Family tea producer Dilmah are on a mission to inspire respect for tea amongst culinary professionals around the world. Their Real High Tea Challenge- which started in 2007- reached the Netherlands this month, with its unique emphasis on an indulgent afternoon tea experience that focuses on tea. Contestants were required to understand the terroir of different teas and craft a contemporary high tea. The winning team excelled amongst a group of finalists who demonstrated a fresh perspective on the occasion, and earned the Judges' special acclaim for the standard of their presentations. The result was outstanding given that it is the first time the Challenge is being held in the Netherlands, with 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals awarded.
A team representing the Amstel Amsterdam Hotel offered a Dutch East India Co., inspired high tea, incorporating the shared heritage of Holland and Ceylon. Their ancestors may have thought it strange but Joost Van Der Hoven and Rob Rademaker traded their tea for gold emerging victorious as National Winners at the first Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge in the Netherlands. The duo representing the Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam, where Joost is chef patisserie and Rob the head bartender, put up an inspired performance, beating 4 other short-listed teams to the top. The overall standard was high with Landgoed Duin & Kruidberg and Chefs on Tour also being awarded Gold while Hotel the Grand Amesterdam and Hilton the Hague each received Silver.
The overall winner - Intercontinental Amstel  Amsterdam's  high tea was based on the rich history between Sri Lanka and Netherlands ' mainly the Dutch East India Company and its trading with Ceylon. The menu themed 'The Dutch 'Ceylon Colony Slurp' was crafted to perfection using locally produced excellent quality honest ingredients and spirits from local distilleries and of course herbs and spices straight from the emerald isle of Sri Lanka.
Conducted in collaboration with the World Association of Chefs Societies, this is the first time a Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge was conducted in the Netherlands. The winner were picked by the panel of judges which comprised of the Black Hat Chef Bernd Uber, Director Dilmah and the Dilmah School of Tea Dilhan C. Fernando and award-winning mixologist and Dilmah tea sommelier Robert Schinkel.
Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge is Dilmah's search for the ultimate 21st century real high tea. A part of the Dilmah Tea Gastronomy initiative, the Challenge aims to inspire Chefs and hospitality professionals around the world through knowledge of real tea.

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