Meet the local Chef who catered at the Oscars

The combination of a five star popup restaurant and a local networking evening is the recent brainchild of Progressive Catering’s Head Chef Trent Morgan.

With many years of internationally renowned restaurant experience under his belt, Trent has returned to our shores to run his catering company and provide locally sourced cuisine to Gold Coasters.

We sat down with Trent to learn more about his upcoming events.

You recently held your first Progressive Catering networking evening. What’s the idea behind hosting nights like this?

These nights enable us to showcase our fresh food, fabulous and professional staff and give our guests an insight into how we prepare and cook our food. It’s a behind the scenes look at what goes on in our kitchen.

How does the night unfold?

Guests arrive and are greeted at the front door with canapés and champagne. Once everyone is seated I introduce the first course, the inspiration behind it and the process in putting it all together.  

We prepare each course at the front of the room in full view of the guests and speak about each before they’re brought out to taste!

Guests sit underneath the sparkling fairy lights, meet new people, laugh and experience a night of beautiful food and interesting company.

The theme of the next networking evening is Farm to Fork, what can guests expect from the experience?

Farm to Fork will showcase local farmers and suppliers from the Tallebudgera Valley, Mt Tamborine and Mt Nathan. There’ll also be edible centrepieces and it being an autumn event will of course influence the menu.

Why did you decide to offer night like this rather than opening a restaurant?

We are primarily a catering company and love to cater for all types of clients. A night like this is so much fun for people and is kind of like a pop up restaurant, which makes it unique and exclusive particularly on the Gold Coast.

What’s your history as a Chef?

I trained with Gold Coast Chef Darran Glasgow before heading off to The California School of Culinary Arts, a Cordon Bleu program. I was part of the 73rd Academy Awards Governor’s Ball under the direction of Wolfgang Puck and we catered to stars like Cindy Crawford.

I’ve worked with Princess Cruise Lines catering for crew and guests, up to 2,500 people. Back home, I worked at the Sydney Park Hyatt, and finally returned to the Gold Coast and opened Progressive Catering.

You’re Co-owner and Head Chef at Progressive Catering, how did the business come about?

The idea really grew after my 2.5-year stint in LA, having worked for The Patina Group and being involved in their catering side of the operations. I brought home the notion of wanting to cater to high-end corporate clients and private events here.

Of course, my wife and co-owner Shandy was (and is) the driving force behind getting it off the ground and into action. She remains in charge of strategic operations and is an awesome mum to our three-year old son Max.

What kind of events do you cater for and what’s unique about your service?

We cater for a lot of store openings including Pacific Fair and a lot of high end stores, product launches (Mercedes) and private events such as like 40th birthday parties. 

We’re currently working on some large projects for the Commonwealth Games and Opera Australia.

Photos by Kirra Smith.