On 28 March 2019, Hyatt Hotels Corporation held the global finals of its annual The Good Taste Series cooking competition at Grand Hyatt Singapore. The competition was created to showcase the hotel brand’s dedication to excellence and creativity in F&B, and welcomes all chefs in Hyatt hotels worldwide below the level of executive chef.
The exciting finale featured six different chefs from around the world who emerged triumphant over 220 chefs from Hyatt hotels and resorts in over 40 countries, after rigorous regional elimination rounds across the Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas:
- Lily Liu of Park Hyatt Hangzhou;
- Leandro Minelli of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar;
- Sebong Oh of Grand Hyatt Seoul;
- Jonathan Pasion of Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort;
- Thomas Progeas of Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme; and
- Robert Schielke of Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa.
In manner of Masterchef-esque pressure test or similar, contestants were expected to develop one appetizer and one main dish from a mystery black box of ingredients (namely Australian grass-fed cow, sustainably farmed barramundi, home-grown herbs from Grand Hyatt Singapore as well as organic vegetables from Malaysia). A panel of judges (featuring acclaimed chefs such as Margarita Forés, Bruno Menard, Dave Pynt and Tetsuya Wakuda) would then judge the dishes, with the criteria grounded in taste, technical skills, presentation and creativity.
I had the pleasure to sit as a floor panellist for the event (our grading of the dishes carried a certain weightage in the determination of the eventual winner). The dishes were generally exquisite, with some of them being gloriously plated. “Too complex for the common palate”, a little voice murmured in my head as I penned the number “7” within a certain box on the grading sheet, in a moment that recalled Roald Dahl’s boarding school chocolate-sampling experiences in his autobiography Boy.
Jonathan Pasion of Andaz Maui Wailea Resort eventually emerged victorious with his two creations: The appetiser, Barramundi Tataki “Kilawin”, as well as the main course, Filipino Adobo Australian Grass-Fed Beef Cheeks. Leandro Minelli of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and Thomas Progeas of Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme placed runner-up and second runner-up respectively.
I have always been fairly impressed by the high standards of Hyatt’s F&B concepts across the various Hyatt hotels I have visited in the past few years. My recent experiences at Andaz Singapore’s revamped Alley on 25 and Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit’s Market Café were memorable, and I have always been very fond of the dining concepts at Grand Hyatt Singapore, which continues to be an industry leader in the vegan meat movement in Southeast Asia. The Good Taste Series serves as yet another testament to Hyatt’s commitment to culinary excellence.
This post was written at the invitation of Grand Hyatt Singapore.