BCEC Sous Chef Mathew Lee is a remarkable young man with a huge amount of talent.
Mathew, who completed his apprenticeship at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), worked his way through Europe’s top restaurants and competed in the famous Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France, has taken out the coveted title of Queensland Chef of the Year.
The competition is regarded as one of the most respected competitions in the country which sees chef compete against chef and the clock, in a test of creativity, culinary knowledge and ingenuity.
28 competitors from around Queensland raced against the clock with only one hour to prepare dishes from a mystery box of ingredients. Mathew won the title with judges commending him on the diversity of his cooking and demonstration of technique.
Mathew 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.
He will now go on to compete in the national championships in Sydney in May next year.
Mathew 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.
David said Mathew’s calm and professional approach in the high pressure competition environment and ultimate success was the result of his dedication, experience and willingness to innovate. “Food is his life. He is part of a talented team of young Chefs coming through the Centre’s ranks,” he said.