laksa and micro herbs; a main of aged beef tenderloin with roasted garlic-infused snow potatoes, king prawns, seasonal vegetables and roasted garlic jus; and Mars Bar cheese cake with coconut sauce and fresh berries for dessert.
The event was hailed a major success, with guests and organisers rating it the best awards dinner yet.
While the dinner marked his first hallmark event at the NCC, Mike has been delivering large-scale banquet and dining experiences to guests in their thousands for many years.
During his extensive career, he has held executive chef and executive sous chef roles in five-star hotels, restaurants, cruiseliners and conference venues throughout his homeland of Germany, as well as Bermuda, Egypt, Maldives, Qatar, Dubai, New Zealand and Australia. He has also delivered catering to large international events such as the Qatar Masters golf championships.
He has created menus for celebrities including Michael Jordan, Tina Turner and Michael Douglas and dignitaries such as Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Crown Prince of Thailand. He was also the appointed the private chef to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Crown Prince of Qatar, during the 15th Asian Games held in Qatar.
He joins the NCC from his previous role as executive sous chef at the five-star Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth, where he managed more than 150 chefs across kitchens in the venue’s conference facilities, bakery, staff canteen, two restaurants, cafe and pub.
Mike’s immediate goals as head chef of the NCC are developing his team of chefs and apprentices, and introducing as much fresh local produce as possible into the menus. He also plans to continue the NCC’s involvement with charity organisation, OzHarvest Food Rescue.
Major events at the NCC on Mike’s radar include the national Groundwater 2010 convention hosted by the Geological Society of Australia in November, expecting more than 600 delegates, and the 1000-delegate CPA Congress 2010, featuring a seated lunch and a gala dinner in the same room on the same day, also in November.