The West

Gourmet fare for Arena
David Clem and Adrian Tobin with their pork belly. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

When Elton John lets rip on Saturday night at the new Perth Arena, guests in the VIP boxes will be chowing down on British food such as pork pies and kedgeree.

When Matchbox Twenty plays in the Arena on Sunday, VIPs will be eating smoked queso blanco and sugar cane-cured salmon with coconut dressing - food based on the cuisine of Florida, the band's home State in the US.

"We've made a decision that we'll theme our food to suit the performer or the event," executive sous chef Adrian Tobin said.

"It will keep us on our toes."

Tobin and Arena executive chef David Clem run one of Perth's biggest function and catering kitchens - a multimillion-dollar gleaming giant "the length of a tennis court from back wall to back wall".

It can simultaneously feed 15,000 concertgoers or sports fans, 300 VIP diners and serve three-course, sit-down catering dinners for hundreds more in the venue's function rooms.

Up to 40 chefs will be employed at peak times, with eight chefs dedicated to the VIP suites. While the VIPs are eating posh themed food, Clem said punters would not be forgotten.

"The seven concession stands dotted around the Arena will sell pies and chips and burgers because that's what people expect," Clem said. "But we really want to take it up a notch.

"We'll have a smoked wiener hotdog with mustard sauce, our burgers will be made on brioche buns cooked for us by (celebrated bakery) Jean-Pierre Sancho and we've commissioned the Miami Bakery to make us a meat pie to our specifications.

"Punters will always measure us by the quality of our chips."

Chips at the concession stands are $6 and a burger is $12.50.

The West Australian

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