DoubleTree Hilton JB staff in F&B challenge

DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru (DTH JB) team members took part in the Barista, Bar, Pastry and Culinary Cup challenges during last weekend to vie for the chance to represent the hotel in the national level challenge later this year.

Judges tasting starter in the Culinary Cup challenge;
Executive Chef Jaffery Othman, guest judge Chef Aziz
Othman and Executive Pastry Chef Ong Eng Kok [L to R]
The Hilton Worldwide Food & Beverage Masters was initiated in 2010 with a single challenge for the Culinary Cup and expanded to its full form in 2011 with a total of four challenges for all Hilton hotels based in Europe.

The F&B Masters now offers Hilton Worldwide team members the opportunity to showcase their passion and talent for food and beverage, regardless of their current position and department.

In the past two weeks, team members in DTH JB who came from various kitchens in the hotel, volunteered to participate in the challenge by initially preparing a personal portfolio that included a recipe card, selling points, sales pitch and costing, as part of the judging criteria.

The 2-day programme kicked off with the Barista Cup challenge where Muhammad Salleh Syahmi Zaidan, Muhammad Shamin Hassan and Hafizzal Jatin impressed the panel of three judges with their creations in the expresso, cappuccino and free-style specialty coffee categories.

Team members presenting their signature cocktails [Right]
with the panel of three judges in the Bar Cup challenge
This was followed by the Bar Cup challenge where Sukumaran Marimuthu, Syed Azian Syed Ali and Mohd Feiroz Abd Rahman, pitched their skills and knowledge in creating one short drink, one long drink and a signature cocktail.

Participants in the Pastry Cup, Yvonne Chia Fen Shen, Nur Nadia Mahmud and Fatinaminah Azhar, were challenged to create one plated baked dessert and one plated frozen dessert in two hours.

The eight participants in the Culinary Cup were challenged to create one starter dish with prawns and one main course with lamb, in two plates of each item.

Team members in the Pastry Cup challenge with the
panel of judges and hotel GM, Simon McGrath [Centre]
“Compared to last year, we are seeing more interest from team members from different kitchens taking up the challenge to prepare food that are not from their usual kitchens,” said Executive Chef Jaffery Othman, adding that it was important for them to gain experience and exposure to increase their confidence.

"The challenge is also to organise the ingredients and manage the time to prepare the dishes in a given amount of time,” said guest judge Chef Aziz Othman, who heads the Western kitchen in Istana Bukit Serene and prepares food for His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Johor.

The results of the qualifying round in the Sommelier, Barista, Bar, Pastry and Culinary Cup disciplines will be announced to team members on Sept 29 for the winners to participate in the national level challenge that will culminate in the regional finals in February 2016.

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 22 Sept 2015

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