Meet our Executive Chef, David Ricardo.
Plaza Ballroom Executive Chef, David Ricardo comes to the role with over 18 years’ experience in Melbourne and Hong Kong’s top restaurants. Having done an impressive stint with the Lucas Group, David was a key player in the openings of Chin Chin, GoGo Bar, Baby and Kong BBQ.
Bringing a wealth of experience to the role at the Plaza Ballroom, he also heads up the dining offerings at the other Marriner Group venues; the Regent Theatre, Princess Theatre, Comedy Theatre and the newly refurbished Forum Theatre.
David believes that function and event style dining should be able to echo the same level of passion and quality that Melbourne has come to expect from its restaurants. And has developed stunning new menus that can be readily adapted to clients’ needs.
“Our vision is to ensure that we serve premium quality, contemporary dishes reflecting both Melbourne’s food culture and the sense of occasion and extravagance of the Plaza Ballroom.”
Undoubtedly David has one of the city’s most creatively demanding positions. The diverse clientele of the venue sees him craft a tailored four-course wedding dinner menu one day, a selections of stunning canapés for corporate functions the next. “It’s no longer acceptable for venues to produce ‘function food’. By using my experience to bring restaurant-quality, contemporary Australian cuisine into some of Melbourne’s greatest venues, the Marriner Group has the opportunity to create something truly special. Every event is an event to be remembered.”
Other highlights in David’s career include his role as Head Chef at one of Melbourne’s most iconic and highly awarded restaurants, Pearl Restaurant & Bar, which was awarded two chef’s hats by The Age Good Food Guide under his watch. A frequent guest of The Age Good Food Guide Awards in the past, David got to dish up for Melbourne’s best chefs when the Plaza Ballroom hosted the awards for the past two years running. How do you satisfy some of the best taste buds in the business? Talk about a tough crowd – not for David.
“The idea behind the menu was to create a relaxed and fun experience for Victoria’s top chefs and restauranteurs. The focus was on sharing with food that is universally appreciated by people in the industry. The sharing created a talking point and helped break down any potential tensions between ‘rival’ restaurants”.
The menu on the night included roving canapés to start including beef tartare with cornichons, freeze dried capers and beetroot shoots and white soy marinated tuna tataki with sesame seeds, honeyed wasabi and shiso. Mains included suckling pig porchetta with rosemary, garlic and fennel pollen, pickled slaw and cider jus and deep fried whole tropical fish with Vietnamese flavours and steamed rice. To finish, desserts included yuzu tart with Italian miringue and freeze dried raspberries and coffee lollipops consisting of dark chocolate coated coffee and dulce de leche mousse with almond crumb.
Please view our sample menus and don’t hesitate to contact us for further information or to discuss your event.