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Peter Rowland Group Pty Ltd


Peter Rowland, OAM Chairman

On behalf of the entire team at Peter Rowland, I am thrilled to introduce you to the first issue of Main Course, our biannual publication.


Mohan Du Director

Main Course will bring you half-yearly updates of our triumphs and celebrations as well as a taste of the exciting projects and events that we are masterminding.

Emma Yee Director

As the calendar draws to a close, 2017 was a unique year that saw the company transition from its old entity to the Peter Rowland Group and trade as Peter Rowland under new ownership.

Steven Abela Director John Daggian Director


A dynamic next-generation of industry stalwarts are now at the helm of the business and they include General Manager Operations John Daggian, Executive Director Steven Abela and myself, Emma Yee, as Chief Executive Officer.

Emma Yee Chief Executive Officer Steven Abela Executive Director

United together from sunrise to sunset, our team of worldclass chefs and event-industry gurus will ensure Peter Rowland adheres to its leitmotiv principles of quality assurance, steadfastness and determination to always place the customer first.

John Daggian General Manager Operations Matthew Haigh Group Executive Chef Kim Westrope Business Services Manager

MANAGEMENT TEAM. Support Services


Daniel Tucker Finance Manager

Sean Zajac Senior Sales and Events Manager

Josh Leeper IT Manager

Rebecca Wills Sales and Events Manager

Shiva Singam Marketing, Communications and Relationships Manager

John Zalakos Operations Manager

Edwina Machado Business Development Manager Danielle Dodoro Human Resources Manager

Cynthia Lallut Operations Manager Anthony Grattidge Operations & Logistics Manager Venues

Jack Watford OH & S Manager Steve Richardson Projects Manager Darren Abdy Group Staffing Manager

The new owners are committed to upholding and strengthening the original vision of revered company founder, Mr Peter Rowland, OAM, now Chairman, to always expound the merits of providing quality food and beverage service to our discerning, loyal and growing customer base.

The core of our business is first-class food and we are committed to our other resolution - to remain current amongst today’s tastemakers. Our new Group Executive Chef, Matthew Haigh, stands at the forefront of our new Food Philosophy and has successfully delivered two major events, the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Each and every one of our devoted staff, from the kitchens to executive corridors, are already fired up about the busy year that awaits us in 2018. We maintain valued and strong ties with major events and collaborate with our partners to bring to life the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and World’s Longest Lunch, presented by the Bank of Melbourne, the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and the Melbourne Cup Carnival for the Victoria Racing Club. No matter whether we are catering a high-society gala or changing gears and decibels at the race track, we will always serve you our signature Peter Rowland finesse. We are honoured to celebrate our continuing partnerships with iconic institutions: the National Gallery of Victoria, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the National Trust for whom we represent Rippon Lea House & Gardens, the Port Melbourne Yacht Club, the Chinese Museum and our burgeoning and enviable list of corporate partners.

The Commercial Department, the engine room of the business, also heads into the new year reinforcing its sturdy growth trajectory. Whether providing complete F&B solutions for large corporate enterprises or bespoke solutions for smaller organisations, the team upholds its commitment to service excellence. We are excited to roll out the red carpet at our new events venue, Butler Lane in early 2018, a unique and modern warehouse in the heart of bustling Richmond, which sits alongside our already popular coterie of multi-capability venues. In 2017, the Commercial Department successfully mobilised F&B operations for the RACV call centre in Noble Park, the Nissan Australia head office as well as implementing a successful cafe for Aon Australia. We enter the new year cementing our working friendship with Mazda Australia, Assa Abloy, Deloitte in Melbourne and Sydney, as well as Australian Unity, among others. With so much to celebrate in 2018 and beyond, the invigorated Peter Rowland team and I thank you for your ongoing support. I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas, a joyous and safe holiday season, and a Happy New Year. And now, we are delighted to reveal your Main Course. Bon appetit. Emma Yee Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Sawers Flemington: Venue & Operations Manager Natasha Court NGV: Operations Manager Andy Carp ACMI: Venue Manager

PUBLISHING TEAM. Shiva Singam Editor Suzanne Carbone Writer Joel Sansom Designer Haley Berryman Consultant John Daggian (left), Emma Yee, Steven Abela



The food of new Group Executive Chef Matthew Haigh will definitely blow you away because his favourite kitchen utensil is a blowtorch. And not necessarily for creme brulee but cooking fish and prawns with grated palm sugar.

Every step of the way, from sourcing ingredients to producing food and the final plating, will reflect my drive for perfection.

Innovative Chef Haigh is driven by his new Food Philosophy that combines technique with high-quality fresh produce to create maximum flavour. His vision encompasses clean and fresh flavours, mastery of technique, local and seasonal produce, sustainability and a strong investment in the supply chain.

While Instagram has influenced the way food is styled, he remains true to his core beliefs whether he is catering carefully curated bespoke soirees or large-scale major events. “Yes, the food needs to look right and people do look with their eyes first, but it needs to be tasty.”

“I believe in enhanced rather than complicated flavours,” Chef Haigh said. “I’m excited about using unique ingredients such as jicama, a Mexican turnip.” Watch this space and he’ll watch his chopping board!

As Chef Haigh turns his attention to menu writing in 2018, presentation is the key to reflect the overall Food Philosophy and its star ingredient - refinement. “It’s about simply delivering refinement and elegance and to bring out the natural flavours rather than over-complicating food,” he said.

While food miles and sustainability have changed the sourcing of high-quality ingredients, Chef Haigh has always been ahead of the pack. “Even before this was a trendy word, we were always local.”

His trusted modus operandi motivates him every day he dons his chef ’s whites. “Every step of the way, from sourcing ingredients to producing food and the final plating, will reflect my drive for perfection. Technique is crucial because it’s easier to produce fussy food than refined elegance. I want to make sure the produce and flavours speak for themselves and are the star on the plate.”

Chef Haigh’s passion about local produce stretches for miles and miles: “Eighty per cent of our menus are from within a stone’s throw from here. I like to know about the little farmer down the road. We can’t be good unless our suppliers are good and that’s why I like to talk to them.”

Whether it’s a stand-up cocktail party or seated banquet, Chef Haigh is hungry for his food to create lingering memories. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his kitchen army, they are united in his goal: “I want every person that comes to Peter Rowland to walk away with the best experience they’ve had in their life,” he said.

Chef Haigh’s motto is “Good food does not necessarily mean complicated food” and you won’t find “fusion confusion” in his kitchen or on your plate when your waiter reveals your meal.


They say it takes a village but for us it takes an army and we’ve marshalled the best at Mission Control in River Street, South Yarra. Standing alongside our accomplished CEO, Emma Yee, are our talented and dedicated chefs, and passionate kitchen staff who deliver the goods via our attentive and smartly-dressed waiters in uniform. You and your tastebuds are the next destination because Peter Likes to Party in your palate. One team, one dream!



peter rowland



Lucas Dawson

VIRGIN AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE FASHION FESTIVAL Indulge in a memorable evening of high glamour, entertainment and premium dining for you and your guests as Australia’s largest fashion event returns from 1-18 March 2018. Rub fashionable shoulders at the Virgin​​Australia​​Melbourne​​ Fashion​​Festival​(VAMFF) in the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge with on-trend canapes, and drinks de jour whilst you experience world class runways in an exciting celebration of Australian fashion. Treat yourself to a “Runway Box” package featuring the best view in the house for your squad of 20, or choose the “Runway Suite” for 10 guests for optimal VIP viewing. There’s a package to suit your style at To book your 2018 VAMFF VIP corporate hospitality package, email

FORMULA 1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX At the 2018 Formula​​1​​Rolex​​Australian​​Grand​​Prix​the celebrities, food and fashion turn heads almost as fast as the cars. In 2017 we got hearts racing at the Glamour on the Grid party to kick off the most anticipated event of the year. Driven by innovation, we presented a new hospitality experience, the Lee Ho Fook Lounge, in the Chicane Pavilion. And we ensured hospitality guests in the Formula 1 Paddock Club suites refuelled with five-star plated and grazing menus. Don’t miss out, visit for all packages.

Daniel Mahon

MELBOURNE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL WORLD’S LONGEST LUNCH Our waiters know how to sprint and they switched into marathon mode for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s World’s Longest Lunch, presented by the Bank of Melbourne, in Lygon Street, Carlton. Our 180 front-of-house staff looked after 1772 guests on a 600-metre table and we award them an Olympic gold medal. We note the sad passing of chef Antonio Carluccio, who designed the menu, and wish him an eternal banquet in heaven. In 2018, we’re going west with the Longest Lunch at the Maribyrnong River Frontage, Footscray. To view the full program visit

Daniel Mahon

KOOYONG CLASSIC A chilled Pimm’s awaits you at the Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic and there’s another summer classic for your tastebuds: strawberries and cream. We presented the Grossi Garden Pavillion and the Kooyong Club for tennis-loving VIP guests. It was “love” all off the court, too. Volley into action at

NGV GALA - THE HOUSE OF DIOR We inhaled the Dior essence at the NGV Gala to open The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture for Melbourne’s elite. The exhilarating black-tie soiree merged French haute couture, designer canapes and rock-star glamour with a performance by Kimbra.


MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL Flemington provided the horses and we delivered the courses at the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival. Guests in the VRC’s Grandstand, carparks and Birdcage tasted that winning feeling with our plated menus, hampers and canapes. It’s a sure bet that the places to be were our Birdcage marquees for Mumm, Kennedy, Lavazza, Schweppes, the Herald Sun, AAMI and the new 1 Oliver St for the Victoria Racing Club.

AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX We kept our motor running for the 2017 Australian​Motorcycle​​ Grand​​Prix​at Phillip Island with more fuel for hospitality attendees. The three-day Mecca for fans of the ear-blasting thrill on two wheels is the ultimate in “moto” skills and our signature food and beverage hospitality.


KEEP ME POSTED Our 2018 diary is filling with world-class major events that make Melbourne marvellous.





09 12


26 28


Kooyong Classic

Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival

Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix

16 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s World’s Longest Lunch

National Chicken Sandwich Day

03 20 Melbourne Cup Carnival

NATIONAL CHICKEN SANDWICH DAY It’s no longer a mystery why the chicken crossed the road after the inaugural National Chicken Sandwich Day presented by Peter Rowland. We enlisted a trio of ambassadors to worship the best thing since sliced bread and we salute fashion designer Con Iliopoulos, Lady Melbourne blogger Phoebe Montague and Feathers boutique founder Margaret Porritt. Mathematician Pythagoras could not have created a more perfect triangle.

22 25 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix


PETER LIKES TO PARTY Here at Mission Control, we dispatch our Catering and Events army to your postcode for swish private parties or in-house corporate functions. In the convenience and comfort of your home, our team creates carefully curated bespoke events “Anytime, Anywhere” and if you’re thinking pink or blue or gold or silver, we’ll tie the bows and sprinkle the sparkle for birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, baby showers and other celebrations. Peter provides the party hats with a seamless service from concept planning to last drinks and rest assured, we do the cleaning up so you can put your feet up and unwind with another flute of Champagne. Our smartly dressed and attentive waiters are lined up in a row for your corporate event on Mahogany Row. Whether it’s a boardroom lunch, conference, training day or special event, we tailor the menu and train our staff to reflect the unique culture of your organisation. We can even elevate the canteen, reminiscent of the traditional office tea trolley, to the next level with a gourmet offering of specially brewed morning coffee and scrumptious muffin. At Peter Rowland, AGM also means Another Great Meal. Our Catering and Events team comes together like a finely tuned orchestra. It’s a joy to watch the baton deftly pass to each of our hospitality maestros. Your brand is our business and you’ll see it reflected in the menu, crockery, the wine procured and the tea served. Your tastebuds will thank you. Talk to the team today to book your perfect party. Email


Peter Likes to Party and keep his finger firmly on the pulse of the 2018 trends in food, decor and presentation thanks to the sharp eyes and discerning palates of our creative Catering and Events team: Senior Sales and Events Manager Sean Zajac, Sales and Events Manager Rebecca Wills, Sales and Events Planner Marilla Gair, Sales and Events Planner Maddison Basic and Functions Manager Graeme Haynes. We want guests to feast with their five senses and have a fully immersive experience by sharing their snapshots on social media via photo walls or becoming “Selfie Stars” in styled vignettes. We eat with our eyes so here’s what you’ll be seeing and devouring in 2018.

Food trends

Presentation trends Green isn’t only the colour of our vibrantly fresh fruit and vegetables but our ethos. Reuse, reduce and recycle by using everyday items to mix up the presentation without using disposable items. Think palm leaves shaped into cones and empty coconut shells, recycled containers and the food itself being the “vessel”. Brighten up food stations and grazing tables with edible flowers and fruit and use texturised table and service wear with crisp linen.

Fresh, bright and vibrant food is on the agenda for summer parties and beyond. Say “Aloha” to tropical flavours with Poke bowls full of fresh fish and flavours - you’ll “Eat the rainbow” with every ingredient. Sushi donuts are a whole lot of fun with bright ingredients on top of their donut-shaped rice canvas. Grazing tables are an edible art installation overflowing with a variety of food, flavours, textures and colours. Indian street food will liven up your party with the crunch, colour and spices from the subcontinent’s favourite on-the-go snacks. Expect an immersive experience from every bite.

THE BUSINESS END Our Commercial Department is delighted to deliver the silver service to our valued corporate clients who have savoured the Peter Rowland difference: Aon Australia, Assa Abloy, Australian Synchrotron, Australian Unity, Deloitte Australia, Mazda Australia, Nissan Australia, the RACV and The Pas Group. Whether providing a complete F&B solutions for large corporate enterprises or bespoke solutions for boutique spaces, our team delivers quality produce paired with excellent service every time. We offer complete catering management solutions for a variety of business needs including meeting rooms, onsite cafes and in-house events. We toast the NGV, ACMI and Mossgreen as our valued retail partners and look forward to delivering excellence together in 2018. Let Peter Rowland spice up the menu at your premises. Contact the Commercial Department to find out more. Email


Journey to the “Aztec Desert” and gaze at the vista in rust, bronze, multi-browns, nudes, red clay and deep greens with crisp white accents to match your flowing kaftan or linen suit. Select platters with contrasting colours to offset the food in its vivid beauty against the inspirational backdrop of undulating sand dunes and rock formations. Eye-popping balloon installations immediately get you into party mode. Mega flower-power with block colours, stunning single floral arrangements and hanging floral arrangements.

Summer’s Perfect Party

When you want to chill, bring out the ice coolers and for a playful take on “BYO chic”, lift the lid on the Esky for guests to help themselves. Good tunes set the vibe so bring your own ghettoblaster and thump “Ice, Ice, Baby”. Bright colours with shade cloths, umbrellas and festivalstyle tents. It’s cocktail hour all day long with cocktail icypoles when the temperature soars. Quality cheese and deli products, and pre-cut summer fruit are perennial favourites. Now it’s time for the hammock.


PETER’S PARTY HUBS. You provide the occasion and we’ll unveil the key to unlock Melbourne’s most prestigious venues and hidden gems.




In 2018 we’re thrilled to roll out the red carpet and usher you inside Butler Lane, our industrial-chic venue at the rear of 2 Shelley Street, Richmond. The architect-designed warehouse with exciting blank canvas features floor-to-ceiling windows, high ceilings and polished concrete floors. The desirable inner-city location with secret courtyard is as Cosmopolitan as the vodka, Cointreau and cranberry cocktail on the menu. Ideal for multiple event configurations when the dresscode is casual or formal, indulge in a banquet for 160 or cocktail party for 250. Peter especially Likes to Party at new venues and knows Butler Lane will be right up your alley.


Watch your reflection in the NGV’s cascading Waterwall then take your seat among the great and the good in the Great Hall and bask in the radiance of the Leonard French stained glass ceiling during a banquet for 700.



Renee Stamatis Photography

Be the director of your special occasion at ACMI at Federation Square and we’ll produce the spectacular show in the Lightwell event space with camera-flashing redcarpet arrival for up to 600 guests.



Put yourself in the frame at Mossgreen in the art nouveau splendour of the restored and renovated Armadale Picture Theatre. Indulge in a decadent high tea in the magnificent Tearooms or climb the stairway to the heavenly Theatre Gallery for a sitdown dinner for 150 or cocktail party for 250.


RIPPON LEA Elsternwick

Raise your champagne saucer in Great Gatsby style around the art deco pool terrace in Rippon Lea House & Gardens. Peter Likes to Party and pop the confetti cannon to spread glitter and glamour in the glorious ballroom with chandelier during a banquet for 180 or cocktail soiree for 300.


Navigate your cruise control to the Port Melbourne Yacht Club for the ultimate in summer loving. Feel the invigorating breeze on your face while relaxing on the overwater deck or gaze at the sunset from the floor-to-ceiling windows during a cocktail party for 250 or seated banquet for 186.


It’s all systems a go go at the Starward Distillery in Port Melbourne with whisky cocktails awaiting you and your celebratory crew of 80 guests in the Whisky Garden. Or be a quintessential Melburnian and embrace your inner mixologist in the Distillery, the only one open to the public in the cocktail-shaker capital.


It’s always the “Year of Peter Rowland” at the Chinese Museum and our lucky number is 22 Cohen Place, Melbourne. Confucius says fortune follows the smart cookies who choose from six event spaces for casual or formal gatherings. To the beat of your drum, we’ll rouse the dragon for its dance.


WEDDING BELLES. Say “I will” have a Peter Rowland wedding and we’ll wave our magic wand and make doves fly. Wedding belles can walk down the aisle at our stately venues and beachside locations and feast on a bespoke menu designed by our new Group Executive Chef Matthew Haigh. We guarantee an exquisite Main Course and everything in between. Our attentive kitchen leader is all ears to carefully listen to what the bride desires. Chef Haigh said one of the first things company founder Peter Rowland, OAM, instilled in him was: “Look after the bride.” Because our expert team of wedding planners care as much about your special day as you do, we always have “something new” to offer the bride and her groom. You can definitely have your wedding cake and eat it, too. Love is always in the air at the Port Melbourne Yacht Club on a hot summer night. Imagine pre-dinner drinks on the magnificent over-water deck then an elegant banquet indoors for 150 guests or cocktail party for 250. The stars will twinkle through the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows as you dance the night away.

This Day Forward

The heritage-listed Rippon Lea House & Gardens was built in 1868 and is eternally yours when you waltz into married life. The grand ballroom with majestic chandelier is a lofty locale for Miss and Ms to become Mrs and celebrate with a banquet for 180 guests or cocktail soiree for 250. Take in the night air while strolling through 14 acres of magnificent manicured gardens. Your stroll down memory lane after celebrating your nuptials will be all the more everlasting at our new venue, Butler Lane. The “something new” in Richmond features a modern warehouse with light filled open-plan interior that is reached by a secret courtyard. “Shhh” - wedding in progress. Embrace summer - and your future husband or wife - during a romantic ceremony in the landscaped courtyard garden then party the night away under the stars. Start drawing up your guest list and we’ll create a sublime banquet for 160 or cocktail soiree for 250. The union of lovers can commence with a “Peach Kiss” cocktail or “Pink Kiss” mocktail then a culinary feast of your choosing. We want the bride to have an effortless day by offering complete event management by a dedicated wedding planner with unlimited styling opportunities. When it’s time to depart on your honeymoon, you’ll love Butler Lane to the moon and back.


We were proud to support the resounding “YES” vote in the same-sex marriage survey for marriage equality. Every component of our business supports equality and because “Love is love” we love all weddings. If you are tickled pink over this historic change and cue the Abba hit “I do, I do, I do, I do, I do” for your nuptials, we’ll come to the party with a “We do” cater same-sex weddings. If he or she has popped the question, register your interest for the Butler Lane wedding showcase in 2018 at



Hardie Grant

SIZZLE IN SUMMER. CHEF HAIGH’S FAVOURITE BBQ RECIPES Pillard of BBQ chicken with couscous, charred sweet corn & cranberry salad, lemon yoghurt



(serves 4)

1: Butterfly chicken breast and marinate with all other ingredients and leave refrigerated for 30 minutes 2: Bring stock to a rapid boil, add olive oil and couscous, cover then turn off the heat. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Stir with fork to break up the couscous, add butter and mix 3: Make sure that the BBQ is nice and hot before you start (Chef Haigh says this will take about one bottle of good Pinot Grigio shared between 4 people) 4: Place sweet corn on the BBQ and turn as required, ensuring not to over-char. Tip: the corn needs to gain some colour to enhance a nice ‘smoky’ taste 5: Snap grill the asparagus on the BBQ to colour and slightly soften 6: To compose the salad, run a knife down the corn to remove kernels from the core, chop the asparagus into 5 pieces and mi with all other salad ingredients 7: When the salad is made, place the chicken on the hot BBQ and cook on first side for 2 minutes then flip and cook for a further 1 minute 8: Whilst chicken is on the BBQ, generously spoon couscous salad into the centre of the serving plate, place cooked chicken on top and drizzle lavishly with lemon yoghurt

Chicken pillard 4 chicken breasts marinated with: 1 lemon zest ½ bunch coarsely chopped parsley 1 clove garlic chopped 150ml olive oil freshly ground white pepper to taste (be generous) Couscous salad


1 cup couscous 1½ cup chicken stock 3 tablespoons olive oil 50g butter

corn b| 21 sweet bunch asparagus generously smothered with: olive oil salt and pepper


120g dried cranberries chopped 120g smoked almonds chopped 1 bunch parsley chopped 1 bunch chives chopped

Lemon yoghurt 200g yoghurt 1 lemon zest and juice

BBQ Pavlova



(serves 4)

1: Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar with electric beaters until stiff peaks form (about 9 minutes) 2: Line an aluminum foil tray with a square of baking paper and heap mix into tray 3: Place a regular baking tray upside down on your BBQ then place the aluminum tray with the meringue mixture on top and close the BBQ lid and leave to cook for 40 minutes 4: Peel pineapple, cut into quarters lengthwise, remove centre core, then slice in 2cm pieces 5: Coat pineapple pieces well with brown sugar and rum 6: When the meringue base has been in the BBQ for 40 minutes, add the pineapple onto the grill part of your BBQ. Cook for a further 5 minutes then turn off. Leave the lid down and rest meringue inside BBQ for 40 minutes. This will also allow the pineapple to caramelise 7: Whip cream and add chocolate 8: Take the pavlova base out of the tray, top with cream and garnish with the caramelised pineapple

6 egg whites 1½ cups sugar 1sp cream of tartar 150g white chocolate grated 3 cups pure cream 1 pineapple ½ cup rum 150g brown sugar NB: This recipe only works with a lidded BBQ and needs to heat to 150 degrees celsius.

with white chocolate cream & caramelised pineapple



Profile for Peter Rowland

Main Course  

Issue One

Main Course  

Issue One