Hilton Worldwide recently announced the winners of its Europe Food & Beverage Masters 2011, a competition focused on four disciplines: culinary, pastry, bar and service. Fifty finalists chosen from more than 200 entries across Hilton’s European portfolio participated in two days of intense judging in Berlin.
The Culinary Cup
Finalists prepared a starter dish of sea scallops and Chanterelle mushrooms,as well as a main course of beef filet, Savoy cabbage and celeriac. Judges assessed the finalists on criteria of professional preparation, presentation, innovation and taste.
- Gold: Hilton Malta, Daniel Debattista & Ralph Vassallo
- Silver: Hilton Prague, Emanuele Mugnaini & Michal Ludek
- Bronze: The London Hilton on Park Lane, Murat Oguz & Laurie Thomas
Judges noted Debattista and Vassallo’s creativity, teamwork and presentation. The gold prize is a five-day trip to Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, to train in Heinz Beck’s three Michelin-starred restaurant, La Pergola.
The Bar Cup
Finalists were judged on their creation of a Classic Negroni as well as a cocktail from their local area. Judges focused on balance, technique, measurement, communication style and drink presentation.
- Gold: The London Hilton on Park Lane, Rui Serra
- Silver: Hilton Prague, Roman Uhlir
- Bronze: Hilton London Tower Bridge, Simona Gullo
Judges noted the elegance, balance and style of the cocktails Serra created, as well as his passion and creative flair during the presentation. The gold prize is a trip to the Worldclass 2012 bartender competition in Rio de Janeiro.
The Pastry Cup
Finalists prepared an individually plated dessert featuring chocolate, almonds and figs as well as a cake. Judges based their decision on creativity, flavor, artistic technique, originality and presentation.
- Gold: Hilton Prague, Youri Baltaliyski
- Silver: Hilton Strasbourg, Jean Stouvenel
- Bronze: Hilton Vienna, Karina Rizaj
Judges noted Baltaliyski’s organization and creativity as well as the refined detail and elegance of the cake presented. The gold prize is a one-week visit to the Valrhona Universite Chocolat at Tain L’Hermitage.
The Service Cup
Finalists were assessed on their service skills as well as product knowledge and approach.
- Gold: Hilton Vienna Plaza, Thomas Minihold
- Silver: Hilton Istanbul, Jan Coskun
- Bronze: Hilton Malta, Charlo Cachia
Judges noted Minihold’s focus on the guest experience and teamwork, as well as his approach to presentation and service style. The gold prize is a one-week training experience at Galvin at Windows, the Michelin-starred restaurant at London Hilton on Park Lane, training with the restaurant’s General Manager Fred Sirieix.