David Pugh – a lifetime at the forefront of the Brisbane culinary scene
Former Queensland Ambassador Chef David Pugh, whose much acclaimed Restaurant Two delighted Brisbane diners for almost two decades, has joined the award winning team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
David whose extraordinary career has taken him from his country of origin, New Zealand to London’s famous Hotel Connaught, which he describes as one of the highlights of his career, to Australia which he has called home now for some 30 years.
David joins the Centre’s team of Executive Sous Chefs, in charge of Development including responsibility for the newly established dedicated Dietary Kitchen, a first for an Australian Convention Centre, set up to deal with the ever increasing number of special dietaries which make up 20% – 30% of all meals.
David’s name and reputation is synonymous with a number of Brisbane’s leading restaurants including Two Small Rooms, Restaurant Two and Baguette where he made a name for himself as one of Brisbane’s up and coming young Chefs.
There are similarities he says between Baguette, one of the longest running restaurants in Brisbane, which he describes as one of the best restaurants in Australia and way ahead of its time, and his beloved Restaurant Two which he says was ‘17 years of pure love.’
Talking of their longevity of success he says: “It is an easy thing to get to the top of the culinary ladder but much harder to stay there for a sustained length of time.”
David, the recipient of numerous hats associated with Restaurant Two says it is his eternal search for and belief in fresh seasonal produce that provides his inspiration and is central to his cooking even today.
This philosophy also drives BCEC Executive Chef Martin Latter and his team of talented and experienced chefs. Sourcing Queensland First is the basis of the newly released “Fill up on Life’ Menu and boutique menu ‘The Nourish Mentality.”
David’s role as Queensland Ambassador Chef saw him travel extensively throughout Queensland during which time he developed a strong rapport with suppliers, which he maintains today, and a greater understanding of their culture and the issues involved in getting their produce to market.
A firm proponent of Queensland produce David describes its variety and accessibility as amazing. “We have so much choice and abundance at our fingertips and we are blessed to be the food bowl of Australia.”
“We have so much choice and abundance at our fingertips and we are blessed to be the food bowl of Australia.”
As well as spearheading the operations of the Special Dietary Kitchen working alongside BCEC consultant Nutritionist Kerry Leech, David will also oversee menu development for the Centre’s restaurants, menu tasting and presentation, and VIP events. He will also be in charge of the new Tasting Room, a showcase for the Centre’s Food & Beverage.
“This is an exciting new role. There are already great systems in place and people here with a common goal – to deliver the very best possible experience for those dining at the Centre. I am looking forward to being able to contribute to that experience, from a restaurant and customer service perspective and my many years in the restaurant and catering industry.” He said.
BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe said it was with great pleasure that he welcomed David Pugh to the Centre’s Food & Beverage Team. “His outstanding achievements and many years at the forefront of the hospitality industry will be of great benefit to the Centre and to our clients. His breadth of knowledge and scope of experience will bring a whole new dynamic to our Food & Beverage delivery.”