Date: 5 May, 2016
Where: Halls LM
The Port Adelaide Football Club has a rich history as the oldest senior football club in South Australia.
The club played its first game in 1870, winning 36 South Australian league premierships, including six in a row in the 146 years since.
In 1997, the club joined the Australian Football League as the only pre-existing non-Victorian club to do so, and subsequently added the 2004 AFL Premiership to its achievements.
The Port Adelaide Football Club has for many years enjoyed strong support from within the Italian community, and this is celebrated at the club’s annual Italian night. Italian food, theming, music and entertainment are hallmarks of the event.
In 2016, the club moved the event to the Adelaide Convention Centre in order to cater for the event’s growing numbers.
What We Did
Cooking authentic Italian food for hundreds of Italian guests might appear a daunting task. However, the Centre rose to the challenge by working closely with the event organisers and sticking to classic Italian dishes, and traditional recipes.
The menu was developed in consultation with the client and a tasting was conducted with the client and representatives of the Italian community to ensure the right balance of flavours and food presentation was achieved
Abundant platters of antipasto greeted guests as they arrived at their tables. This was followed by beef ravioli with tomato and basil ragu and shaved parmesan. The main course was a classic chicken saltimbocca – prosciutto and sage wrapped chicken breast, with basil polenta, wilted spinach and red wine sauce.
The dinner was rounded off by a traditional tiramisu – a layered coffee and mascarpone mousse cake.
For the players, who were already in the middle of pre-season training, a custom menu was developed with a lighter pasta dish served as the entrée and fruit salad with natural yoghurt for dessert.
Tables were set with Italian themed centrepieces, a wine wall was created for fundraising, as well as a major and silent auction.
Entertainment was provided by Julian De Vizio and DJ Discreet and Maverick, with guests dancing below an ivy clad truss created by the Centre.
The night was hosted by former Port Adelaide player and coach Tim Ginever who played 314 games for the club and coached the team for a further 82 games.
Tim rode into the room on a Vespa before being warmly greeted by the Port Adelaide faithful. Two Ferraris also welcomed guests at the entry to the event as they arrived for the dinner.
To make the event more personal for the guests, each table had a player allocated to dine with them so players, members and fans of the club could network. Their arrival at the table was preceded by a player’s parade.
Funds raised at the event were directed to the Club’s rehabilitation facilities, affectionately known as the Sweat Box.
The move to the Adelaide Convention Centre because of growing numbers required us to get the confidence of our members, and to ensure we delivered a great event in the first year away from the club’s heartland in the western suburbs.
Hosting at the Centre, provided a link to Adelaide Oval where we play our home games, so it kept some connection to the club. Also, holding the event in the new West Building added some further interest to our members, many of whom hadn’t been inside the new building.
We were conscious of the need to deliver an authentic Italian event in the new venue, and the Centre worked hard with us to achieve this. Our event planner from the Centre was professional and helpful from start to finish.
Menu planning started early to ensure we chose the right dishes and achieved the authentic Italian flavours needed to please our guests. Recipes were developed, taste tested and refined with the Centre prior to the event, and they did a great job.
On the night, the food was well received and the service was excellent, with the wait staff both professional, well dressed and friendly.
The team in the loading dock and the AV team also deserve special mention. We were able to deliver all of our event materials the day prior, which were all clearly marked and stored by the Centre’s team.
We had access to the Halls from 8am on the day of the event, and were delighted to see the Centre’s team had our materials in the room waiting for us – this saved us valuable time.
The AV team also did a very professional job with the lighting and sound, and worked with us prior to test the presentations and conduct a test run ahead of the night. They were extremely flexible and accommodated all our needs.