Another chapter was opened in the culinary history of the United Arab Emirates this week with the debut of the 'Afternoon Tea for the 21st Century' contest by family tea company Dilmah. Challenging Chefs and Hospitality professionals to reimagine tea and the most popular occasion for tea, the contest was judged at GulfHost with the support of ICCA, with spectacular culinary and mixology, novel presentation and great tea producing truly 21st Century Afternoon Tea.

Judges Peter Kuruvita (Culinary), Tomek Malek (Mixology) and Dilhan C. Fernando (Tea) were so impressed with the tea inspiration on display over the two days that four Gold Medals were awarded, one Silver, one Bronze and 3 Certificate level awards. The overall winners were Patrick Njenga Mihiu and Chaminda Roziro from Pullman Deira City Centre, with Gold Medals also awarded to Ruslan Svezhenko and Ramesh Hashan of Aloft Dubai City Centre, Julian Mejia and Carlos Morales of Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi and Abhinav Desai and Ahmed Elgamal of Radisson Blu Deira Creek.

Sarwar Alam and Clinton Vadual of Madinat Jumeirah received Silver Medals and Media Rotana of Crystal Caranza and Ajay Pillai were awarded Bronze Medals. Certificates were awarded to Vipin Nair and Mohomed Rasool Deen Mohomed Nabeel of Amwaj Rotana Hotel JBR, Solongo and Cynthia Dizon from Media Rotana Dubai and Thappawarige Piyarathna.

Category Awards for Best Table Layout, Best Iced Tea, Best Tea & Food Pairing, The Perfect Cup of Tea, Best Menu, Best Tea Cocktail and Best Tea Inspired Food were also presented.

“Now this journey of tea has brought so many revelations, chefs rarely get new ingredients. We had any ingredient we liked, anytime. Then tea came along, and it has given new excitement into our culinary repertoire,” commented Peter Kuruvita, Celebrity Chef and Dilmah brand ambassador.

The modern interpretation of afternoon tea has been compromised by an over emphasis on food, forgetting the central element- tea. Dilmah which pioneered this concept of a real high tea in 2007, is now challenging chefs and tea aficionados to understand tea, its variety and the limitless possibilities in tea gastronomy and tea mixology.

“The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge stirred up the world of tea in early 2000’s. Tea is luxury. Tea is indulgence. Tea is without parallel. It was clear that there is no better way to express the diversity, subtle influence of nature on taste, flavour, fragrance, character of tea than through gastronomy. Dilmah ‘ATF21’ is a contemporary approach to redefining the 21st Century High Tea and to enhance the importance of tea as an ingredient and as a pairing within gastronomy,” said Fernando.

“It all started with a desire to offer tea to a new generation. Tea with style, substance and natural goodness. We chose to transform the world’s tea ceremony – afternoon tea. The most popular global tea drinking occasion so clearly defined by 18th Century tradition, more than two centuries later,” continued Fernando.

Dilmah has had a long and fruitful relationship with Dubai. More than 9.6 million Dilmah tea bags are being served every year on Emirates flights. Associated with each other for more than 2 decades now, both brands have experienced immense growth from when they started out. With the help of Emirates, Dilmah has been served to passengers travelling to more than 150 destinations.

Gold - Overall Winner/ Best Pairing/ Perfect cup

Hotel: Pullman Deira City Centre
Team: Patrick Njenga Mihiu, Chaminda Roziro

Gold - Overall Winner/ Best Pairing/ Perfect cup

Gold - Best Table

Hotel: Aloft DCC
Team: Ruslan Svezhenko, Ramesh Hashan

Gold - Best Table

Gold - Best Iced Tea

Hotel: Park Hyatt Auh
Team: Julian Mejia, Carlos Morales

Gold - Best Iced Tea

Gold - Best Menu

Hotel: Radisson Blu Deira Creek
Team: Abhinav Desai, Ahmed Elgamal

Gold - Best Menu

Silver - Best Tea inspired food item

Hotel: Madinat Jumeirah C&I Jumeirah Hospitality
Team: Sarwar Alam, Clinton Vadual

Gold - Best Menu

Bronze

Hotel: Media Rotana Team 1
Team: Crystal Caranza, Ajay Pillai

Bronze

Certificate

Hotel: Amwaj Rotana
Team: Mohomed Rasool Deen Mohomed Nabeel, Vipin Nair

Certificate

Hotel: Hilton Jumeirah
Team: Thappawarige Piyarathna, Shaban Ahmad

Certificate

Hotel: Media Rotana Team 2
Team: Solongo, Cynthia Dizon

Certificate

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