Chance to impress
HOFEX presents several events where people can participate and learn about the industry. The Hong Kong International Wine Challenge (HKIWC) was started in 2009. It is co-organised by the Hong Kong Sommelier Association and this year has received more than 250 entries from such countries as Chile, France, Hungary, South Africa and Austria to compete within their own category. The other aspect of the HKIWC is the food pairing with Chinese provincial cuisines from Sichuan, Shanghai and Guangdong.
Another popular competition is the Grand Barista Championship where world-class baristas flex their creative and artistic flair to produce a series of black coffees, milk coffees, non-espresso coffees, express lattes and their own creations, all within 10 minutes. There will be two heats today and tomorrow, and the final eight will go on to battle for the title of 2011 Hong Kong Grand Barista.
For alcoholic beverages, the Allworld Open Cup - Creative Classic and Bartending Flair challenges world-class bartenders to show off their skills in creating innovative cocktails.
The Hong Kong International Culinary Classic (HKICC), sponsored by Hongkong Electric, is considered one of the top five culinary competitions in the world, as it is endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies. As a result, the event has an oversubscription of entries and competitions will run the entire five days, from 8am to 10pm, in order to fit everyone in. 'We had to turn down more than 150 people,' says Daniel Cheung, general manager of Hong Kong Exhibition Services. This year contestants will be representing 13 countries.
This edition of HOFEX will also include a new category in the HKICC called the Dream Team Challenge. In each team, the waiter, bartender and chef must be able to service and delight their guests, who are the judges, to create a combined food and beverage experience.
The other events are more informative in nature, including the inaugural edition of the Asian Hospitality Technology Educational Conference. Co-organised with Hospitality Financial Technology Professionals, which is headquartered in the United States, the conference will present an Asian programme to discuss such issues as cloud computing, data security, mobile technology, how to create loyalty from customers, and how to use technology to make guests feel comfortable.
Cheung adds that as part of the programme, attendees will get to visit Hotel Icon, which has opened in Tsim Sha Tsui East. It is considered a hi-tech hotel and participants will get to see how advanced it is.
Finally, the Regional Hotel General Managers Forum is strictly by invitation only and for general managers or vice-presidents to get together and share hotel management concepts in different regions.