Khun Parichat Pramo, the waitress from Flare restaurant, Hilton Pattaya together with over 600 contestants comprising team members of Hilton’s 40 hotels in South East Asia participated in a series of rigorous competitions in the past four months across six disciplines: barista, culinary, F&B photography, mixology, dessert (“Willy Wonka”) and sommelier (“Wine Enthusiast”). This year, the competition took on a refreshed angle of sustainability where all contestants were encouraged to adopt the use of locally sourced ingredients, sustainable seafood and zero plastic throughout all challenges.
The winners of the Hilton SEA F&B Masters 2018/2019 are:
Barista Challenge: Parichat Pramo from Hilton Pattaya
Culinary Challenge: Edi Wahyudi from Hilton Bali Resort
F&B Photography Challenge: Jerrald Ng from Hilton Singapore
Willy Wonka Challenge: Sookruedee Rattanawanich from Conrad Bangkok
Mixology Challenge: Shine Jubin Kim from Hilton Singapore
Wine Enthusiast Challenge: Janjira Dong U-Ten from Millennium Hilton Bangkok
“As a leading hospitality company, we pride ourselves on delivering great guest experiences across the globe, and it is our people who deliver those experiences. Our team members are our greatest assets and we always seek to give them opportunities to grow and develop in both their own roles and their areas of interest. The annual F&B Masters is one way we engage our hotel teams whilst enabling them to showcase their talent and culinary skills and it is impressive to see the amount of creativity and tenacity that has gone into each of these recipes,” said Paul Hutton, vice president, operations, South East Asia, Hilton (the 2nd from the right).
“The competition is also a great platform for us to discover some real talent in the F&B space and goes a long way towards our journey in upping the ante across our restaurants and bars as F&B continues play a key role in delivering the Hilton guest experience. We are very proud of all our winners and look forward to seeing more of their achievements in their respective hotels,” added Hutton.
The 24 finalists hailing from seven countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand – had come a long way, having emerged victorious at the hotel level competition, followed by the country / sub-regional level competition to earn their coveted spots in the grand finals. This year’s competition also marked the inaugural F&B Photography challenge, at a time where technology plays a vital role in the sharing of dining experiences across social media channels.
At the finals, contestants demonstrated their culinary skills, creativity and adaptability by using only local produce sourced across Malaysia to create a local specialty.
“In line with our sustainability commitment, this year’s competition also incorporated the use of ‘Zero Plastics’ in addition to sustainably sourced ingredients, and we have seen some really creative replacements of traditional plastic items with alternatives such as lemongrass straws and bamboo food pick. This further emphasizes our commitment to cut our environmental footprint in half, to create a positive impact on the communities our hotels are operating in,” added Hutton, on the use of zero plastics during the competition.
The Hilton SEA F&B Masters is an internal competition open to all Team Members within Hilton’s properties across South East Asia. Held for the fifth year running, the competition was launched to identify, develop and celebrate top food and beverage talent across the Hilton portfolio in the region while giving them the opportunity to develop skills, hone their creativity, and gain real-world experience.
At the Hilton SEA F&B Masters 2018/2019, more than 1,600 food, cocktail and dessert recipes were created by the contestants across South East Asia. A selection of these winning creations will be featured in hotels’ menus as well as during promotions. The next installment of the SEA F&B Masters will begin in the third quarter of 2019.