The Revolution that swept across 14 countries over 8 years has finally come to fruition as the transformation of traditions in tea was set in motion with the crowning of the world’s very first Real Tea Champons on the 4th of July 2015 in Sri Lanka. Laurent Loudeac & Camille Furminieux from Museum Art Hotel New Zealand emerged as the winners of the Dilmah Real High Tea Global Challenge with the presence of His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Managing Director WorldChefs Ragnar Fridrikkson, Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando and his sons Dilhan and Malik.
The Global Champion of the Challenge, the Museum Art Hotel New Zealand was awarded in recognition of excellence in the appreciation of tea, tea inspired gastronomy and mixology, in honouring the influence of nature in tea, and in crafting these into a luxurious experience that defines afternoon tea in the 21st century. Featuring the theme ‘The Meeting of the Senses’, the innovative use of tea catering to the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and sound was especially commended by the judges. The Dilmah Chamomile Tea spray that the participants prepared by themselves and the chilled peppermint tea infused o’shibori refreshed the judges and set the mood to truly enjoy the high tea in a relaxed environment. The first course Silver Jubilee Ceylon Ginger, Honey & Mint tea consommé, Confit duck leg tortellini astounded the judges with its subtlety of flavour while the second course the palate cleanser with the Silver Jubilee aromatic Earl Grey Tea set the stage for the next course which was Vivid Gentle Minty Green Tea with Clevedon Buffalo milk Feta Espuma, macadamia nougatine and fresh cucumber which was flavourful and sophisticated. They were daring in their presentation attempting a traditional Crepe Suzette live pairing it with Silver Jubilee Almond infused Ceylon Pekoe Digestive a perfectly balanced and an inspired pairing.
The second overall The Hong Kong Cricket Club presented a Real High Tea inspired by the celebration of Hong Kong’s return to China after 150 years. The table setting included the country flags as well as elements representing present day Hong Kong. The favourite course of all the judges was the finale – Apple Welsh Cakes paired with Nuwara Eliya Afternoon Tea. The Welsh cakes were in honour of the Welsh guard – the last official army to live in Hong Kong. Peter Kuruvita stated that the Welsh Cakes should replace scones used in high tea occasions everywhere and for Simon Gault it was just perfect.
Café Turri from Chile was awarded the third overall of the challenge for their innovative and culturally diverse high tea presentation of which their Dilmah Earl Grey Beer was the highlight of the day. Featuring a warm and welcoming uniquely Chilean table setting, their empanada pairing with Dilmah Ceylon Original Breakfast Tea mocktail was commented by judge Peter Kuruvita as the “best empanadas I’ve ever had”.
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Dilmah Global High Tea Champion
Team – 8 – New Zealand ’13 Museum Art Hotel
Laurent Loudeac & Camille Furminieux
2nd Overall Winner
Team – 21 – Hong Kong – Hong Kong Cricket Club
Jason Chan Yee Chiu & Ho Wing Hong
3rd Overall Winner
Team – 14 – Chile – Café Turri
Cristian Gomez & Catalina Venegas
|1||Netherlands||Restaurant Vermeer||Vilmos Dohnal & Wesley Schipper|
|4||Australia||Qantas Lounges by Pullman||Geoffrey Laws & Shaun Thomson|
|5||Australia||Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge Winners – 2012||Selvana Chelvanaigum & Ian Jones|
|7||Australia||Stamford Plaza Brisbane||Misaki Montgomery & Natalie Noriega|
|12||Singapore||Tess Bar & Kitchen||Martin Wong & Lee Zhang An|
|17||UAE||Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management||Max Rauch & Michael Kitts|
|18||France||Institute Paul Bocuse||Pierre-Jean Arpurt & Thibaut Idenn|
|19||Macau||MGM Macau||Kenny Chen & Ellen Dong|
|20||Hong Kong||Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong||Alex Ng Wai Kee & Ernest Wong|
|8||New Zealand||Museum Art Hotel||Laurent Loudeac & Camille Furminieux|
|14||Chile||Café Turri||Cristian Gomez & Catalina Venegas|
|21||Hong Kong||Hong Kong Cricket Club||Jason Chan Yee Chiu & Ho Wing Hong|
|2||Netherlands||Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge Winners ? 2013||Joost Van den Hoven & Rob Rademaker|
|3||Malaysia||Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur||Adli Bin Kasi & Yam An Nie|
|6||Australia||Shangri-La Hotel Sydney||Althea Eley & Felicity Goodchild|
|9||New Zealand||The Langham, Auckland||Volker Marecek & Benjamin McManus|
|11||Oman||Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort And Spa||Alpesh Dias & Sunil Kumar|
|13||Indonesia||Shangri-La Hotel Surabaya||Arie Yulianto & Yuli Hariyanto|
|15||Thailand||Shangri-La Bangkok||Reinolf Moessl & Wilai Tangprasertsuk|
|16||Sri Lanka||Waters Edge||Buddika Samarasekera & Ishafahan Dain|
|10||UAE||Radisson Blu Hotel||Dammika Herath & Ronaldo Sadiz|