The concept, named MADE Collective, has been thoughtfully devised by Amadeus chefs to break down the barriers of event catering, ditching the traditional buffet offering in favour of a more high-street approach in a conference setting.
With a strong focus on a reduction in food miles as part of the venue’s sustainability drive, 80% of ingredients will be sourced within a 30-mile radius of the venue.
Headed up by ICC Executive Chef Simon Hellier, the concept moves away from the static buffet distribution style often found at conferencing venues, aiming to inspire guests with a more socially focused approach to hosting meals.
MADE Collective will engage and educate delegates on the catering’s provenance, including increased interaction from the venue’s event-facing chefs. This process starts from the moment the event organiser chooses the menu, with the Amadeus team providing a menu preview for clients to share with delegates. This not only offers a better experience, but also allows more flexibility in dietary requirements.
Simon Hellier, the venue’s Executive Chef, has finalised an array of menus to suit the new concept, including a grazing option which allows chefs to cook live on the event floor in front of delegates. This too offers greater care in servicing certain dietary needs and handling unique organiser requirements.
He said: “It is always my aim to offer guests at the ICC a food experience comparable to any restaurant. Even though there may be 800 people, I want them to feel like it is intimate!
“These menus are reflection of this – all the action happens behind the scenes, in the kitchen and I want to bring this out into the floor. I want our guests to meet our talented chefs and learn about the great food they are about to eat.”
Craig Hancox, General Manager for Amadeus at the ICC, commented: “Understanding food is such an important part of the conferencing day and we really wanted to think differently for our latest offering.
“We’ve been immensely proud of the catering offered at the ICC in the past, however, the pandemic gave us chance to take stock of our product and innovate for the future. The new processes have been meticulously planned and we are confident that MADE Collective will deliver excellent results as soon as events return to the venue.”
Allan Boyle, General Manager for NEC Group Conventions, said: “This is a wonderful refresh of our event catering.
“We often receive comments on the high quality of food and service, and so we’re extremely excited to be taking these standards up another level. We look forward to seeing MADE Collective operate at future events and hope our visitors enjoy this new experience.”