Hilton's best F&B team of the year found in Dubai

The Hilton Worldwide regional F&B Masters crowned the best of its crop
The jubilant team at the awards ceremony.
The jubilant team at the awards ceremony.

Hilton Worldwide crowned the region’s best food and beverage teams and mixologists during an awards ceremony at the newly opened luxury hotel, Conrad Dubai - Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residences was F&B team of the year, while Giovanni Bavajee from Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa won mixologist of the year.

Judged on taste, composition, service practicality, presentation and consistency, competing chefs and mixologists recreated and served their qualifying dish or beverage to the panel of expert judges during round one of the finals. The competition intensified throughout round two, when each competitor was presented with a ‘black box’ of unknown ingredients from which they had to create and serve dishes and drinks using their originality and gastronomic flair.

The competition, which is in its third year, was judged by a panel of industry experts, and the winners were announced in front of an audience of 400 industry leaders, media and senior Hilton Worldwide representatives.

Head chef, Matias Alaya and his dedicated team at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residences were crowned as ‘F&B Team of the Year’ after showcasing outstanding talent in the kitchen and creating and serving a mix of delectable, creative and original dishes. After recreating a delicious Indonesian marinated lamb skewer and morels in round one of the competition, the winning food and beverage team used their skill and ingenuity to impress the judges, producing a pan seared rump with Chinese beef tong and potato foam from a box of mystery ingredients.

Giovanni Bavajee from Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa mixed tantalizing textures and flavors, presenting an array of mouthwatering beverages to be awarded as Hilton Worldwide’s ‘Mixologist of the Year’.

Simon Lazarus, vice president, food & beverage, Hilton Worldwide MEA, said: “Huge congratulations to the winners of the Hilton Worldwide F&B Masters 2013! Each and every team gave their all today and we are delighted to be able to celebrate their talent and creativity and impress some of our industry’s most well-known personalities.

“We are proud to acknowledge the very best culinary and mixology teams and delighted that the Hilton Worldwide F&B Masters provides an ideal platform to nurture the growing number of talented individuals in our restaurants and bars.”

‘F&B Team of the Year’ head chef, Matias Alaya, said: “The Middle East and Africa is home to some of the world’s greatest chefs and culinary teams, so having the opportunity to be recognized not only amongst my peers, but also amongst some of the industry’s most respected professionals, is a huge honor. Creating incredible food is my passion and I am lucky to be able to do that on a daily basis at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residences.”

Giovanni Bavajee, ‘Mixologist of the Year’ 2013, said: “Creating sensational beverages is what my job is all about. Drinks are as important as food when it comes to awakening the senses and setting tastes buds alight. My winning creations were inspired by an infusion of unique and refreshing ingredients and I am thrilled to be honored with this title with such strong competition from my peers.”

The 2013 F&B Masters finalists battled it out against 63 properties across 19 countries in the Middle East and Africa region to compete in the grand finale.

F&B team of the year winner was Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Residences, followed by first runner up Hilton Durban, and second runner up Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi. Mixologist of the Year was from Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, with first runner up from Hilton Seychelles Northholme Resort & Spa, with second runners up from Conrad Cairo and Hilton Addis Ababa.

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