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Published since 1976

Vol 37 december 2012

NOW WE’RE TALKING Technological integration means enhanced operations

SUGAR RUSH Classic desserts receive a blast of Asian innovation
hong Kong sAR china singapore Malaysia Thailand Rest of Asia hK$50 RMb50 s$15 RM30 bt300 us$10

MAKING THE GRADE Options expand for wannabe hotel school grads


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elcome to the December issue of AHCT, the most trusted source of information on what’s happening in the Asian hospitality industry. Further evidence in this issue, if needed, of the growing self-reliance of the Asian industry, not only because of reduced arrivals from the West in the face of the economic slowdown, but in more general terms. Firstly, Liana Cafolla’s look at hospitality training highlights the excellence of Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s school of Hotel


& Tourism Management. It is now ranked number two in the world for its research and scholarship. Secondly, an illuminating quote in Victoria Burrow’s incisive snapshot of the Indian hospitality industry from the GM of the new Kempinski Ambience – “India is possibly the only country that doesn’t need foreign guests – we have so many people here, and they are ready to pay for luxury.” Also in this issue – character resorts, foie gras, dishwashers, desserts and much more.

We need to hear from hospitality professionals about the constant developments in the industry, good or bad, so please do send your comments and suggestions in to: And finally, a very happy Christmas and successful New Year to all our readers!

EDITOR Daniel Creffield DESIGN by Koon Ming Tang CONTRIbUTORS Victoria Burrows Liana Cafolla Zara Horner Rebecca Lo Robin Lynam Jane Ram ASSOCIATE PUbLISHER Sharon Knowler ADvERTISING SALES MANAGER Stanley Cheng CIRCULATION ExECUTIvE Becky Chau CHAIRMAN JS Uberoi DIRECTOR Gaurav Kumar
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singAPoRe chefs AssociATion

hong Kong bAKeRy & confecTioneRy AssociATion

hong Kong MAiTRe d’hoTel AssociATion

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hong Kong bARTendeRs AssociATion

shAnghAi chefs AssociATion

MyAnMAR chefs AssociATion

MAlAysiAn AssociATion of hoTels

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AsiAn Hotel & CAtering times is publisHed montHly by tHomson press Hong Kong ltd (tpHK) The opinions expressed in Asian Hotel & Catering Times do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher or the publication. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this publication, no responsibility can be accepted by the publisher, editors and staff, agents and contributors for omissions, typographical or printers errors, inaccuracies or changes howsoever caused. The editors reserve the right to edit any material submitted at their discretion. All materials published remain the property of TPHK. Reproduction without permission by any means is strictly prohibited. Correspondence should be addressed to The Editor, Asian Hotel & Catering Times, Room 1205-6, 12/F, Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2815 9111 Fax: (852) 2851 1933. Fantasy Printing Ltd. 1/F, Tin Fung Industial Mansion, 63 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong. All rights reserved (c) 2012 Thomson Press Hong Kong Ltd

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AHCT december 2012


V o l u m e 3 7 December 2012

Forbidden pleasures


MANAGEMENT Education programmes in Asia matching the best of the best MARKET REPORT Still a lot to play for in India

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DRINK Bring on the bubbles EQUIPMENT The art of illumination


winter wonderland, Mandarin oriental hong Kong


Seat of learning

47 48 EvENTS AND ExHIbITIONS Hofex previewed Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair reviewed APPOINTMENTS Who’s moving where 50


NEWS INDUSTRy Pairing port; what’s happening with wine; the weather; festive fare PRODUCT Energy saving mini-bars; surround sound; remote reservations; Parisian style; holiday beauty tips CULINARy The art of chocolate; keeping it in the NZ family; Christmas coffee, gin and Grand Marnier



Now on iPad

Available on App store

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TECHNOLOGy Points of interest in Point of Sale DESIGN Rarified resorts FOOD Foie gras – naughty but nice Asian desserts tickling taste buds

JANUARy • Meat • Luxury linens • Carpets • Sales and marketing


Advertisers’ Index
Alpha International Barry Callebaut Global Search International Gulfood HIFI HK Polytechnic University Lactalis Laureate Higher Education Group Leader Radio Technologies Meiko Pevonia Philips Smart Candle Asia Zieher 31 21 & 23 9 32 & 33 49 IBC OBC 13 29 35 16 & 17 IFC 37 27

FEbRUARy • Management contracts • Indonesia • Beds & bedding • Combi ovens


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AHCT december 2012



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predicting increased sales, compared to only 43% in 2011. Among other key findings, most sought-after wines in the current economic climate are fruity, light to medium bodied varietals. With lowest cost wines on the ascendancy, the survey notes: “The premium wine category faces the impending prospect of a fall in popularity.” Organic wines follow a similar trend in falling popularity, with only 29% of professionals anticipating sales growth, compared to 35% in 2011. Traditional market leaders France, Italy and Spain are being increasingly challenged by Chile, Portugal and Austria. Sopexa notes: “French wines remain in the lead for festive and ‘appropriate occasions’, Italian wines are deemed ahead of the curve in terms of innovation, which is seen as a point of weakness in France. “Enhancing the quality image of country of origin, promoting the quality and style of the wines, and presenting festive wines as part of a certain lifestyle all came out as key criteria to taking the lead in the wine market.” Finally, the growth of the screw cap seems accepted by the majority of professionals (56%).
Nicolas Heath of Fladgate Partnership


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Wine sales – ‘cautious optimism’

Singapore German restaurant franchise Brotzeit International has 13 outlets scheduled to open in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong over the next five years, following a successful launch in Shanghai.

According to the annual Wine Trade Monitor 2012 by food and beverage industry marketing agency Sopexa, wine industry professionals are cautiously confident of increased sales as budget wines gain popularity in the challenging global economy. Sopexa’s latest worldwide survey of how the industry perceives current wine market forces found 57% of professionals predict increased sales. However, the mixed views are notably more cautious than last year – when 67% “were bullish”. Described as “deliberated optimism”, the Japanese market appears to be looking up, with 70% of professionals

Entrepreneur and founder of JIA Boutique Hotels, Yenn Wong, has opened no reservation, no service charge tapas bar, 22 Ships with Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton at the helm. Atherton’s restaurants include Esquina and Pollen in Singapore, and Table No. 1 in Shanghai. 22 Ships will be his first Hong Kong kitchen.

137 Pillars House Chiang Mai, part of SilverNeedle Hospitality, has opened Palette. Located in the hotel’s original teak homestead, which dates back to the 1800s, the restaurant seats up to 20 diners. The menu was created by guest chef, Tammasak Chootong. Exhibitions of Asian artists will be featured regularly in Palette.

The Wine Institute of California recently held tasting events in Hong Kong to showcase more than 100 brands. Pic G

Euan Mackay of Symington Family Estates

Port pouring into Asia
The third annual Hong Kong Vintage Port Academy (VPA) workshops and tastings were held recently, led by Nicolas Heath of Fladgate Partnership and Euan Mackay of Symington Family Estates. This year also saw the launch of the VPA in Shanghai. The aim of The Vintage Port Academy is to increase enjoyment of vintage port, and knowledge of its rich and unique culture and history, to wine professionals and consumers in Asia and elsewhere through educational seminars. The academy was formed by the classic Vintage Port houses, Croft, Dow’s, Fonseca, Graham’s, Taylor’s and Warre’s. All family owned and some dating back to the origins of the port trade over 300 years ago, these six historic firms chose Hong Kong, as one of the world’s great wine capitals, to launch The Vintage Port Academy. To demonstrate the true versatility of port with food, workshop participants were treated to a lunch featuring carefully selected Chinese and Western dishes paired with different ports.

Locatel, European provider of interactive multimedia systems for the hospitality sector, has acquired Intertouch Europe, along with its suite of solutions for internet access, in-room entertainment technologies and managed web platforms for hotels.

Storming the kitchen
The recent super storms which ravaged parts of the US east coast had an unexpected knock-on effect in Hong Kong. Celebrity chef Michael White’s highly anticipated guest appearance at Al Molo Ristorante Italiano was cancelled when he was forced to remain in New York and deal with damage to several of his restaurants. However, already committed to the promotion, the restaurant’s head chef, Antonio Di Cesare, who only arrived at the restaurant last month, needed to quickly pull White’s signature menu together. “The kitchen team was great. Michael White and I were both taught by Valentino Marcattilii, we have worked together for some time. The way we think and cook Italian food is similar. [So] I recognised the dishes right away.”

Phuket boutique resort and spa, Trisara has opened its new oceanfront seafood restaurant, Trisara Seafood. The menu incorporates sustainable, fresh seafood and produce from both Thailand and the Mediterranean.

Cafe Deco at The Peak, has unveiled its upgraded art deco-inspired decor and an array of new features, including a patisserie and limited edition menu.

The Mira Hong Kong, together with Hong Kong Interior Design Association has announced winners of the competition-based exhibition Nurturing Interior Design Talents. Part of the 2012 Hong Kong Design Year, the event provided a platform for future designers to showcase their talent in hotel furniture design.

Marking its first anniversary, Hong Kong wine retailer etc wine shops has launched burgundy etc. Following the thematic model set by bordeaux etc and champagne etc the shop focuses on premium wines from its namesake region.

Michael White

General Hotel Management has signed on with Nordenwald Co to develop the Chedi Tomakomai, a 60-room luxury hotel and wellness complex on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. Projected opening is 2015.

Antonio Di Cesare


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Christmas promotions
Interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates has unveiled its latest project, Four Seasons Hotel Beijing. The 313-room flagship property’s linear, bold architecture provides a backdrop to abstract art, “decorative light fixtures and unexpected materials, in a union of Imperial Chinese elements and contemporary design”.


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The School of Hotel & Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has launched its Winter School Executive Development in Hospitality programme. Running next month, the schedule comprises six indepth modules, which include revenue management for non-revenue managers, hotel asset management, product and service innovation in the hospitality industry managing and working with Generation Y. Participants who successfully complete each module in the programme will receive a Hong Kong PolyU Winter School

Hilton Worldwide has opened the 434room Conrad Seoul in South Korea.

Wanting to “reach out” and “stir interest” in the product, makers of Sweet Bordeaux recently participated in co-events, and organised gatherings in Hong Kong, including the Sweet Bordeaux night at 1881 Heritage Hullett House and a booth at the fourth edition of the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival, where 23,000 sample tastings were sold, a triple increase on last year.

At the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, steaming mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, children’s ballet performances, a visit from Santa Claus, a festive chamber choir, a “magical array of decorations”, special menus at all restaurants, and the Hong Kong Winter Wonderland offering ice skating, rides, and attractions will combine to “create a treasured experience” this Christmas. A series of accommodation packages are also on offer and for those wishing to dine at home, the hotel will prepare the entire holiday meal.

Throughout the month of December, Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Sha Tin is going all out to celebrate the festive season. Patisserie presents an array of goodies such as Christmas fruit cake, chocolate log, stollen, gingerbread with cookies as well as festive deluxe hampers, and special orders such as sugar-free recipes and other dietary needs catered for. Gourmet chocolatier, JeanPaul Hévin is “playing with fire” In addition, the hotel will have a special spa accommodation this Christmas with a festive collection wrapped in seasonal package, and the spa will offer festive gift sets of bath fireball packaging, including a green and red macaroon, newly salts, skincare, certificates and flavoured ganache, and special candles. Special menus will be offered at all F&B outlets. hot chocolate. As well as a myriad of festive favourites, Island Shangri-La Hong Kong’s hampers give purchasers the opportunity to win an Audi TT Coupe.

Philip Schaetz, senior vice president of sales & marketing and Winnie Chiu, president & executive director, at the official launch of Dorsett Hospitality International

Eddy Leung, Alan Palmer and Mark Hellbach have judged the MLA Pencil Box Culinary Challenge, where young chefs created two courses using beef oyster blade and lamb rump in three hours. Lee Kwok Sum from Hong Kong Culinary Academy was crowned champion with Shum Ming Kit from the Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre and To Hoi Ngan, Kenix, Hong Kong Culinary Academy first and second runner-up respectively.

Formerly Kosmopolito Hotels International, Dorsett Hospitality International now comprises three brands across all existing properties and future developments. The company currently operates 17 hotels, and eight more are underway, including in Zhongshan, Chengdu, Zhuji, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. Dorsett plans to open a UK property in 2014. Raffles Hotels & Resorts will soft open Raffles Makati in Metro Manila this month with a grand opening in February 2013.

Dining company Woolly Pig Concepts has opened its second Hong Kong venture, Sal Curioso.The “journey of surrealism” initially conceptualised at the company’s first outing, Sal Curioso depicts the dream world of a character passionate about food. The 90-seat restaurant showcases the make-believe character’s inventions such as a chicken which lays avocados, and squids that turn into popcorn. The sharing menu draws on food from Spain, Italy and South America. To celebrate its first anniversary, Hong Kong’s “first authentic northern French brasserie”, Brasserie de L’ile, is offering a special festive season four-course menu. Chef Bruno Gautier has included pan-fried foie gras and scallop with a whiskey reduction, beef tenderloin and king prawn chorizo crust, deep fried goat’s cheese served with a walnut salad, and chocolate and orange serving a special mousse cake.

InterContinental Hong Kong is offering holiday gift ideas and a new “Signature Holiday Collection” of gourmet gift hampers, including an organic basket, proceeds from which will be donated to the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.


Currently Conducting Workshops;Advanced Hotel Butler Skills Residential Household Management Advanced Housekeeping Train the Butler Trainer Train the Hospitality Trainer Successful Management & Leadership skills Conflict & Complaint Management

Honi Honi, Hong Kong’s first tiki cocktail lounge, has opened.

Banyan Tree Macau is celebrating the festive season with lavish menus at European fine dining restaurant Belon and signature Thai restaurant Saffron throughout December, as well as Christmas hampers and special spa merchandise.

Especially Designed for Luxury Resorts, Villas and private residences
Contact Wayne Fitzharris, Director & Owner 44 (0) 2077 0 33 666


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Glion campus overlooking Lake Geneva


Integrated approach at Hotel Icon
Wholly owned by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel & Tourism Management, Hotel Icon is a unique, purpose-built teaching and research hotel that offers totally integrated teaching, learning and research in a fully operational hotel environment. The hotel is the core partner for SHTM’s internship programmes, and students rotate between departments for set periods and under close supervision. The elite management programme is the newest addition to the programme, and allows outstanding students to shadow a manager for a year. The hotel is also a research centre, with prototype guestrooms reserved for research into advanced hotel management concepts. Richard Hatter, Hotel Icon’s GM, says the hotel acts as a resource centre for the hospitality industry. “From the start, Hotel Icon set out to be a hotel with a purpose: to become the global centre of excellence in education and research in hospitality and tourism,” he says. The hotel has 362 full-time staff and around 100 trainees attending various programmes at different times throughout the year. The elite management programme is one of the most integrated and focused training initiatives in the industry, says Hatter. “It is distinct from similar schemes as it combines job shadowing, internships in daily operations, and management trainee programmes. Students completing the programme will gain high-level management experience and learn the necessary skills to become a professional hotel manager.”
Hotel Icon GM Richard Hatter – students completing the programme will gain high-level management experience and learn the necessary skills to become a professional hotel manager


While hotel and tourism management has long been the forte of prestigious schools in Switzerland, increasingly those in Asia who want to train in the industry have a host of high quality options to choose from nearer to home, writes Liana Cafolla
rom the cutting edge training offered by institutions such as the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel & Tourism Management (SHTM) to internet-based global learning, wannabe hospitality executives have never had it so good. SHTM offers a range of high level training, from a higher diploma in Hotel Management, five Bachelor of Science programmes all the way up to doctorates in Hotel and Tourism Management. The Executive Masters in Global Hospitality Leadership is aimed at senior industry executives and hotel managers with a minimum of 10 years experience. It is a part-time programme that is designed to allow maximum flexibility to participants. SHTM also runs doctoral, master’s and bachelor programmes in mainland

“We have already begun to see students from Europe, the Americas and other Asian countries applying to our school,” notes Chon. Across the water at the Institute for Tourism Studies in Macau (IFT), around 1,600 students are enrolled in 10 bachelor and diploma-level courses. The school seeks to balance the practical and the theoretical, with the first year spent on practical training, the second on work assignment and the third on a six-month internship, explains Antonio Chu, head of Technical and Academic Support Division. IFT is cognisant that new competition in the region’s gambling business means students need to be prepared for a more diversified career than that offered by the Macau casinos. With that in mind, IFT is offering an executive development programme, and has upgraded its curriculum and added new activities to give graduates more rounded training, and is also promoting international exposure and scholarship opportunities to help students broaden their perspective. Further afield, the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in Passugg,

Balancing act


China. In all, more than 2,100 students are enrolled in the courses, which emphasise practical learning. “While classroom learning and desk research are important components of learning, we consider gaining first-hand experience in an actual hotel/tourism environment crucial and complementary to classroom learning and desk research,” says Professor Kaye Chon, dean and chair professor. The school is ranked number two in the world by other hospitality institutions for its research and scholarship, and has a broad international focus. The faculty consists of 65 academics from 19 countries and regions to create a multicultural training environment. The school is also carving a name for itself globally.

SSTH in Switzerland offers undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programmes

Switzerland, offers undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate programmes in both German and French. Students are immersed in a hotel environment and work in international project teams. The school accepts only a small number of students and maintains an even balance between Swiss and overseas students. New on the curriculum are a culinary arts course, and short programmes for industry professionals. The focus is on providing an holistic, Swiss-style education, explains the school’s

CEO, Ursula Gehbauer. “We teach Swiss virtues – efficiency and respect for nature and resources, an eye on details, innovation, tolerance, cleanliness, and last but not least, hospitality and service attitude,” says Gehbauer. She says the range of career options open to graduates is not restricted to the hospitality industry. “Studying hospitality does not mean that you have to work in a hotel later. Understanding what it takes to run a hotel

helps you run many other businesses as well, and it clearly helps to develop leadership.” One alumnus, Khem R. Lakaj, founded his own “hugely successful” hotel management school, GATE, in Kathmandu after graduating. “Asia has such a huge potential for more stories of this kind,” says Gehbauer. “This is how we would like to make our contribution.” The International Hotel Management Institute (IMI), also located in Switzerland,


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Staff training at Bubba Gump Hong Kong

Smart is as smart does

A wine tasting organised by students at the Institute for Tourism Studies in Macau

Hotel Icon and Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel & Tourism Management

says Hong Kong’s thriving hospitality industry means competitiveness has shifted to service excellence, making a focus on quality education a necessity for the industry. Andreas Bretenmoser Bürki, vicepresident and director of finance, says IMI retains its appeal as an authentically Swiss hospitality school despite the multiple offerings now available in different countries. “IMI is one of the few universities in the world promising to find job opportunities for all graduates,” he says. “This initiative makes them truly exceptional in today’s competitive market. A qualification from a top hotel school like IMI, Luzern is considered a stamp of excellence on any CV.” The school condenses four years of training into two and a half. Class sizes are kept at 16 to 19 on average, and all members

of the faculty have at least a master’s degree, with many holding PhDs.

Sofa scholars

For those who would rather stay at home to study, Swiss-based Glion Institute of Higher Education offers internet-based hospitality courses to 250 students from 70 countries, including an online MBA in Hospitality and Services Industries Management. “The nature of virtual learning means that we’re attracting hospitality professionals who already have established careers but recognise the need for continual development,” explains Anouk Tenten, partnership manager. The online courses are specially designed to suit the hectic schedules of professionals in the industry, says Tenten. “Weekly debate and discussion takes place in an asynchronous manner, meaning

The success of the award-winning training system of restaurant chain Bubba Gump is down to its sixstage process, each of which lasts from a few hours to up to a week, says David Perry, general manager of Bubba Gump in Hong Kong, which opened in 2006. The first stage focuses on the restaurant, its set up, and table skills. The second explains the roles of those working in the kitchen, bar and host desk. The third stage is menu-learning, sales in the dining room, and using the PoS system. Stage four tests the server skills learned so far on a three-table station, which progresses in the next stage to a two-table station, where trainees remain until they have passed their final ‘fine tuning’ stage. “The stages are not timed, we focus on the individual employee and their abilities and we always utilise methods of visual, auditory and kinesthetic modes of teaching throughout the stages so we are sure the information we want the employees to understand [is absorbed] in depth,” says Perry.

“The Glion Online MBA is my key to seizing opportunities and adapting to change”
Mark Jones is Senior Director, Hotel Development EMEA for World Hotels and a current Glion online MBA student.

our multinational cohort can access the class when their schedule is free. In addition to highly trained faculty, we use webinars and a team of support staff to assist each class from enrolment through to graduation.” The flexibility and immediacy of internet learning is hard to beat, says Tenten. “The beauty of studying online is that while the basics of the curriculum might be the same, the discussion, new theory, up to date articles, assignments and so on can change on a day-to-day basis and be made relevant for the world we are working in today and tomorrow.”

Glion Institute of Higher Education’s 100% online programs are dedicated to developing executive talent for the global hospitality and wider services industry. As a market leader in international hospitality management education and with close ties to the industry, Glion o ers tailor-made online programs for corporate partners.


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Luxury tax curbing growth

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Breaking new ground
While demand for luxury rooms continues to grow in India, a glut of rooms in many metros is seeing hotel groups setting their sights further afield, writes Victoria Burrows
Alila Diwa Goa Alila Fort Bishangarh – Alila Hotels & Resorts is to convert a 230-year old fort in Rajasthan into a 59-suite luxury resort Alila Bangalore is a five-star business lifestyle hotel offering luxurious resort living within the city’s business district

The Indian government is supporting the growth of tourism in the country. The union budget for 2012-2013 allocates almost 13 billion rupees for development of the industry, which is an increase of 9.5% over the last budget. The government is aiming for a growth of 12% by 2016. Bureaucracy remains a problem, however, with economic structures such as luxury tax hindering growth for upmarket hotels in certain areas. Of the 35 states and union territories of India, seven states (including Delhi) charge a luxury tax on the published tariff, while 16 states charge the tax on the actual ‘realised’ tariff; 12 states do not levy any luxury tax on hotels. Hotels in Delhi report seeing tourists opt rather for the neighbouring suburbs of Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana, and Noida in Uttar Pradesh, where luxury tax is imposed on realised tariff. The Hotel Association of India is lobbying for the rationalising of taxes in Delhi state.

Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi, which has been designed to cater to conventions and weddings, houses India’s biggest pillarless ballroom, with a capacity of up to 6,000 guests

he gold rush may be over but the hotel market continues to expand, with opportunities lying particularly in niche sectors and lessdeveloped locations – that is the general consensus among hoteliers in India today. It is also the direction the Ministry of Tourism is taking in its second phase of the successful ‘Incredible India” campaign, which launched at World Travel Market in London last month [November 2012]. The slogan for the new international campaign will be ‘Find what you seek’, while the tagline for the domestic consumer market will be ‘Go beyond’. Dr K Chiranjeevi, minister of state with independent charge for tourism, says focus is being moved from destinations and products to consumers. “The new international campaign is tailored to target all the source markets. Consumers can make a choice on what they are seeking beforehand.” The domestic campaign aims to extend tourism benefits to unknown destinations, especially rural areas. Niche markets under development include sports-related travel, such as golf and polo, as well as wellness and medical, adventure and eco-travel. The events market is particularly undeveloped and seen by many as having the biggest potential. The most significant convention


facilities in the country include the almost 300,000 square feet Hyderabad International Convention Centre, the 230,000 square feet Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Mumbai, the BM Birla Science and Technology Centre in Jaipur, the Jaypee Hotels & International Convention Centre in Agra, and Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, but these are not nearly enough. Hotel developers are in a race to tap this burgeoning market. The new Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi, which is located in an as yet undeveloped area in east Delhi, has been built by Indian property giant Ambience with conventions and weddings in mind. Housing India’s biggest pillarless ballroom, with a capacity of up to 6,000 guests, the 480-room, twin-towered hotel also has a spa with hammam, two gyms, two outdoor heated swimming pools, four dining outlets and a bar. The first big hotel in east Delhi, it is raising surrounding property prices. The hotel is managed by the Switzerland-based Kempinski group, now that its partnership with Indian luxury and hospitality group Leela Hotels is ending. The Indo-European partnership is a perfect match for today’s luxury market in India, says Vella Ramasawmy, general manager of the property. “India is possibly the only country that

doesn’t need foreign guests – we have so many people here, and they are ready to pay for luxury. Many of them are very well travelled and they expect Western service standards,” he says.

Loving the lux

The luxury goods market in India is booming. Euromonitor in October published a report stating that India will overtake China as the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury goods this year, driven by an explosion in the number of wealthy people. The market is expected to grow at an average rate of 22% a year over the next five years, while in China that rate will be 15%. Demand for luxury rooms continues to grow and hotels from Marriott, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Oberoi, Leela, ITC and Langham have recently opened or are under development. These are located mainly in the main metros; because as Achin Khanna, associate director of HVS Hospitality Services, points out, prime locations tend to have very high land costs and “therefore in many cases it makes better business sense to develop an upscale or luxury product.” L o o k i n g a h e a d , h o w e v e r, a n d considering that some metros, such as Pune, Jaipur and Hyderabad, now have a surplus of rooms, some hotel groups are setting their sights further afield.

“There seems to be a greater interest in off-beat destinations that allow guests to explore the relatively untouched and less-visited regions in India,” says Frederic Flageat-Simon, CEO of Alila Hotels and Resorts, which is opening Alila Fort Bishangarh, located in the Aravalli hills about an hour from Jaipur, next year. “Though development costs have risen dramatically in the last few years, the growing middle class fuels the demand for domestic luxury tourism.” The India market is markedly dominated by domestic travellers, who number around 160 million compared to only six million foreign visitors a year. Inbound visitor numbers are steadily increasing, however, and Singapore-based Alila plans to appeal especially to Asian international travellers. “We are optimistic in expanding our portfolio in India as there is a strong and growing market for luxury properties in rural locales of major cities,” says FlageatSimon. “Much growth in tourism in the last decade can be attributed to growth in incomes in Asia and travel has become an

integral part of people’s lifestyle.”

Growth at all price points

Travel is also an integral part of the business lives of a growing number of Indians, and, as India’s economy continues to expand, budget and mid-scale hotels continue to see traction. While hotels across price points in various cities and towns of India are profitable, properties in this segment often are, assuming a fair land cost, able to derive a better return on investment. “Budget and mid-scale hotels have lower development costs, shorter construction tenure, lower operating costs and market driven average rates, which lead to a higher gross operating profit percentage when compared to upscale and luxury developments,” says Khanna. But whether a hotel is luxury or budget, for leisure or business, India’s red tape is still

a drawback. As Flageat-Simon says, “while actually running a hotel is not difficult in India, the difficulty lies in developing a hotel due to the bureaucracy and the time taken for legalities and administration.” For hoteliers with patience, however, India remains a market with potential, especially for properties tapping niche markets such as events facilities or offering local and international travellers access to more off-beat locations. “The gold rush may be over,” says Ramasawmy, “and there may be an oversupply of rooms in some parts of the country now, but overall this will even out and over the next 10–15 years the market will continue to grow.”


AHCT december 2012

AHCT december 2012





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E c h n o l o g y


E c h n o l o g y

Making the connection
Daniel Creffield talks to two hotel end-users for whom integration between point of sale technology and other systems is streamlining operations throughout their properties

MICROS’ Workstation 5A

Feast restaurant, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central

Shane Izaks, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels – “An overall trend is integration between PoS and PMS systems”

oint of sale (PoS) technology is a vital part of the way restaurants and hotels operate. A computerised network operated by a main computer, linked to checkout terminals and often supervisor workstations, PoS systems are increasingly integrated with other core software such as property management systems. Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central, which opened last September, is the biggest hotel in Macau as well as the largest Sheraton in the world. Its 20 restaurants and cafes offer a choice of Asian and international cuisine, including Bene, a modern Italian trattoria, Xin, an Asian seafood and individual hotpot restaurant, Feast, an international á la carte and buffet venue and poolside dining. Senior manager of IT, Ben Luk, says that the MICROS Simphony system is installed throughout all the restaurants at the hotels which form the integrated resort – Sheraton, Conrad and Holiday Inn. “We have a total of 55 terminals,” confirms Luk. “The system has a back-end database and application server – all the sales transaction information and system setup information such as menus, items and information are saved within it and can be retrieved every easily.” Simphony, MICROS’ next-generation enterprise PoS solution, also allows for rapid deployment to large enterprises with very little human intervention. It has the flexibility to handle different operation styles such as fine dining, counter service, mobile devices and more. It also offers multi-level offline redundancy. Even when the server is offline or computer room power is down outlet operations can still carry on, minimising impact on the operation, Luk says, explaining that the workstations can continue function in offline model, the transaction data will then only communicate to the property controller server and store there until the database servers


resume functionality. All previous cached data are then reposted to database server. “Another big advantage is the integration the system offers with PMS systems, such as MICROS’ OPERA, which we also use. In this property we can cross-post between different hotels and outlets – and of course, in this part of the world, it also integrates with casino systems. Guests can use their gaming points to redeem meals vouchers, for example. “This is a gaming environment so it was essential we were able to integrate with this element.” Another key requirement from the system was security, Luk says. “This was also an essential element, incorporating a PCI compliance system offering encrypted communication. This keeps credit card information secure, for example. But again, it had to be very integrated with the rest of the hotel systems and operations which enable multi-property cross-posting for room charges. Guests can order anything and can charge to their room – from hotel to hotel within Sands Cotai Central. “The systems run very well – it’s a stable platform.”

Integration is key

Shane Izaks, general manager of IT at The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, owner and operator of The Peninsula Hotels, agrees that while the systems they are using are “pretty robust”, they are currently looking at greater integration. “From the customers’ point of view, regardless of whether they come in looking for rooms, F&B or spa, they want to be confident that we recognise them and understand what they want.” The group, which uses MICROS’ 9700 system for PoS and OPERA property management system (PMS) for front-ofhouse operations, is moving towards greater integration, even

incorporating an element of customer relationship management, which Izaks suggests will provide more complete guest profiles. “Whether room reservations are made via a web booking engine or global distribution system, we want to have the ability to recognise the guest if they walk in through the door or make a table booking. We are trying to do on the F&B side what we can already do with rooms – identifying the guest, and what they want.” And he stresses that while the PoS terminals employed are very robust and “do the job” this is an area the group very much wants to get into. “Especially for a brand like Peninsula, which already enjoys a reputation for service and a tradition for understanding what the guest wants.” Another area where things are changing is with tablets and smart devices, Izaks believes. “We are looking at putting menus onto electronic devices, for example – in fact we have tried this at Felix [The Peninsula Hong Kong’s modern European restaurant] with iPads and it has been quite well received. “We see this as something that will happen more and more, in terms of menus and menu selection.” An overall trend though is integration between PoS and PMS systems, he stresses, and working with partners familiar with these concepts and willing to incorporate changes going on within the industry is greatly beneficial. “While we enjoy a very good relationship with our vendor, every three years we have a re-evaluation ... it’s always good to look further afield just to see what other companies are doing. “Sometimes in the course of this process we’ve seen some interesting things – and when we point this out to MICROS they are always very happy to discuss possibilities with us. As your business grows and the market evolves, it’s essential to be flexible and that’s why we like working with organisations like MICROS, who understands this.”

From the customers’ point of view, regardless of whether they come in looking for rooms, F&B or spa, they want to be confident that we recognise them and understand what they want Shane Izaks, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels


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AHCT december 2012



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Beach Residence at Soneva Kiri


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Soneva Kiri’s dining pod offers an innovative dining experience five metres above the ground, with dishes and drinks arriving via a waiter harnessed to a zip


Personality complexes
Character resorts set in idyllic destinations offer much more than sand and surf for distractions, with design details that work in tandem with each property’s concept, believes Rebecca Lo
esort design used to be simple. Take a family-friendly destination with easy access to a beach and the sea, and build spacious rooms, large terraces, lush landscaping and buffet restaurants. Throw in a spa, some dedicated children’s play areas and golf facilities, and the resort is complete. Today, particularly in increasingly competitive Asia, the destination has to offer much more than sand and surf. With more people opting for staycations and urban resorts catering to frequent travellers who prefer to be pampered in their hometown, the most interesting resorts are imbued with the character of their surroundings. Sense of place plays a bigger role in resorts than ever before. With design used to get the message across. Soneva Kiri is a prime example, as the resort personifies Soneva’s brand from macro to micro level.

engineered with a rigid frame and covered in woven rattan that envelops guests in a cocoon with panoramic views. Up to four diners board the pod at ground level and are elevated using a system of safety winches. Dishes and drinks arrive via a flying waiter harnessed to a zip line, for complete privacy and an exhilarating sense of being in an



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adult tree house. The tree pod, like every other aspect of Soneva Kiri’s design, is in keeping with SLOW LIFE principles. “I was the conceptual architect and my wife Eva is the interior designer, so it follows our philosophical idea on how a luxurious resort should look and feel,” says Shivdasani.

“As part of the Soneva family, Soneva Kiri adheres to all our practices, whether it is sustainable construction materials, or bottling our own water on site, or serving food from our own gardens. We have used sustainable materials such as bamboo, eucalyptus and pine. The materials look very natural. The rafters are beautiful eucalyptus branches where the bark was removed by hand. Bamboo, of course, grows very quickly and is a great carbon saver. We used it quite extensively for floors and walls. The idea is to create as low an impact as possible on the site.” In Sri Lanka, the country’s leading hospitality conglomerate Aitken Spence manages the Heritance brand of destination resorts. Heritance is a portmanteau of the words ‘heritage’ and ‘inheritance’, combining the intangible and tangible aspects of a property’s history. Its hotels include Heritance Tea Factory, set in a former tea producing facility shrouded in the misty mountains of Nuwara Eliya, and Heritance Kandalama, a contemporary 152room resort overlooking the majestic ruined palace and rock of Sigiriya.


Located on Koh Kood, Thailand’s fourth largest island which is relatively undeveloped in comparison to Phuket and Koh Samui, it is a scenic one-hour flight from Bangkok, with a population of a mere 2,000. “Half the visitors to the island are our guests,” says Sonu Shivdasani, founder and chairman of The Soneva Group. “This compares with the millions of visitors to the other three islands. It follows our philosophy in site selection of choosing remote but accessible sites.”

Intelligent luxury

Soneva Kiri is a resort for the intelligent traveller who is seeking one of a kind luxury experiences. Starting with a small landing strip on an airport near the resort, guests are whisked to the 37-villa and private residence resort dotting the hills, cliffs and beach adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand. Here, they are immersed in what Shivdasani calls SLOW LIFE, which stands for ‘sustainable,

local, organic, wellness, learning, inspiring, and fun experiences’. “The mission of Soneva is intelligent luxury,” Shivdasani says. “By that, we are questioning and challenging what is truly luxurious for the wealthy of today. For guests who live in a cramped and polluted concrete jungle, it is a true luxury to eat a freshly picked salad, grown in our organic garden, while breathing fresh air and enjoying a beautiful view. “Such an experience is rare in the modern world. Intelligent luxury is about understanding the daily lives of our guests and offering them experiences that are both new, in that they are rare, unusual and an exception to our guests, but at the same time true, in that they are highly desired and cherished.” One of the most innovative dining experiences in perfect tandem with Soneva’s concept is tree pod dining. Perched five metres above the ground, the tree pod is


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AHCT december 2012



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Sculptures at corridor junctions at Heritance Kandalama (Pic: Rebecca Lo)

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Six Senses spa at Heritance Kandalama (Pic: Rebecca Lo)




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from the rock. Wide corridors open to the elements draw the landscape inwards, while natural features such as a large rock left in situ make up part of the reception corridor. The resort is designed to look out from rather than be looked at, with a minimal amount of ornamentation; for
Soneva Kiri The Den

example, a Six Senses spa is tucked away in one corner of the hotel and lit by skylights positioned above reflecting pools. However, large animal sculptures such as a bronze eagle about to take flight in front of all-day dining Kanchana restaurant and pairs of anthropomorphic wooden

s t a t u e s a t c o r r i d o r j u n c t i o n s a re fun embellishments. Heritance Kandalama also offers a unique cave dining experience, lit by flaming torches and lanterns with the romantic strains of a single flautist accompanying a gourmet meal.

For guests who live in a cramped and polluted concrete jungle, it is a true luxury to eat a freshly picked salad, grown in our organic garden, while breathing fresh air and enjoying a beautiful view Sonu Shivdasani, The Soneva Group
Tropical modern
Heritance Kandalama was designed by the late Geoffrey Bawa, widely acknowledged as Sri Lanka’s most respected architect. He pioneered what became known as the tropical modern style, and the property was intended to be fully integrated into the countryside. Originally planned to be situated next to Sigiriya, Bawa insisted that the hotel be moved to a ridge 11 kilometres away to protect the cultural site while allowing for views of the man-made Kandalama Lake. The resort is far enough away from urban areas to be a destination property and was designed with acute sensitivity to the fragile environment that surrounds it. Built entirely on a raised platform supported by large columns, rainwater can flow freely underneath from the mountains into Kandalama Lake. Animals in the area also take advantage of this to roam underneath the hotel, giving lucky guests a chance to spot them as they scurry by. Fresh water is obtained from deep tube wells and harvested from rain. All wastewater is recycled using an elaborate purification process, while the hotel has

Guestrooms at Heritance Kandalama – the resort was designed by the late Geoffrey Bawa, widely acknowledged as Sri Lanka’s most respected architect (Pic: Rebecca Lo)






reforested more than 200 acres of trees both within the hotel premises and off site. Instead of pitched roofs, Bawa designed horizontal lines of flat roofs to collect water for green gardens in this central dry zone of the country. The long lines of the hotel have over time become laced with vegetation that give the property a weathered look, making it seem to have organically appeared



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AHCT december 2012



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Tammasak Chootong has just completed an assignment as creative consulting chef at Chiang Mai’s 137 Pillars House where his dishes included pan-seared foie gras with orange and green pepper sauce served with honey almond brioche and pan-seared truffle foie gras with grilled Portobello mushroom


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Foie gras at leading Hong Kong independent French restaurant, Brasserie de L’ile

Innovative approaches to foie gras at the Conrad C Grill & Wine Bar, Conrad Dalian & Hilton Dalian

Forbidden pleasures
In spite of being banned in several countries, the reputation of foie gras as a prized delicacy is seeing its increasing use in Asian fusion cuisine, writes Jane Ram
oie gras has a long history as a luxury food. Even the ancient Egyptians prized the rich, melt-in-the-mouth texture and buttery flavour of the fatty liver of ducks and geese that had stored up sufficient food to carry them through long trans-continental migratory flights. In more recent times French farmers perfected the art of force-feeding grain to the birds to produce the desired end result: a liver swollen to approximately 10 times its normal size. These days this practice is banned in 22 EU nations, leaving production to Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Hungary and Spain. Perhaps surprisingly, however, the import and sale of foie gras is still permitted throughout the EU. California has introduced legislation banning manufacture or sale of foie gras. Bulgaria is currently the world’s largest producer of foie gras, most of which is processed in France. In recent decades China has stepped into second place thanks to French manufacturer Rougie, who works with Chinese farmers to produce and process foie gras for international export as well as the growing local market. “You cannot run a French restaurant in Hong Kong without
Beijing chef Dadong has created foie gras shaped and coated with cherry or Chinese hawthorn glaze to look like fruit (Pic: New Western Cuisine Magazine)


having foie gras requested daily by local guests. They view it as a must-have and they enjoy it,” says Bruno Gautier, chef at one of Hong Kong’s leading independent French restaurants, Brasserie de L’ile. “It is an expensive product due to the time needed to feed and care for the poultry involved,” says Gautier. “It is also labour intensive, only made by hand and therefore the appeal is knowing the work and time spent on this product before it reaches your plate make it worth the money you pay for it.”

of green apple and tarragon jelly. “Using Asian ingredients and flair, you may adapt it many ways,” he says. “The only requirement is that it should not be overpowered by any other ingredient.” Local and expatriate chefs in Asia are exploring exciting new directions as they continue to innovate. Classic foie gras recipes emphasised the flavour of the liver but these days chefs are increasingly seeking new and creative ways to use the ingredient. High profile Thai chef, Tammasak Chootong, has just completed an assignment as creative consulting chef at Chiang Mai’s luxurious boutique hotel, 137 Pillars House. He has designed a menu for a newly opened intimate dining space called Palette where foie gras features on the menu in a number of classic French dishes and also in some recipes that are perhaps best described as ‘trans-cultural’. “If you have never tasted foie gras before, [perhaps the idea of ] it doesn’t appeal much,” he says. “But if you have tasted it of course it is the taste which is melting in your mouth while eating it. Most of my local customers have tasted it before and any newly created foie gras dishes are very well received.” Chef Tammasak says he thinks foie gras is infinitely versatile and can be adapted to any cuisine. He likes to prepare it according to classical recipes, while adding his own Asian touch to the dish such as his signature spring rolls with ginger, glass noodles and Asian mushrooms served with sweet chilli and mango salsa. This looks spectacular on the plate and his guests love the mouth appeal of crisp and smooth textures balanced by the sharp salsa, he says.

Chinese innovation

Delicious – and versatile

Classic foie gras recipes remain in any chef ’s repertoire: it is still served pan seared, poached to make pate, or blended into a sauce. More recent experiments with molecular gastronomy have yet to stand the test of time. Meanwhile, smoking adds a new range of possibilities in terms of food and wine pairing, says Gautier. But he warns that it is technically challenging to maintain perfect control of the temperature. He prepares smoked foie gras, but finds endless creative ideas such as serving it as a crème brûlée or on top

Some of the foie gras produced in China is sold locally to satisfy the demand from diners and the best chefs are constantly experimenting to find innovative ways to serve this luxury product. At Shanghai’s ultra-exclusive restaurant, La Table, run by the Pourcel brothers, the menu currently features pan-fried goose liver with sesame, passion fruit and apple puree, spicy bread and bagnuts syrup. This is relatively conservative by comparison with some of the recipes in Beijing. His preparation of Peking duck brought fame and fortune to high profile Beijing chef Dadong, who is about to open his own restaurant in New York. He walks a fine line as he strives to remain faithful to his traditional roots while continually

experimenting. He serves lotus root with osmanthus and foie gras; wild Chinese mushrooms also marry well with it, he says. One of his most spectacular creations is what looks like fruit, but is actually foie gras, shaped and coated with cherry or Chinese hawthorn glaze according to the season. Even in China’s secondary cities diners are clamouring for foie gras. Executive chef Philippe Egalon, Conrad Dalian & Hilton Dalian, says foie gras has always been served to the elite and so it is in today’s China, where it is fast gaining popularity. “In China nowadays most of the good Chinese restaurants have foie gras and it has become a very popular item. It is easily cooked in a wok and can combine well with local vegetables, soy sauce, Chinese vinegar or five spice mix. At the Conrad C Grill & Wine Bar we use duck and goose foie gras. It is a very popular item and many of our regular guests come back often especially to enjoy it. “Last month we had a Chateau Yquem wine dinner and we did a trilogy of foie gras – in puff pastry, in a terrine and as a crème brûlée with white balsamic infused cherries. Foie gras is a natural choice for pairing with the Bordeaux wines that are so popular in China. At Conrad C Grill we prefer to work with duck foie gras because of the way the round flavour lingers in the mouth, like honey and buttery caramel. Goose foie gras is cheaper but more ‘green’ in taste. It is best kept for mass production.” F&B professional Dominic Bauquis has 25 years of business experience in Asia, with assignments in Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan prior to his arrival in China in 1994. Co-founder of a niche PR and corporate events company, he regularly shares his passion for fine food and great wines with readers of Chinese and international lifestyle magazines. He has followed the growing popularity of foie gras in China with great interest. “With many chefs now, imagination is the limit. We are accustomed to foie gras with seafood/shellfish such as sea urchin, with espresso sauce, lemongrass or abalone, or foie gras soup or oyster and foie gras ice cream served with fruit compote. As an ingredient it adapts surprisingly well to Asian cuisine. “Japanese chefs were the first in Asia to ‘go French’ with great success and they have created many new ways of enjoying foie gras, like nigiri of foie gras with teriyaki sauce, toro Bluefin tuna and foie gras sashimi or shaved frozen foie with fruits (such as lychee),” Bauquis says.


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AHCT december 2012



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Just desserts

While dessert classics remain popular on menus, more and more innovative approaches can be found, often with an Asian twist. What is trending at the moment, and are former favourites now passé? Zara Horner finds out

hef Pongtawat Chalermkittichai’s path to culinary success started from very humble beginnings. From pushing his mother’s curry cart through the busy Bangkok streets after school, to culinary college in London, the kitchens of various Four Seasons, Barcelona’s famous El Bulli, and Paris’ equally renowned George V, Chalermkittichai – widely known as Chef Ian – is now one of the most successful chefs in the world, with his own dining concept company, books, television shows, and of course restaurants. The fact that in 2011, Chalermkittichai opened Sucre, a dessert restaurant and bar, in Bangkok, and became a partner in Spot Dessert Bar in New York City – a second branch is already planned – goes some way to confirm how important desserts are to this culinary heavyweight. And, despite a growing health consciousness, how popular they remain with the eating public. Chalermkittichai agrees that as much attention is necessary, and expected for dessert listings as for savoury siblings.

“Every part of the menu requires care and work. [But], desserts require special skills and passion. Personally, I love to make desserts, and pastry,” he says. While tastes and offerings are constantly changing, perhaps especially regionally where more local flavours and ingredients are incorporated into desserts, some elements remain the same: nearly everyone likes it sweet. Dessert menus are every bit as decadent as they ever were, Chalermkittichai agrees. “Food, especially desserts, should be enjoyed,” he says. He also says that innovative approaches to old favourites seem to be gaining in popularity. “My dessert inspirations come from traditional desserts and favourites with my own twist on them,” Chalermkittichai says. “An example would be the Kanom Koh dish. Based on a traditional Thai dessert of dough and coconut that is usually served warm, I have taken the coconut elements

Red fruit delight and strawberry elixir with President brand cream from French dairy giant Lactalis

New old-fashioned

and instead made rice flour dumplings with different flavoured ice creams, specifically black coconut and roasted cashews.” Black coconut in Asian desserts is very traditional. The colouring comes from the ash of burned coconut shell fibres. “The ice creams we serve are homemade






Hong Kong Mandarin Oriental’s banana split


„Fingerfood Tree“


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Thai-style sticky rice flour with mochi ice cream from Issaya Siamese Club Restaurant in Bangkok

Uwe Opocensky, executive chef at Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental – “Desserts are a perfect opportunity to go wild”

Origin Saint Domingue from Cacao Barry

and change often and seasonally. Examples of some flavours include grilled and pressed banana, pineapple and ginger, Thai northern black sesame seed, and Thai tea.” Cooking methods may follow Western lines, for example, chef ’s Khao Kaya Khoo is basically a pudding recipe, but to achieve an Asian flavour profile he makes his version using pandan, housemade Thai sponge cake and coconut crème. “My idea is to take the traditional flavours to a different level. I am lightening it up.” Whatever experimentation is done or changes made, in the end it’s flavours and good ingredients which remain key, he believes.

place for them. But people are more inspired now about food and want something more creative.” With that in mind, he has produced his own versions of some traditional desserts with some rather surprising inclusions, such as banana split. “We use three bananas, strawberry and

vanilla ice creams and banana mousse, all topped with a hot chocolate sauce.” This combination of hot and cold is, chef says, a perennial favourite. “People love the sensation of hot and cold in one dessert dish.” Another creative dessert option he employs is disguise. “My version of a traditional mango pudding uses mango mousse and mango ice cream. I then create a dish which resembles a whole fruit.” There is, however, one time of year when tradition is simply not optional, says Opocensky. “At Christmas there just has to be gingerbread houses, stollen, Christmas puddings, mince pies and the like on offer – no question. It’s the one time of year most people get to eat these things.” This year, throughout the whole festive period, he will create a winter wonderland tableau for guests at their table. “On a silicone mat, we will arrange 2530cm Christmas trees made from chocolate, presents and parcels made from pastry and

Winter wonderland from Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

cakes, ice cream snowmen, and even edible snow made from tapioca flour, which has a very neutral flavour and melts on the tongue, just like snow. “It’s a little theatre, a little fun.” Ju s t w h a t e v e r y g r e a t d e s s e r t should be.

Chocolate remains a key ingredient throughout the dessert menu, believes Barry Callebaut

Just give us chocolate

One of the key ingredients of numerous desserts as well as petit fours, macaroons, after dinner truffles and the like is, of course, chocolate. Aina Osman, marketing manager with Barry Callebaut Asia-Pacific, agrees that more Asian influence in professional kitchens is being seen regionally, but that chocolate remains a key ingredient throughout the dessert menu. “Chocolate offers many possibilities for artisans and professionals to offer unique creations – consequently the speciality products from plantations and origins are used throughout the region in their own right, but we are seeing certain local flavours being introduced with ingredients complementing the cocoa flavours,” Osman suggests. Dark couverture – high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter – is still the

company’s best seller. It is used “mainly in pastry work, with other applications including, pralines, ice cream, and dairybased desserts,” says Osman. With sustainability “a big issue today for the cocoa industry”, Osman says, “we are focusing a lot in that area”, as the company looks to increase ranges, “dedicated to the HoReCa channel. “We have developed four new Cacao Barry references in one kilo packaging: zephyr [a slightly sweet white chocolate with an intense milk taste] in a 6x1kg box, and praline feuilletine, Cara Crakine [a readyto-use inclusion made from toasted biscuit cereal with fine caramel milk chocolate] and praline Héritage in 6x1kg buckets.” There are also five new nut-based products for Cacao Barry: 70% praline with Marcona almonds originating from Spain; 70% praline with hazelnuts from la Morella in Spain; 70% praline with pecans from Texas; pure almond paste from Marcona and pure pecan paste from Texas.


“ D e s s e r t s a re a t re a t ,” s a y s U w e Opocensky, executive chef at Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental. “People nowadays don’t normally indulge in desserts at home, so they take full advantage when they are out for a meal. “They want to be wild, and desserts are a perfect opportunity to go wild!” Unlike his colleagues, Opocensky does not believe there is any great demand for local flavours or ‘Asian twists’ on the desserts menu. “Throughout the menu there has to be a certain amount of regional fare to satisfy the local population, and visitors’ need to sample something new and different. It is expected,” he says. “But I have not come across any real demand for an ‘Asian twist’.” While Opocensky chooses not to use some of the classics, such as chocolate fountains or crepe suzette on his dessert menus, he does concede, “There is still a


AHCT december 2012


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Veuve Clicquot’s ‘Ponsardine’ seasonal packaging is designed to resemble a sardine tin GH Mumm is celebrating 130 years of Cramant with the launch of its Blanc de Blancs, which replaces Mumm de Cramant


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Putting the fizz back
With recession curtailing sales in traditional markets, Champagne houses, large and small, are looking to Asia to drive growth, writes Robin Lynam
he end of the year usually produces a whirlwind of activity from the Champagne houses and their distributors. Special promotions and vintage releases are timed to make the most of the festive season. Probably the highest profile promotion this year comes from Bollinger with ‘002 for 007’, a limited edition of the 2002 vintage packaged to capitalise on the Champagne’s supporting role in Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie. Bollinger has packaged 30,000 bottles of the wine in a box designed to resemble a Walther PPK silencer. It has a combination lock preprogrammed to the numerals 007. Other glitzy promotions include Moët & Chandon’s Diamond Collection, and Veuve Clicquot’s ‘Ponsardine’ packaging, designed to resemble a sardine tin. These promotions are all about the packaging, not the wine. That is not surprising. Champagne pioneered the high intensity wine promotion business, but it may be that in Asia’s most sophisticated Champagne markets – Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore – real product knowledge is gradually replacing brand recognition in determining consumers’ choice – particularly in hotel bars and restaurants. Sommeliers are becoming increasingly active in promoting Champagnes for connoisseurs – particularly grower Champagnes – and customers are calling not just for well known cuvees de prestige but for those made in relatively small quantities, such as Krug and Louis Roederer’s Cristal. Exactly how many bottles of Dom Perignon are produced in a typical vintage is a closely guarded secret, but estimates range between two to four million. Krug, by contrast, produces only 500,000 and Cristal significantly less than that. With much of the world still in recession Champagne houses, large and small, are looking to Asia to drive sales growth. Globally in 2011, sales of Champagne rose by a mere 1%, but exports to Singapore were up by 20% to 1.45 million bottles, and to China
30 AHCT december 2012


Krug Grande Cuvee

– a potentially vast market but one still in its infancy – by 19.4% to 1.31 million bottles. In Japan, sales rose by 7% to 7.9 million bottles. Japan is the world’s largest market for Krug, and Hong Kong and Singapore are both high priorities for the brand, according to Marc-Elie Robert, brand manager for Moët & Chandon and Krug for Moët Hennessy Diageo. “We have a dedicated Hong Kong team. There is a knowledge and awareness of Krug in Hong Kong, and it is picking up in Taiwan. We sell nearly zero in China. It’s still a very small market and would take a lot of investment and market education. “We need people to understand what Champagne is before they can understand Krug, because we have such a specific approach to Champagne. We need the big players like Moët & Chandon to educate the market first – then we arrive,” he observes. Patricio de la Fuente Saez, managing director of wine and spirits merchants Links Concept Company, which represents Louis Roederer and Billecart Salmon in Hong Kong, says there has been “a huge change” in the Champagne market in the city over the last decade. “Champagne sales have gone crazy. Since the tax reduction Champagne has become very affordable. We’ve seen it explode over the last two or three years. Many hotels now do Sunday brunches where there is free flow Champagne, so obviously that has helped

a lot. Most of the five-star hotels in their executive lounges have free flow Champagne as well, which has boosted sales. The Peninsula, Ritz-Carlton and Grand Hyatt all offer a nice selection of Champagnes by the glass,” says Saez. As well as growing, he adds, the market has diversified, and the big name, big production grande marques Champagnes are having to contend with fierce competition. “If you look at Hong Kong 10 years ago, in virtually every hotel the house Champagne was either Moët & Chandon, or Veuve Clicquot, or Mumm. About 95% of the hotels had the same thing. There was not a lot of competition. Pernod Ricard and LVMH ran the show and nobody wanted to compete with their pricing,” he recalls. Then in 2008 Links Concept began to represent Louis Roederer Champagnes, and Saez decided to price Roederer’s Brut Premier at the same level as Veuve Clicquot. Other merchants, he believes, followed suit with other Champagne labels. “Then a lot of hotels thought ‘why should we have the same house Champagne as every other five-star hotel in Hong Kong?’” he says. “Also LVMH wants to have their Champagne in 7-Eleven, Circle K, Wellcome, Park ‘n’ Shop – and The Peninsula, Grand Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton. You can’t do that. There has been a total turnaround and most of the hotels now serve different house Champagnes.”

Some promotion is necessary, however, and grower Champagne winemakers are now paying personal visits to Asia to raise awareness of their wines. Last month a group of winemakers represented by L’Imperatrice Fine Wines, including the owners of Champagne Bereche & Fils, Champagne Chartogne Taillet, and Champagne Ulysse Collin visited Hong Kong and presented their wines at the InterContinental’s Spoon by Alain Ducasse. Another group, from boutique producers Agrapart & Fils, Diebolt-Vallois, Vilmart & Cie, and De Sousa did the same at the Champagne Bar of the Grand Hyatt. November also saw the launch in Hong Kong and Macau of four new wines from boutique Champagne house Hatt et Soner – Brut, Extra Brut, Rosé and Prestige Le Grand-Père, all distributed by Perfect Vintage. “The boutique Champagne market is still new in Hong Kong. Therefore, people need guidance and need to be reassured and pushed,” says the Grand Hyatt’s Hotel sommelier Nicolas Deneux. “We have a new programme at the

Champagne Bar with boutique Champagnes, which are now very popular, and people come back for them.” Mathieu Ginglardi, chief sommelier at Spoon, also reports increasing interest among the restaurant’s clientele in lesser-known Champagnes from small houses. “The wines are quite new, and the winemakers young and doing interesting things,” says Ginglardi. “Until recently it has been all big brands, but it is the job of a sommelier to promote something interesting and new. I love this kind of small production Champagne.” Customers, he says, are open to suggestion, and enjoy the Champagnes when they try them. To encourage experimentation Spoon

makes some of them available in the restaurant by the glass, alongside Alain Ducasse’s own label Champagne, produced for his restaurants worldwide by Lanson. “People in Hong Kong are very well educated about wine, so I think it is a good time to help them discover something new,” Ginglardi observes. While the Hong Kong market is becoming more sophisticated, according to Saez, China is still at the stage the SAR was around a decade ago, with the market largely sewn up by Pernod Ricard and LVMH. Mumm and Moët & Chandon are by far the most visible brands. He says there is some understanding of Champagne in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, but little in the secondary cities. Sales in Macau, where big stakes gamblers were expected to consume it by the bucketful, have turned out to be disappointing. “For Chinese, gambling is business,” says Saez. “The last thing they want to do is drink. They are focused on winning. The only Champagne sold in Macau is given away to the high-rollers.”

The ultimate display for your wine.

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Variational variety

Although Mumm and the LVMH brands continue to feature on regional restaurant wine lists, the Champagne sections are getting longer, and high-end venues feature an increasing number of grower Champagnes from small producers. Sommeliers tend to find these wines interesting because they are more terroir driven than the blends offered by the grande marques, and more competitively priced because those small producers do not have to recoup the huge costs the big names incur through promotional campaigns.

For a free brochure containing full detail, please contact: Alpha International Food Services 909, Chai Wan Industrial City, Phase 2, 70 Wing Tai Road, Chai Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: (852) 2889 2123 Fax: (852) 2889 1757 Email:

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AHCT december 2012 31


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Winterhalter offers a range of dishwashing machines including undercounter, hood type, single-tank rank conveyor, multitank rack conveyor/flight type and utensil washers Comenda dishwashers automatically manage washing, dripping and rinsing times and provide a heating system which quickly heats water during filling and optimises consumption


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Save your energy
All Meiko premium front-loading and hood-type glass, dish and utensil washers are now fitted with GiO reverse osmosis water treatment technology

While cleaning performance is the priority, manufacturers increasingly have to demonstrate their machines’ effective consumption of water, power and detergent, says Daniel Creffield

All Meiko premium front-loading and hood-type glass, dish and utensil washers are now fitted with GiO reverse osmosis water treatment technology, also available for the MiQ range of rack transport and flight dishwashers “Replacing softeners with reverse osmosis gives sparkling clean glassware and dishes and saves hundreds of dollars annually for the user, that being a combination of the cost of salt, reduced detergent and rinse aid consumption and eliminating the need for powder or liquid chlorinated chemicals. “Meiko’s reputation has been founded on our creative approach to reducing energy, water and chemical consumption in all our equipment,” adds Downie. Italian brand Comenda’s FE Undercounter front-loading dishwasher is aimed at the small and mid-sized restaurant market. It features an electronic card for independent management of washing, dripping, and rinsing times a quick heating system for rapid water heating during filling, optimising consumption. When the machine is on standby, water temperature is kept at a lower level to save energy and for not-so-dirty dishes, some models feature the ECO cycle with reduced water, chemicals and energy consumption. The ACS range of rack conveyer dishwashers, meanwhile, now features a new version for big kitchens, the ACS ECO2, which uses 37% less rinse water and detergent and 23% less energy than previous models.

Safety first

ccording to dishwasher manufacturer Winterhalter, about 20-35% of the energy costs of a typical restaurant can be attributed to the washing area. “In today’s increasing conservation consciousness, cost saving is no longer confined to meaning cost of the investment, but also includes running costs and conservation resources,” the company says. “If the kitchen segment already consumes so much energy, the challenge is therefore to engineer machinery that reduces that amount of consumption and at the same time provide solutions to better delegate manual labour.” The first manufacturer to offer the energy-efficient option of integrated heat-exchangers for its full range of machines, Winterhalter also pioneered fully digital touchscreen controls for hygiene data and error history readings in dishwashers, significantly promoting standards of HACCP compliance and serviceability in commercial dishwashers. Winterhalter dishwashing machines range from undercounter, hood type, single-tank rank conveyor, multitank rack conveyor/flight type to utensil washers. Jens Steck, Winterhalter director of sales and marketing for Asia, says the company’s best-known machine is the UC series, which offers solutions for the counter area with a “specially defined” wash programme. “The uniqueness of this machine is that the wash pressure can be automatically adjusted depending on what item is being cleaned and


how dirty it is, so the wash item is both clean and well protected.” Steck adds that beside Europe, Asia is “another big platform that we are selling to. Malaysia is the regional office for South-east Asia and we have subsidiaries over Asia, including China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore. We also have dealers in Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines.”

Pushing the envelope

The Meiko group is a world leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of commercial dishwashing machines and systems. The company, which was founded in 1927 in Offenburg, Germany, recently announced a breakthrough in its reverse osmosis water treatment technology, GiO, which eliminates the need for water softeners. Representing a major benefit for restaurateurs who often blame limescale build up for breakdowns, GiO helps cut maintenance bills associated with softeners and also running costs by reducing the need for chemicals. Detergent and rinse aid consumption is reduced, saving costs and helping the environment. The need for salt and powder or liquid chlorinated chemicals for glassware renovation is also eliminated. “We will no longer be offering integral or cabinet water softeners,” says Bill Downie, managing director of Meiko UK. “This spells the end for softened water for warewashing.”

Jason Ong, regional director, F&B operations, Greater China & Mongolia with Hilton Worldwide, believes that in today’s F&B operations, food safety and sanitation is of the utmost importance in protecting your business. “At Hilton Worldwide, we see this as the one most important factor in delivering the confidence and trust to our customers. Protecting their health and delivering the safest food is the least we commit to do.” Ong says Hilton tends to invest in trusted brands such as Winterhalter, Hobart and Meiko. “We place these brands in the majority of our hotels because of the stability of their products and consistent service from the suppliers to ensure the perfect functioning of the equipment procured within our properties across Greater China and Mongolia.” Ong adds that because the group invests in quality equipment it doesn’t often need to be replaced. “Good dishwashers as a whole do not get replaced often. The replacement happens in the parts within the machine where constant use wears the critical parts down, such as the spray nozzle. Regular servicing internally, daily checks by our team members and full servicing from our distributing partners also helps greatly in determining the parts that needs to be changed.” And in terms of making purchasing decisions – “reliability, stability, environmental friendliness, guaranteed service support and training support are the key criteria when we decide on the various brands we would want to work with.” Ong says he cannot emphasise enough the importance of ensuring the basic delivery of food safety and sanitation within the company. “This has always been the key focus in our business. This is our responsibility as professional hoteliers... nothing can and should go wrong in this area. A small detail like water pressure within a dishwasher can easily bring down any known hotel brand overnight, something we would not even want to imagine happening.”


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he LED lighting ‘revolution’ has had a dramatic effect on the industry. Latest generation illumination methods and units can turn a meeting space into an intimate wedding venue or performance area with relative ease now as function, manageability and maintenance are emphasised. Even large fixtures such as chairs, stools, tables and bars may have lighting systems installed within them to alter scenes and create new spaces. Economics, safety, and environmental efficiency may also be added to the list of modern lighting attributes. “As a rule of thumb, for the same light output, LED lighting uses less than one-third of the power consumed by a conventional lamp,” explains Joe Ruston, MD and founder of Remote Controlled Lighting. “The wasted energy (from traditional lights) is in the form of heat so the [LED user] reaps additional benefits from the reduced load on air conditioning systems. LEDs also have significantly longer lives than incandescent and halogen sources: 50,000 hours compared to 5,000 hours.” Traditional lamps usually need to be replaced annually, whereas LED sources are expected to outlast the light fitting that houses them, Ruston says. But, he cautions while “safety should not be an issue” with LED light fixtures, reliability is “still a concern.” The extended life hours and enhanced colour of LEDs “depend on good design”, Ruston says and in a badly designed fitting “even the small amount of heat generated is trapped, the life reduced, and the colour of the lamp shifts towards the blue end of the spectrum or turns yellow.” The pace of innovation, the need to have electronics and thermal management specialists in-house and the arrival on the scene of big companies such as Samsung and Toshiba have forced manufacturers to redesign their entire range or lose out, says Ruston. “It is not enough to offer old fittings with a replacement LED lamp because the thermal design will be wrong. On the plus side, manufacturers should be able to replace or convert all fittings supplied in the last few years. It’s an exciting time to be in lighting!”

Nomad outdoor range from Hokare

Lighting is the first thing anyone notices entering a room ... lighting can be harsh and obtrusive or it can be welcoming and complementary Ashleigh Tamblin, Smartcandle Asia
SC_MagazineAd_OP.pdf 1 2012-11-13 10:44 PM


All-round winner
Philip’s Lumiblade range of ultra-thin, carbon fibre-coated OLED panels has applications from table lamps to reflective mirrors and chandeliers

there be light
A HCT december 2012 36

While modern lighting systems are able to completely transform a space with the flick of a switch or turn of a dial, smaller solutions are increasingly able to achieve a similar effect, discovers Zara Horner

Ashleigh Tamblin, director of sales and marketing, Smartcandle Asia, is equally positive. “[Our] candles are reusable, and low energy. [They] put out no heat or airborne toxins. Our products are the all-round package for the environmentally conscious consumer.” The LED candles have no heating elements and “without any risk associated with a naked flame, Smartcandles are safe enough to leave ‘burning’ 24 hours. [They] are great to light in places where traditional candles could never be lit.” The candles are operated by ordinary or lithium rechargeable batteries making them “economical because they are reusable”, Tamblin says. While people may assume the products are novelty items, in fact their purpose is “to provide safe, reliable and economic lighting solutions. From the mood flicker of our t-lites to the ultra bright Smart Lamp, we have a lighting solution for every need.” The “flameless, waxless, smokeless”, candle lighting systems are simple to wire, have adjustable flickering patterns and optional theft prevention technology. Hong Kong-based Hokare manufactures and distributes French designed and engineered cordless lamps and LED candles specifically for the hospitality industry.

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AHCT december 2012 37


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Sophisticated lighting options at the Ramada Hotel, Colombo

Philips’ OLED range offers LED lights coated with an organic material

Safe, reliable and economic lighting solutions from Smartcandle Asia

Smartcandle Asia’s flameless, waxless, smokeless candle lighting systems are simple to wire and have adjustable flickering patterns

As a rule of thumb, for the same light output, LED lighting uses less than one-third of the power consumed by a conventional lamp Joe Ruston, Controlled Lighting
“[Our] recyclable Li-ion batteries give the best performance for [more than] 500 charging cycles and are safe to use because of their design,” says sales director Franck Licois. “Some of our bulb lights use polycarbonate for better shock resistance. Our lights have been made for intensive use.” As well as recyclable batteries, some of Hokare products have removable batteries. “[There’s] no need to throw away the light when the battery is at its life end,” Licois says, adding: “all our products comply with the RoHS directive.” The UK’s National Measurement Office’s RoHS directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electronic and electrical equipment is due to become law this year.

Latest illumination methods can turn a meeting space into an intimate wedding venue or performance area, as demonstrated at Banyan Tree Macau’s ballroom

What’s the difference?

“Research papers have been written to explain the interaction between wellbeing and lighting but most people don’t need a

scientist to tell them that lighting has a direct effect on the way they feel,” Ruston points out. He goes on to illustrate his point by describing a poorly lit scenario: “a room lit by a fluorescent tube is washed with a harsh flat light that banishes contrast and shading. Very few people would feel welcome, comfortable or relaxed under these conditions and the aim of modern hospitality lighting is to achieve the opposite effect.” “Lighting is the first thing anyone notices entering a room,” Tamblin agrees. “Lighting can be harsh and obtrusive or it can be welcoming and complementary.” Licois agrees: “Having a warm white LED light brings out the best in food, and skin colour.” He goes on to say, “Nomad lighting powered by batteries gives the opportunity to light premises with total freedom, even in wet conditions. Power outlets are no more linked to the light source location.

“New generation lighting offers cost saving solutions, and intelligence, such as the possibility to dim lights simultaneously.” Some lights in the Hokare range are powered by solar energy. Preciosa manufactures decorative glass lighting fixtures. MD Hong Kong Pavel Kadlecek agrees with his industry colleagues that lighting has “a big impact on how people feel” and LED is the way of the future because of its durability and lower energy consumption. “There are almost no limits [on] how and where to use these light sources. Almost every month we see new LED technology approaches,” says Kadlecek, who points out Preciosa ranges are made using glass because it is a “natural material with [a] fantastic lifetime period. [This] harmonises with our philosophy to provide clients with long-lasting beautiful products with minimal negative impact to our environment.” Continuing the traditional materials theme, Smartcandle has recently introduced the Luminara, which is made of real wax and combines LED and electromagnetic technology to feature a flickering flame. “This product is by far our best seller, as its amazing likeness to a real candle is hard to match,” Tamblin says. “Our newest product is a cordless table lamp called the Smart Lamp, which is equipped with different brightness and flicker options. This lamp offers something most candles cannot – bright ambient lighting.”

Satisfying demand

Customers today are looking for “hassle-free” says Hokare’s Licois. “We also offer charging solutions such as trays and trolleys. [And] we just released a premium range offering functions like

remote control. Our target is to democratise cordless lighting,” he says. Aside from a natural looking candle glow, customers look for products that are both efficient and economical, Tamblin says. Wireless induction charging and moving flames are just two of the recent innovations proving popular. “We are currently finalising a product we refer to as the ‘low voltage series’. This product is wired directly into the power supply eliminating the need for battery changes or recharges. It uses a minimal energy and all candles – up to 96 on one control box – can be turned on and off by the flip of a switch. Additionally we are expanding our rechargeable range to include tapers and pillars.” According to Michael Yu, assistant marketing manager at Philips Hong Kong, “Philips has been making lighting fixtures for 120 years and in 2008 took the LED system one step further with the introduction of OLED – LED lights coated with an organic material.” Now, “any colour, shape and size of design may be accommodated” with the new Lumiblade range of ultra-thin, carbon fibre-coated OLED panels, which have a luminous flux of 120 lumens – enough for anything from table lamps to reflective mirrors and chandeliers. Available in transparent plastic or aluminium with control electronics hidden inside the casing so they do not impact on product design, the panels have graduated dimming systems, minimal weight, maximum stability, and at just 1.88mm are extremely flat, adding to their versatility. The panels are available in a range of geometric shapes making them suitable for most applications. The modular systems eliminate the need for inter-connection, which means they may be arranged in any way imagined, including “living 3D sculptures and kinetic light art installations,” says Yu.


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Quietly saving energy
Minibar manufacturer Indel B has introduced the K Smart, guaranteeing “absolute quietness and an extremely low energy consumption”, while providing “a touch of elegance in the room”. Utilising a new energy efficient compressor cooling unit, a cyclopentane insulation and high efficient R600 refrigerant, the K Smart achieves power consumption of 0,09 Kwh per day, 87% less than comparable minibars. A rear-mounted eutectic plate provides over 12 hours of cooling without consuming additional electricity, once the target temperature has been reached. Energy savers required. For more information:

Fragrant blends
Acantha Tuscan Tuberose Collection blends warm and cool floral notes as the tuberose flower is combined with the subtle aroma of vanilla, jasmine and ylang. The latest fragrance offering from Acantha also intermingles bergamot, lemon and jasmine. For more information:

Easy online
Hotel technology specialist eRevMax has launched its third full edition of RateTiger RTSuite with a new user interface and automated inventory distribution controls. The online distribution and channel connectivity company’s latest product simplifies online rate and inventory management by incorporating ondemand shopping for quick room rate data collection and consolidating multiple update features to enhance efficiency. For more information:

Paris ego
French furniture design and manufacturing company, Ego Paris, has unveiled its latest lines. With over 300 colour and fabric combinations to choose from, the range of outdoor aluminium furniture will “transform a space and accentuate an atmosphere”. For more information:

Reservations on the go
Amadeus, transaction processor and provider of technology solutions for the travel and tourism industry, has introduced Mobile Access, a browser-based mobile device reservation solution. The smartphone and tablet version of retailing application Amadeus Selling Platform, the system gives access to a range of travel content, from fare quotes and bookings, PNR creation, modification and cancellation through to ticketing and sales reports. For more information:

Essential Pevonia
To help guests keep their skin looking its best between spa visits Pevonia has introduced the Spa Travel Essentials Pack, which includes five carry-on approved Pevonia face and foot products. In addition the beauty products company has launched the microemulsified, easily absorbed Myoxy-Caviar Youth Renew Hand & Foot Cream, and the RS2 Gentle Cleanser, designed specifically to ease the symptoms of rosacea. For more information:

Big on sound
The Geneva Sound System Model M is a multi-function bookshelf sized stereo system crafted in a single cabinet made out of piano lacquered wood. The compact system houses two Hi-Fi speakers and uses patented technology to deliver an audio performance that competes with much larger conventional Hi-Fi systems. For more information:


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A new epoch
Luxury custom carpet design and manufacturing house, Tai Ping, has launched a new collection. The Epoch range is “a contemporary interpretation of modernism”. Contrasting geometrics are supported by intricate, discreet ‘built-in’ constructions. Handtufted and customisable, the carpets and rugs are made from a variety of fibres — wool, flax and silk. For more information:

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Ironing out problems
Space saving furniture manufacturer Häfele has “fulfilled customer requirements” with the new Ironfix built-in ironing board. The ergonomic drawer model can be retrofitted, takes advantage of latest technology to provide a smooth-running, soft closing mechanism, and can be rotated by up to 180 degrees. Ironfix is available with continuous width adjustment for internal installation widths of 362–500mm. The installation depth is 500mm. A sleeve board is available. For more information:

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Cloud check-in
Provider of customisable online booking, communication, and feedback software systems for the hospitality industry, B4Checkin has unveiled its mobile-friendly online check-in solution. Integrated directly into the hotel PMS and CRS, B4Checkin’s cloud-based Online Check-in makes it easy for guests to check-in online before arriving at the property. For more information:

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Chocolate mastery
Organised by leading gourmet chocolate brands Callebaut, Cacao Barry, and Carma, the Korea national selection for the 2012-2013 World Chocolate Masters recently took place with four participants creating stunning chocolate sculptures, cakes, desserts and pralines. With the theme ‘The Architecture of Taste’, Young Min Lee from Bakehouse was crowned Korea Chocolate Master. He will now represent the country in the World Chocolate Masters Asia-Pacific Selection in March 2013. Meanwhile, Cacao Barry has a new brand ambassador in Australia: chef Pascal Janvier, pastry chef and owner of Fleur de Cocoa. For more information:

Nice legs
Rougié has increased its pasteurised confit range with the addition of an eight leg pack. Available in various quantity vacuum-packed formats, the meat has less fat, legs separate easily, and flavour is guaranteed as ducks are 100% grain raised. Minimum use-by date is six months. For more information:

A family affair Christmas coffee
nespresso has revealed its annual Variations – specially created limited edition grand crus for the festive season, which this year contain three different nutty notes: coconut, hazelnut and macadamia. for the 2012 edition of Variations, the coffee machine and capsule maker worked The ‘Family of Twelve’, a fraternity of 12 New Zealand artisanal private winemakers, recently ran a series of master classes in Hong Kong, under the banner ‘Embracing the diversity of New Zealand wine’. Continuing export growth of New Zealand wine to Asian markets coincides with a strong emphasis on education, a group spokesperson said. Founded in 2005, the group’s vision is to nurture long-term relationships, and educate through direct contact with trade partners, media and consumers. For more information:

In 2010 a group of friends in Mexico City decided to create their own tequila. Alacran is the result. “It implies rebelliousness, persistency and friendship”, says the brand. Available in black matte bottles with a ‘soft touch’ finish and scorpio logo the tequila is produced from the ripe hearts of seven-year-old agave plants blending a “herbal, flowery and fruity’ taste. A limited edition pink bottle is available for the festive season. For more information:

Handcrafted gin
Award-winning Sipsmith artisanal gin has arrived in Asia. Though the original licence application was rejected on the grounds that the owners’ small still was deemed illegal, Sipsmith’s appeal was upheld and the first licence of its kind for 189 years was granted. By 2009, the small custom designed copper-pot still ‘Prudence’, delivered the first batches of Sipsmith gin and vodka. Crafted by distilling English barley spirit and a selection of 10 botanicals, including Macedonian juniper, Bulgarian coriander and Seville orange peel, the very dry Sipsmith Gin was the London Olympics’ official gin. For more information:

Grand Paris
with just one theme of gourmet nuttiness. each variation has an intensity level of six on a scale of one to 10. best served alone as a 40ml espresso, they may also be used in milk recipes. in addition, the company introduces the u coffee machine, with a first of its kind adjustable water tank, which slides 180 degrees allowing a shape change to suit any interior layout. it does not require reprogramming, and has an automatic cut-off for easy cleaning. Available in pure cream, black, grey and orange. For more information:
44 AHCT december 2012

France’s most popular export liqueur, Grand Marnier, has launched a special seasonal limited edition. The Grand Marnier Paris is presented in a midnight blue bottle with a starry golden city-scape lacquering that covers the whole bottle. For more information:

AHCT december 2012



v E n t s


x h i b i t i o n s

DATE Jan 14 – 15

EVENT Hotel Investment Forum India (HIFI) The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon Delhi (N.C.R.) India

DETAILS At a new location in 2013, the fifth annual HIFI is the annual meeting place for leaders in the Indian hotel and tourism industry to discuss important trends, network, identify new opportunities, and do business through a combination of plenary sessions, breakout panels, and interactive workshops. HOTERES JAPAN, CATEREX JAPAN and Japan Food Service Equipment Show focus on equipment for commercial kitchens. Food service, tableware, IT systems, furniture and food hygiene equipment are showcased. 800 exhibiting companies and approximately 50,000 professionals visit annually.

ORGANISER HIFI c/o BHN 2900 Bristol Street, Ste. D101 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 USA Tel: +1 714 540 9300 Japan Management Association 3-1-22, Shiba-koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8522, Japan Tel: +81-(0) 3 3434 1377 Fax: +81-(0) 3 3434 8076 Dubai World Trade Centre, PO Box 9292, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tel: +971 4 308 6062 / 6047 Fax: +971 4 318 8607

It’s back!

Feb 19 – 22

HCJ 2013 Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center, Ariake) 3-10-1, Ariake Koto-ku Tokyo 135-0063 Japan Gulfood 2013 Dubai United Arab Emirates

Feb 25 – 28

A trade show with proven credentials, Gulfood provides a sourcing platform where international flavours meet world-class business. Latest trends and innovations shaping the future of food also on show. With an emphasis on education, training, competitions, and live events, Gulfood strives to inspire and inform. Hotelex Shanghai 2013 will focus on innovative elements and green concepts. Hotelex has showcased hospitality trends for 21 years and is a one-stop purchasing and information platform for industry professionals. Exhibitors from across the globe will showcase their products and innovative solutions. FHV is an important growth catalyst for food and hospitality businesses throughout greater Indochina. Worldclass competitions and networking events promise to make FHV2013 the place to be.


Apr 1 – 4

Hotelex Shanghai Shanghai New International Exhibition Center Shanghai China Food&HotelVietnam 2013 (FHV) The 7th International Food & Drinks, Hotel, Restaurant, Bakery & Foodservice Equipment, Supplies & Services Exhibition and Conference Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center SIAL China 2013 Shanghai New International Expo Centre Hall N1-N5, E6-E7 Shanghai, China Hua Mu Rd. 3# East Lobby (near Luo Shan Rd.) The 15th International Exhibition of Food & Drink, Hotel, Restaurant & Foodservice Equipment, Supplies & Services

Shanghai UBM Sinoexpo International Exhibition Co., Ltd Tel: +8621 6437 1178 Fax: +8621 6437 0982 Singapore Exhibition Services Telephone: +65 6233 6638 Fax: +65 6233 6633

Apr 24 – 26

May 7 – 9

Asia’s largest international F&B exhibition, staged in seven halls and expecting 45,000 visitors in 2013, the 14th Edition of SIAL China will continue to set the benchmarks as China’s unique meeting point in the F&B and HoReCa industries.

Comexposium 70 Avenue de Général de Gaulle, 92058 Paris La Défense Cedex, France

May 7 – 10

Connecting 1,900 global suppliers of food, drinks, coffee, wine, equipment, hospitality technology, design, and more with 35,000+ regional hoteliers, restaurant owners, chefs, importers, distributors and more, HOFEX is a premier trading platform for China and Asian markets. THAIFEX – World of Food Asia is a premier sourcing platform for the industry. The 2013 show covers all aspects of F&B and showcases Halal and organic food, catering and hospitality services, food technology, retail and franchise. The World of Seafood will run concurrently. FHM 2013 will feature a series of seminars and workshops, including Culinaire Malaysia 2013, and celebrity cooking demonstrations. A one-stopresource centre for the food, hotel and hospitality industries. Asia’s largest and longest running hotel investment event. HICAP gathers hotel investors, financiers, and leading industry professionals from across the Asia-Pacific region.

Hong Kong Exhibition Services Ltd Tel: +852 2804 1500 Fax: +852 2528 3103 Koelnmesse Pte Ltd Tel: +65 6500 6712 Fax: +65 6294 8403 Malaysian Exhibition Services Sdn Bhd Tel: 603 4041 0311 Fax: 603 4043 7241 HICAP c/o BHN 2900 Bristol Street, Ste. D101 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 USA Tel: +1 714 540 9300

May 22 – 26

THAIFEX – World of Food Asia Impact Exhibition and Convention Center Muang Thong Thani

Sept 17 – 20

Food and Hotel Malaysia 2013 (FHM 2013) KLCC Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) InterContinental Hong Kong 18 Salisbury Road Kowloon Hong Kong

COMING NEXT HOFEX Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre May 7 – 10, 2013

OFEX, one of the region’s leading food and hospitality tradeshows, will be back in Hong Kong from May 7-10, 2013. Now with 60,000 m2 exhibition size reserved — a 23% increase compared to the last edition in 2011 — the 15th International Exhibition of Food & Drink, Hotel, Restaurant & Foodservice Equipment, Supplies and Service, will occupy 13 halls of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. “There are strong demands for hotel, restaurant and foodservice equipment,” say organisers, “creating immense business opportunities for equipment producers and suppliers, which is also reflected by the participation of HOFEX.” Around 95% of the exhibition space has already been booked. Indeed, industry data suggests there are nearly 1,400 hotel projects planned in Asia-Pacific over the next three to five years, and room supply in the region is projected to increase 15% to 441,830 rooms by 2017. “As an international trading platform, HOFEX is key to opening lucrative markets,” organisers point out. The show attracts 35,000 buyers from the region’s hotel and resort industry, but “most importantly, 77% of them have purchasing/specifying power such as CEOs, general managers, directors, executive chefs, purchasing managers etc.” More than 40 group pavilions from Australia, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, US and Canada are expected to showcase a full range of latest collection equipment and products. The popular Specialised Equipment & Supplies Sector includes kitchen and catering equipment, hospitality IT, bakery equipment and supplies, tableware, hotel interiors, textiles, and uniform, and more from importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. Making its debut at the 2013 show is the Bean2Cup@HOFEX. “Global demand for coffee is surging 2% on average annually,” organisers say. But, say organisers, “in emerging markets including China, India and Russia, demand is growing 20% a year. Numerous coffee producers and distributers have seen considerable business potential, and are eager to explore market opportunities in the region.”

Oct 16 – 18


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x h i b i t i o n s

From wine tastings to master classes

14-15 January 2013

The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon Delhi (N.C.R.), India


he fifth edition of one of Asia’s largest wine fairs, the International Wine & Spirits Fair enjoyed great success this year. Held over three days in November, the show was open to trade buyers for the first two, and to the public for the third. Once again Italy and France had the largest pavilions as 950 exhibitors from 36 countries and regions — including Azerbaijan, Denmark and Russia for the first-time — introduced their produce. Nearly 60 events took place, from wine tastings and master classes to expert seminars. Highlights included the Wine Industry Conference. Keynote speakers, including Hong Kong government representatives, spoke under the theme, ‘The Future of the Global Wine Industry – Trends and Opportunities’. The fourth Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition Awards, and the gala dinner — this year with the theme ‘A Mid-Autumn Night’s Dream of Truffles’ — were also very popular. Education was a key aspect of this year’s edition, with the Asia Top Sommelier Summit addressing ‘Education versus Competition for Professional Sommeliers’, and other seminars covering ‘Beyond Ice Wine – Hidden Wine Treasures from Canada’, and ‘Quick Fix for Wine Beginners’, ‘Finest Wines from Spain – Grand Tasting’, and ‘Celebrating the Diversity of New Zealand Wine’, as well as a master class for Chinese wine from Shandong and Ningxia. Daily cocktail demonstrations, vodka and rum tastings, and a sake seminar rounded off the fun.


Hilton Worldwide Hotel Leelaventure Limited Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Media Partners
Asian Hotel + Catering Times DDP Publications – Trav Talk Express Hospitality Global Destinations HA Emerging Markets Hospitality Biz Hotel Interactive, Inc. India Hospitality Review ITP Publishing India Pvt.Ltd. Perspective Magazine Sleeper Magazine TravelBiz Monitor, Saffron Media Pvt. Ltd. TTG India

Platinum Partners
Accor Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group IHG JA Resorts And Hotels Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces

Gold Partners
The Ascott Limited Canyon Equity LLC Fortune Park Hotels LTD. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Interglobe Hotels Pvt. Ltd. MGM Hospitality Premier Inn India Pvt Ltd Rotana Hotel Management Corporation Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Pte Ltd. STR Global Wyndham Hotel Group

American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute Asian American Hotel Owners Association Hotel Association of India International Finance Corporation International Society of Hospitality Consultants International Tourism Partnership PATA India Chapter World Travel & Tourism Council An Official Publication of BHN HOTELS’ Investment Outlook as of 9 November 2012

COMING NEXT International Wine & Spirits Fair Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre November 7 – 9, 2013
48 A HCT december 2012


p p o i n t M E n t s

Sergey Kutuzov, a Russian national, has assumed the role of Dusit International’s director of sales Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States. Speaking four languages, Kutuzov comes from his role as assistant director sales and marketing Starwood Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers. He will be based in Bangkok.
Sergey Kutuzov Jill Tan-Gunter

Pan Pacific Hotels Group has announced the appointment of Jill Tan-Gunter as VP of human capital and development over 30 properties in Asia, Australia and North America. Most recently VP HR at Marco Polo Hotels Group, Tan-Gunter spent 16 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

New Zealand native Dorinda Chua is the new director of sales meetings and incentive travel for Dusit International. Chua’s most recent position was director of sales and marketing, Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers.

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has announced the appointment of Nopparat Aumpa as general manager of Banyan Tree Bangkok. In 1996 Aumpa joined The Westin Banyan Tree Hotel in Bangkok, and subsequently has worked at Banyan Tree properties in China, Kuwait, Phuket, Mayakoba, Koh Samui, and Tianjin.
Dorinda Chua Nopparat Aumpa

The Excelsior Hong Kong has appointed Sammy Wu director food and beverage. Wu joins from sister property, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong where he was food and beverage manager. Wu has more than 20 years’ experience in the Hong Kong F&B field.
Sammy Wu Patrick Andres

Patrick Andres is the new vice-president and regional managing director for the AsiaPacific region for business services provider, Travelport. Andres joins the company with 25 years of experience in the travel and hospitality technology industries, most recently as VP APAC at Sabre Hospitality Solutions.

After more than 15 years’ industry experience in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Anna Rohm is The Excelsior Hong Kong’s new director of rooms. Rohm joins from sister property, Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, where she was director of rooms from 2010.

Nicolas Beliard has transferred from his position as general manager The Peninsula Bangkok to GM of The Peninsula Paris, due to open later this year. The French national has worked at Four Seasons in New York, Paris, West Indies and Geneva, The Waldorf Astoria, and The Pierre in New York, as well as Mandarin Oriental, Miami.
Anna Rohm Nicolas Beliard

Technology partner Amadeus has appointed Hazem Hussein to head up its Asia-Pacific airline group operations. Prior to Amadeus, Hussein held roles at First Data Corporation, as regional VP Western Europe and MEA, and at IBM WTC as regional director outsourcing division.
Hazem Hussein Katja Henke

German/Swiss national Katja Henke has taken over the role of general manager of The Peninsula Bangkok from her position as hotel manager of The Peninsula Shanghai. Henke has worked throughout Europe and the US for Relais & Chateau, Four Seasons and at the Beverly Wiltshire.

Indra Budiman is the new CEO of Hansar Hotels Group. Budiman has spent the last 20 years in the luxury hospitality industry at properties such as Sheraton Bandung, Le Meridien Singapore, Four Seasons Jakarta, The Empire Hotel and Country Club Brunei, and Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap. Prior to this he was GM of Hansar Samui Resort.
Indra Budiman Peter French

Raffles Hotels & Resorts has announced the appointment of Peter French as president. French was most recently regional VP Europe, Middle East & Africa and GM of Raffles Dubai. Over the course of his 30+ year career, French as worked for Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group, and at The Sukothai Bangkok, The Carlyle, New York and Grosvenor House Hotel, London. He will be based in Singapore.


AHCT december 2012

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