The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has launched a catering concept in three of its exhibition halls.
Building on the successful launch of St(EAT) Kitchen at the NEC earlier this year, in-house caterers Amadeus has created The Yard – three eating environments, serving locally sourced, fresh, garden-inspired sustainable food.
The creation of The Potting Yard, The Grilling Yard and The Box Yard is part of a multi-million redevelopment of the restaurants inside the halls. The Yard concept offers healthy, contemporary British food, in three often interconnected exhibition halls, under a common theme but each with a unique offer, to give customers greater variety during shows.
The Yard environments have also been made with recycled and natural materials, with touches including trailing plants and copper pots on the walls.
Kane Bridgman, general manager for Amadeus (NEC) says: “Everything the Amadeus catering team has learnt to date from exhibition catering has been channelled into The Yard. We know that there’s a rise in popularity for social breakfast options so you’ll find breakfast in a pot in the Potting Yard; 15% of our consumers are eating noticeably less meat, so you’ll find half the menu is meat free menu in the Grilling Yard. Traditional British becomes contemporary British in the Box Yard, where we’ve got quirky twists pies and burgers.
“We also wanted to translate some of our St(EAT) Kitchen feel into the development of the new Yard concept as we planned the refurbishment of these halls and we’ve done this through combining a garden fresh look with garden fresh food.”
In line with consumer dietary and lifestyle preferences, meat free options feature heavily on the menus of each of the units:
The Potting Yard (hall 8) – has dishes served in fully recyclable pots, featuring Epic Mac and Cheese, including Vegan Mac with BBQ jackfruit and crispy courgette and Classic Mac with a spring onion crumble.
The Grilling Yard (hall 7) – has a fresh from the grill theme with herbed halloumi or harissa spiced salmon grilled skewers on offer, all served with salads using locally sauced produce.
The Box Yard (hall 6) – is the boxed-up restaurant, with pies and burgers, including a plant-based burger that looks and cooks like beef, from supplier Beyond Meat™.
The Yard menus have been created by Yard head chef, Lee Romilie and NEC executive chef, Paul Connelly to be fresh, tasty and easy to eat on the go. The offers are also flexible and there will be a library of menu options that will adapt to suit the range of events on offer in the NEC halls.