Foodservice Australia delivers biggest and best show yet!

Media release: 28 May 2024

The nation’s hospitality industry descended on ICC Sydney at Darling Harbour this week for Foodservice Australia – with over 350 exhibitors, two chef competitions, three major conferences, two free stages and literally thousands of new products and ideas on show.

Event Director Tim Collett says Foodservice Australia has grown year on year for the past decade and is now the major meeting place for the industry. “We had a huge range of exhibitors and must-see events and that helped to draw a crowd larger than ever before,” he says.

“I think it demonstrates that live events are the best way to meet suppliers, network with peers and discover the latest trends in food, drink and equipment. That only get stronger when the industry needs new ideas to stay profitable.”

Special events included the Chef of the Year; National Restaurant Conference; Aged Care Catering Summit; Sweet Spot Theatre, Café School, Chef Success Workshop and the Australian Culinary Federation’s Restaurant Challenge.

The popular Australian Chef of the Year competition ran in the middle of the show. Judges included John McFadden, Jamie Gannon, Amanda Fuller, Justin North, George Calombaris, Claire Van Vuuren, Darren Templeman and Simon Sandall. After three days it was Tommy Prosser from Crustacean Nation who took the title in his third attempt. This event was presented by Anchor Food Professionals, Bidfood and Unox, with valued support from Alsco Uniforms, Oil2U, Bone Roasters, Clorox, Love Buds and ICC Sydney.

The National Restaurant Conference supported by Restaurant & Catering, Cookers and Hormel Foods delivered practical advice and solutions for real-world issues including staffing, marketing, automation and mental health. There was also a market overview by Suresh Manickam from R&CA and one-on-one interviews with chefs Neil Perry and George Calombaris.

The Aged Care Catering Summit presented by Evereo and Nutritious Cuisine attracted chefs and operators from aged care providers. Popular sessions included Jessica Zilujko from the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission; Sally McCray and Luke Mangan discussing their ground-breaking work at Mater Health; Julie Dundon with menu learnings from the Maggie Beer Foundation; and practical guidance from Dementia Australia’s Liz Keating.

The ACF Restaurant Challenge saw eight teams of four compete against each other. Their task was to prepare a two-course lunch for 50 covers in a pop-up restaurant on the show floor. The winners were Team New Zealand with chefs William Mordedo, Sam Linstrom, Sam Gadowski-Smith and Ken O’Connell.

Delectable desserts were on show at the Sweet Spot Theatre hosted by ‘Pav Queen’ Nerida McPherson and presented by Queen Professional and Callebaut. This popular demonstration stage featured master patissiers Kirsten Tibballs, Christopher Thé, Jessica Pedemont, Angelica Iuliano, Alejandro Luna and Cyntya Sakunyart.

Casual dining was the focus at the Café School, sponsored by Mission, Love Buds and Sunny Queen and hosted by Nicholas Kalogeropoulos. Sessions included fact casual trends; making money from the bottomless brunch; automating your kitchen and incorporating plant-based foods in your menu.

Exhibitors reported doing great business with new and existing customers during the show, with many companies re-booking immediately for the upcoming Brisbane show and next year’s big show in Melbourne.

Like Jeff and Karen Ganter from Riva Dispensers; “We gave been doing this show since day one and we will keep doing them because they work.” Tony Kennett from Chobani said “It is great to be back at the show. We were busy every day and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of buyers, even on Sunday.”

It was announced at the show that the event was moving to new organisers. Current organiser Tim Collett from Specialised Events said “it is the right time for the show to move to the next step, and I am really excited they are going to National Media, one of the most skilled and progressive organisers in the country. I am very proud of what we have achieved but also excited to see where they go.”

Food & Hospitality Queensland is running at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 4-5 August 2024 and Foodservice Australia will be running in Melbourne 18-20 May 2025. For more information on visiting and exhibiting head to the show websites and