Hilton has announced the winners of the fifth annual South East Asia (SEA) F&B Masters following the competition’s grand finale in Hilton Kota Kinabalu on 28 and 29 January 2019.
Over the last four months, more than 600 contestants comprised of Team Members from Hilton’s 40 hotels in South East Asia participated in a series of rigorous competitions 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 (Jane) 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 Hilton Team Members 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 talents and culinary skills. 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 24 finalists hailing from seven countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand – have 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 picks. This further emphasises our commitment to cut our environmental footprint in half, to create a positive impact on the communities our hotels are operating in,” said Hutton.
Heidi Kleine-Moeller, General Manager of Millennium Hilton Bangkok, said, “We are extremely proud to have had our talented team at Millennium Hilton Bangkok represented for three consecutive years at the SEA F&B Master finals. This year, all pride and excitement goes to Khun Jane who we are delighted to announce as the winner of the Sommelier category. It is such a reward to see our team recognised and awarded for their passion and professionalism in the field of F&B.”
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.