Sunday, September 29, 2013

VTO attends the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show 2013 media conference

On Wednesday 25th September 2013, VTO managers and senior staff attended a media conference organized by the host of the “Salon Culinaire”, the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association. The media conference took place at Chantillys on the Bay and was attended by the National Culinary team, the VTO and media reps (right photo) .  The conference aimed to raise awareness on the annual the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show, which is the largest event of its kind in Vanuatu attracting over 200 registrants competing in cooking as well as front of house, coffee making, bar & waiter, and housekeeping.
The show is designed to develop and better Vanuatu Tourism Industries Chefs & Waiters, Baristas and Barmen & women through good spirited competition against one another. Over the years, the weeklong show has developed skills & confidence of Vanuatu’s tourism related Hospitality & Food and Beverage staff competing in many classes and winning awards.  Winners chosen by international judges will be decided of Four Major Awards which are Moffat Vanuatu Senior Chef of the Year, Victorinox Vanuatu Junior Chef of the Year, Service Professional of the Year (for Wait staff), and the Origin Restaurant Challenge. The best three competitors in the “Chef of the Year” categories, will be selected to be in the 2014 Vanuatu National Culinary Team that will hopefully compete in Australia or New Zealand as did this year’s National Culinary team who competed in New Zealand in August and secured 2 Bronze medals won by chefs Bill Leoonardo and Rueben George - a fantastic first-time achievement for the local chefs! This year’s event will be the 9th since its humble beginning in 2004. The culinary show will run from the 21st to 25th October, introducing 2 new awards this year, which are Student Chef of the Year, to entice student cooks into eventually having a career as a professional chef, and a prize for Front of House sponsored by Vila Distribution. 2013 is by far the biggest show with well over 200 registrants.  The association spokesman Mr Rob Smillie acknowledged the sponsors and said, “To run the competition, it costs around 3 to 4 million vatu in total but the association has had  generous support from sponsors, and largely, Origin as the gas supplier and Platinum or “Executive Chef” sponsor of the event. Without our sponsors and partners support, the show simply can not take place”. Origin Energy is ollowed by three Gold sponsors which are Vanuatu Cattle Company, Nambawan Brewing, Unelco, and TVL. Entries for the Salon Culinaire competition must be submitted by Monday 30th of September, delivered to the reception at Chantilly’s or by post to PO Box 279. For more information, email  or call +678 27079 and ask for the Chefs Association Duty Officer. 
Photo caption: From left to right:  David Holliday (Team Manager & Trainer), Roslyn George (Iririki – Junior) Junior Chef of the Year 2009, Rueben George (Coconut Palms Resort – Senior) Bronze Medal Winner  NZ 2013. Christopher Bulememe (Coconut Palms Resort – Junior), Mayline Dan (Chantillys – Senior)  Senior Chef of the year 2012, Bill Leonardo (Holiday Inn  - Senior) Senior Chef of the year 2011  & bronze Medal winner NZ 2013. Well done chefs!!