Cambodia National Hospitality Competitions 2014
In October, the Cambodia Restaurant Association came together with e Cambodia Hotel Association and Cambodia Chefs Federation under the umbrella of the Cambodia Tourism Federation to host the Cambodia National Hospitality Competitions 2014. This year the competitions included: Barista, Bartender, Bed Making, Cake Decoration, Cambodia National Culinary Challenge, 1st International Culinary Team Challenge, Floral Design, Sommelier, Table Setting Competitions and Waiterthon (female & male). The competitions were held within the CAMFOOD CAMHOTEL 2014 trade show held from the 8th to 10th October hosted by AMB Events Group.
CAMFOOD & CAMHOTEL & Competitions Press Conference
The first press conference was held at Sofitel Phnom Penh Prokeethra, introducing the main organizers and the initial format for the competitions. AMB underlined the opportunity of an international trade show platform for suppliers and purchasers to come together. Hak Lina (CRA), LUU Meng (CHA) an SONG Teng (CRA) along with Chef Mawa discussed the different competitions and encouraged all hotels and restaurants to particulate. The competitions is a wonderful platform for staff to demonstrate their skills and network with others in the industry.
Official Opening of Camfood/Camhotel 2014
Cambodia National Hospitality Competitions 2014 in conjunction with CAMFOOD CAMHOTEL ’14 was officially opened by HE Dr. Thong Kong, Minster of Tourism. Andrew Siow (AMB Events Group) outlined the overall program for the three day trade show. LUU Meng (CHA) outlined the competitions competitons schedule which began early afternoon to run for two days culminating in the awards on the afternoon of the 10th.
Twenty competitors vied for the honour of gold in the Barista Competition. Each competitor had to make three kinds of drinks: Espresso, Cappuccino and a Blended Signature Drink. A special thanks goes to the company Kofi, for their sponsoring of all the coffee equipment for the competition.
Fourteen competitors were required to make three drinks during the competition. The cocktail and mocktail were drawn just prior to the individual competing. The third drink was their own creation and had to include Sombai Cambodian Wine.
Eleven teams entered the bed making competition. Each team was made up of two people. Their challenge was to make two beds, one in a traditional style and one in a duvet or modern style. They were allowed five minutes to make each bed. A special thank you to Sofitel for supplying the beds.
Seven teams of two people competed in the Cake Decoration Competition. Each team was made up of two people. Using a chocolate base, their challenge was to decorate the cake incorporating a Cambodian fruit theme. Competitors were given 2 hours to complete their cake design.
Twelve teams of three competed with eight from Phnom Penh and four from Siem Reap. All ingredients were provided by the organizers with competitors creating four dishes: Pomelo Salad, Samlor Korkoh, Fish Amok and Nom Lum Orng Chek. Competitors won additional points for using traditional methods of preparation.. They had three hours to complete all four dishes. Judging was both on their preparation method and blind tasting.
Held at Raffles Hotel Le Royal under the supervision of Alan Palmer, eleven teams of three created a culinary surprise competing in appetizer, main entree, dessert and overall. Under the international points system, all teams placed within the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories.
It was a wonderful event that culminated into a stunning dinner where each table experienced a specific team’s culinary creations.
Floral Design Competition
Competitors were required to create a floral arrangement in situ which would be appropriate for a center piece for a hotel lobby. Teams from Raffles Hotel Le Royal, NagaWorld and Sofitel Phnom Penh Prokeethra participated.
The Sommelier Competition involved three steps. Round One was a written test measuring competitor’s general knowledge. Round Two was a wine tasting test for competitors to identify the providence of a wine. Round Three involved the entire process of a guest selecting a wine and then having it served to himself and three guests. Seventeen people competed.
Table Setting Competition
Each competitor designed a table setting for two around a specific themed menu. This year’s theme was Valentines’ Day. Points were given for menu, table setting design, originality and technical against the service used to the menu. They must set a table for two people with a suggested menu. The theme is a Valentines Lunch or Dinner. The total number of competitors was six. Each competitor was allowed an assistant though this person couldn’t actually assist during the actual competition.
The Waiterthon competition is a race where waiters and waitresses travel with a round tray containing a glass filled to a specific level of liquid and a bottle of beer 3/4 full. Competitors cannot run but walk at a fast pace. They may only use one hand to carry the tray and cannot use the other arm to steady to the tray. The female Waiterthon had 17 competitors and the male Waiterthon had 27 competitors.