Profile

Frank Burger

Place of employment

M.E.C.C.

Executive Chef

Frank’s love of food began when he was a small boy in Germany, accompanying his father to the local markets.
“My passion began at the markets, buying fresh meat and vegetables with my father – he instilled in me an appreciation of good quality ingredients.”
Now executive chef at Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre (MECC), Frank brings this passion to every meal served at the centre and continues his love affair with fresh, quality ingredients. “For me it is not about recipes or cooking techniques,”.
“I like to start with one ingredient, it may be beautiful fresh asparagus and build a dish around that.”

Since he started at M.E.C.C. a year ago, Frank has introduced many different food styles to the menus for small and large functions. “I came to Australia and I have been very inspired by Asian ingredients, I also enjoy adapting dishes I have tasted at small Asian restaurants to the meals we serve for large functions. For example we made 1650 Vietnamese Spring Rolls for a luncheon at the Australian Tourism Exchange each was fresh and hand-rolled, we worked all through the night preparing them”.
Frank admits that when he first took on the role of Executive Chef at the M.E.C.C., he expected he would have to quell his creative urges in order to meet the demands of large volume catering. But in fact, he has to say “I have more chance to be creative here than anywhere I have ever worked, I spend much of my time experimenting and creating new dishes and there is always something new to try”.

A big part of Frank’s role is working closely with clients to build a menu that suits the event, be it for 30, 300 or 3000 people. “We take the time to sit down to a full meal with our clients, we encourage open discussion so we can work with them to create a very memorable event,” Recently the M.E.C.C. invested in new conveyor belt technology that enables meals to be plated very quickly, greatly expanding the capabilities of all the chefs. “My goal is to teach my chefs how to get away from traditional thinking about how we use food”,says Frank. “I don’t wish them to feel constrained by large numbers, but to see the potential. Rather than asking what can we do? I want them to ask what do we want to do?. That is part of the challenge and the joy of cooking”.