Thursday, 15 September 2011
The West Coast Academy of Hospitality and Tourism of Perth, WA is the overall national winner of the Dilmah Professional High Tea Challenge in Melbourne. The silver medal was awarded to Epicure in Melbourne, VIC and the bronze medal to C Grill at the Chifley Hotel in Wollongong, NSW.
Dilmah Tea recently hosted tea culinary competitions for both the professional and consumer markets with the intention of promoting great understanding of tea and thereby authenticity and indulgence to afternoon tea. Through its largest professional competition yet, Dilmah challenged Australian chefs to put the ‘tea’ back into ‘High Tea’. The professional hospitality industry was given the opportunity to unleash its culinary creativity and demonstrate an understanding and respect for tea, its preparation, variety and terroir.
Participants in the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge placed a commendable emphasis on the use of ingredients sourced from local artisans. This reflected the judging criteria, which recognised the use of sustainable ingredients and support for smaller, family and artisanal producers. The Dilmah Challenge required entrants to state the origin of their ingredients and encouraged the use of sustainably sourced components.
Dilmah founder, Merrill J. Fernando, explained the reasons behind his commitment to Dilmah’s Real High Tea Challenge, “Australian cuisine is on a par with the finest the world has to offer. As a Teamaker who desires most to share the pleasure in real tea, I wanted to challenge Australian chefs and food industry professionals to use their culinary creativity to craft an authentic High Tea. I devoted my life to tea, knowing that in this natural herb are unparalleled health benefits, my sons and I want to share with Australian tea drinkers and chefs our knowledge of tea and to promote awareness of the benefits that tea offers.”
Five regional competitions were held in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland during August. To enter, each professional culinary team of two from any recognised hotel, restaurant or culinary school, had to use the selection of Dilmah teas listed in the guidelines to produce original recipes and pairings. They were assessed for originality, creativity, taste, respect and understanding of the specific tea, harmony of flavour, presentation and style.
Chad Tilbury and Daniel Moore, contestants representing the Overall Winner for Australia in 2011 – The West Coast Academy of Hospitality and Tourism – were selected based on points awarded to each team nationally. They were awarded a trip to Sri Lanka for six days, which will include visits to Dilmah Tea Gardens and a holiday at Ceylon Tea Trails where they will enjoy Relais & Châteaux hospitality at one of the world’s finest luxury resorts. During their visit the winning teams will showcase their Dilmah High Tea menu at a celebration at the Colombo Hilton’s Dilmah t-Bar. The Dilmah family and VIP guests will personally host the winners.
Their winning recipes will be published in food magazines and Dilmah publications.