Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa executive chef crowned F&B Team of the Year

After an intense and lively competition, the winners of the prestigious Hilton Worldwide Middle East & Africa F&B Masters were honoured  at a glittering finalist event at Hilton Abu Dhabi, UAE.  The competition included two prestigious awards; F&B Team of the Year and Mixologist of the Year. 

Geoffrey Murray, executive chef at the soon-to-be Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa and his dedicated team, were crowned F&B Team of the Year following an inspiring performance in the kitchen and delivering mouth-watering dishes in the high pressured environment.  Despite the fact that Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa has not yet officially opened as Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa, Hilton Worldwide was impressed by what they had seen at the resorts food and beverage outlet and they were encouraged to enter the competition.

Talented professionals battle it out at thrilling competition held at Hilton Abu Dhabi 

Dubai, UAE – 25 October 2012 – After an intense and lively competition, the winners of the prestigious Hilton Worldwide Middle East & Africa (MEA) F&B Masters were honoured  at a glittering finalist event at Hilton Abu Dhabi, UAE.  The competition included two prestigious awards; F&B Team of the Year and Mixologist of the Year. 

After many delicious taste testers by the esteemed panel of judges, the winning teams were announced at an elegant awards dinner. Geoffrey Murray, executive chef at Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa, South Africa, and his dedicated team, were crowned F&B Team of the Year following an inspiring performance in the kitchen and delivering mouth-watering dishes in the high pressured environment.  Meanwhile, for the second year running, Giovanni Bavajee from Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, UAE stirred, muddled and tantalized taste buds with his creations to once again win Mixologist of the Year. 

The competition put skills, creativity and innovation to the test.  The morning session saw the entrants recreate their original recipe submissions which had landed them a place in the finals, followed by a highly anticipated “black-box competition” in the afternoon where teams selected mystery ingredients to prepare an outstanding dish and cocktail in a nail-biting time frame.  

Simon Lazarus, vice president, food & beverage, Hilton Worldwide MEA said: “Acknowledging and celebrating our food and beverage teams at Hilton Worldwide MEA is the motivation behind the F&B Masters.  It is an honour to host the event for a second time as the momentum has been building amongst our colleagues since last year’s ceremony.  The calibre of talent this year has been phenomenal and it is a joy to see the level of dedication, effort and thought shared throughout the competition. At Hilton Worldwide, we continue to support and develop our team members through their journeys with us and the F&B Masters is a fantastic platform to showcase their talents and capabilities.” 

The victorious teams won their place at the finals against 56 properties across 19 countries in the MEA region.  The full winners lists were:

Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa, South Africa, winner, F&B Team Of The Year

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, UAE, 1st runner up, F&B Team Of The Year

Hilton Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2nd runner up, F&B Team Of The Year

Geoffrey Murray, executive chef, Conrad Pezula Resort & Spa said: “As a recent newcomer to the Hilton Worldwide family of hotels, I’m delighted that on our first attempt at entering a major international competition, the Conrad Pezula team were crowned champions and we did so against such tough competition.” 

In Mixology, the winners were:

Giovanni Bavajee, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, UAE winner, Mixologist Of The Year

Don Madusanka, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, UAE  1st runner up, Mixologist Of The Year

Anoop Vallatheri, Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa 2nd runner up, Mixologist Of The Year 

Giovanni Bavajee, mixologist at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa said: “It’s a huge honour  to be voted number one mixologist at Hilton Worldwide MEA, for the second time. This year’s event, particularly the mystery black box competition, was intense and challenging but hugely enjoyable and I am already looking forward to the third F&B Masters event next year!”

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 93 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands.  Its brands are comprised of more than 3,900 hotels and 640,000 rooms in 90 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®.  

Hilton Worldwide currently operates 56 hotels and one convention centre in the Middle East & Africa, totalling more than 17,000 rooms across 19 countries. There are 18 hotels in Egypt, one hotel and one convention centre in Jordan, ten hotels in the UAE, six in Saudi Arabia, two in Lebanon and one each in Oman,Qatar and Kuwait, plus another 12 hotels in Africa and 3 hotels in the Indian Ocean.

Hilton Worldwide has a signed development pipeline of an additional 54 properties across Middle East & Africa in the U.A.E, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Uganda, Nigeria and Cape Verde.

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