asian hotel

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Published since 1976 Vol 34 August 2009
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Chennai bandwagon
International brands jump aboard
WRITING’S ON THE
BLACKBOARD
Academia’s answers
to surviving the crisis
CAVIAR – THE COMEBACK KID
Farmed eggs to lead a revival?
Mischa
Moselle
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.
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Thomson Press Hong Kong Ltd
W
elcome to a packed summer issue
of your most useful hospitality
read!
On a sombre note, we record the pointless
loss of life at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton,
Jakarta in a cowardly, futile attack carried out
for no stated purpose whatsoever.
The glimmers of hope on this occasion
are that fortunately the bombers were
incompetent and the casualty count could
have been much higher, and also that the
attack prompted a string of op-ed columns
pointing to Indonesia’s strengths as an
emerging democracy. There is little sign
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of the instability that could so easily scare
visitors off.
On a far less sombre note, we look at
the signifcant impact on costs that adopting
the latest in internet-based communications
technology can achieve for you. Known as
VoIP, this has a big impact on the bottom line
for the back offce and in potentially bringing
guests back to using your telephone system
rather than their mobile phone.
The technology is also a reminder of what
a global enterprise the hospitality industry
has become.
MANAGING EDITOR
Mischa Moselle
mischa@thomsonpress.com.hk
DESIGN By
Koon Ming Tang
production@thomsonpress.com.hk
CONTRIBuTORS
Sharmilla Chand
Bruce Dawson
Angela Glenn
Zara Horner
Christina Kautzky
Ruth Williams
ASSOCIATE PuBLISHER
Sharon Knowler
sharon@thomsonpress.com.hk
ADVERTISING SALES MANAGER
Claire Sancelot
claire@thomsonpress.com.hk
CIRCuLATION ExECuTIVE
Becky Chau
enquiries@thomsonpress.com.hk
CHAIRMAN
JS Uberoi
DIRECTOR
Gaurav Kumar
endorseMents
One relatively recent focus of international
attention is the throbbing Indian metropolis
of Chennai, manufacturing and technology
hub, tourism base and centre of religious
pilgrimage. The city is low on internationally
branded hotels but the next three years should
see demand met by a rash of openings.
AHCT wishes you a pleasant summer.
M
e
iré
u
n
d
M
e
iré
the SPIRITof WATER
Never change a classic. Just refine it.
Your accompany the continuous evolution in its design, its architecture, its surfaces and its colours.
TARA BLACK EDITION is the contemporary interpretation of the TARA design icon. Fittings and accessories were designed by Sieger Design.
Just what it is that makes a modern classic is the focus of the first Donbracht Conversations (DC1). More information and documentation
can be found at www.dornbracht.com/dc1. Aloys F. Dornbracht GmbH & Co. KG, Köbbingser Mühle 6, D-58640 Iserlohn.
Tara.
Black Edition
Tara.Black ASIAN HOTEL 07_2009 06.07.2009 11:40 Uhr Seite 1
E d i t o r ’ s M E s s a g E
August 2009 AHCT
MANAGEMENT
10 Hospitality schools are providing the
research and graduates to take the
industry through the crisis
MARKET REPORT
14 Chennai is India’s fourth largest city and
experiencing a development boom
TECHNOLOGy
18 The benefts of cheap communication
DESIGN
22 Does the chef need input in planning
the kitchen?
NEWS
CuLINARy
26 White salmon; Blumenthal for Mandarin;
Beetroot appeal
INDuSTRy
6 Jakarta blasts; Macau IPOs; Peninsula
cans spam
PRODuCT
42 In-room entertainment; Coffee; Crockery
FOOD
28 Ice cream gets more favour-packed
38 With no quotas for wild caviar yet,
farmed starts to gain appeal
DRINK
32 Coffee for 200 conventioneers or one
fne-diner – getting them both right
Eggs over easy
cover photography courtesy of J& A fine food
EQuIPMENT
44 Ice machines are cool
48 EVENTS CALENDAR
APPOINTMENTS
54 See who is moving where
14
Chennai market
The scoop on ice cream
AHCT August 2009 August 2009 AHCT
UpandComing...
September
• Gambling
• Market Report: Kuala Lumpur
• Security technology
• Public spaces
• Seafood
• Water
• Bakery; Laundry
October
• Spas
• Macau
• Revenue/Yield Management
• Spa design
• Halal; Meat
• Wine
• Spa amenities; Tea & Coffee
Alpha International 31
Aquaculture 25
Boncafe 36 & 37
Bravilor 35
BSC IFC
Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne 9
FHC Shanghai 50
Food Hotel Malaysia 21
Food Hotel Vietnam 49
Franke 35
Global Search International 54
HICAP 52
HIFI 53
HK Polytech 13
Hyperlux IBC
J&A Fine Food Ltd 41
Leader Radio Technology 19
M.Schaerer 17
Manitowoc Foodservice 45
Meiko 17
Mundial 54
Raffes Campus 15
Restaurant and Bar 47
Starbucks Coffee Hong Kong 23
Tabasco OBC
Texcare 43
Uncle Russ 33
Wine and Spirits 51
Adver t i ser s’ i ndex
CONTENTS
V o l u me 3 4 Au gu s t 2 0 0 9
28
38
The Ritz-Carlton, Jakarta and the JW Marriott Jakarta, both operated
by Marriott International and owned by Indonesian company Permata
Birama Sakti, were the targets of a mid-July suicide bombing.
The attacks, in the Indonesian capital’s Mega Kuningan fnancial
district, left nine dead including the bombers, and 53 injured. Of the
dead at the JW Marriott, one was a hotel employee, three were Western
businessmen and one was the bomber himself. The Ritz-Carlton
casualties were the bomber and three guests.
As Els Ramadhinta, Director of Public Relations, Ritz-Carlton,
Jakarta told AHCT, “At this time we believe the damage is confned to
the area of the explosion, which was the Airlangga restaurant in The
Ritz-Carlton, Jakarta. Damage is still being assessed but there does
not appear to be material structural damage to the hotels. As soon
as authorities conclude their investigation, and determine it is safe to
resume normal business operations we will re-open the hotel. We do
not anticipate this process taking too long.”
Blame has been placed on the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) group
responsible for a 2003 attack on the JW Marriott and the Bali bombings
of 2002 and 2005. The group, which wants to create an Islamic
caliphate throughout Southeast Asia, has yet to claim responsibility for
the blasts.
Although this is the second JI attack on the JW Marriott Jakarta
there is some evidence to prove that the hotel itself was not the target
this time round. The venue where the suicide bomber detonated his
device was hosting a meeting of the Indonesian Country Program,
which holds weekly breakfasts for mining or oil and gas company chief
executives, according to The Australian newspaper, quoting some of
those present as speculating that they had been the target.
The meetings are chaired by James Castle of CastleAsia, who was
also at the hotel during the 2003 bombing. His company introduces
foreign businesses to Indonesians.
Former mining executive and one of the few Indonesians present at
the meeting, Noke Kiroyan, told the Wall Street Journal that he believed
that if the suicide bomber had wanted to cause more casualties he
could have targeted the main restaurant on the other side of the lobby.
Kiroyan was shielded from the blast by pillars, but still lost part of his
right ear, the newspaper reported.
The failure of a smaller device to detonate frst in the JW Marriott
helped avoid even more casualties – this blast would have led guests
to assemble in the lobby exposing them to the blasts aimed at the
business meeting. Guests in the Ritz-Carlton’s café moved to the
windows when they heard the blasts at the JW Marriott. Jakarta police
say that had the guests remained seated, casualties would have been
much higher. It has emerged that the attacker was seated.
An Australian analyst gave further possible motives for the attack
on the JW Marriott. Professor Tim Lindsay, Director of Melbourne
University’s Asian Law Centre and Chairman of the Australia
Indonesia Institute put the bombings in the context of the Indonesian
government’s successful crackdown on JI and the group’s subsequent
determination to show it was still operating. Choosing targets such as
the Marriott in Jakarta and nightclubs in Bali that had been attacked
before was a way of saying that ‘You can’t stop us.’
According to Lindsay, the JI’s ultimate aim is the destabilisation of
Indonesia’s democracy, recently reinforced by the re-election of Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono as president.
Security consultants have praised both properties for their high
levels of security.
Police and hotels in Bali have gone on a high state of alert
against possible attacks, according to the police and the Bali Hotels
Association. Some 12,000 police offcers have been put on alert and
there has been no evidence of large numbers of tourists leaving.
Forensics police search for evidence after the attacks on the Ritz-Carlton,Jakarta andthe JWMarriott Jakarta
Blasts target Jakarta hotels
Wynn and
Sands race
to IPO
Wynn Resorts has fled an application to
IPO its Macau operation on the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange, a move the American casino
operator hopes will raise US$1-2 billion. The
move follows earlier plans announced by Las
Vegas Sands to raise US$2 billion or more by
listing on the HK Exchange in the near-term
future. Wynn is looking to launch its IPO in the
fourth quarter of the year, which could spur
Sands into action.
Wynn’s portfolio on the peninsula includes
Wynn Macau and a second property, Encore
at Wynn Macau, which is under construction
and slated to open next year. Sands counts
the Venetian, Sands and Four Seasons
among its properties, including a stretch
of undeveloped land along the Cotai strip
on which construction was suspended last
November.
In recent months both companies’ shares
have picked up strength since their six-month
lows in March, Wynn jumping 159 percent to
US$39.83 and Sands climbing 594 percent to
US$9.86.
Analysts believe that both should push
for aggressive listing target dates as investors
become more comfortable with risky industries
and the stock market continues to rally. Aaron
Fischer, an analyst with CLSA, said an IPO in
Hong Kong could be promising. “If we look a
little further out, I think the Macau growth story
will be back on track,” he told media. A Wynn
spokesperson declined to comment. A Sands
spokesperson clarifed that the group was
“interested in the possibility” of an IPO, but
was also looking at other options.
Spam control
Now in its eighth decade, with luxury properties around the world the Hong Kong & Shanghai
Hotel Group including The Peninsula, Hong Kong processes more than 1.3 million e-mail
messages a month. MessageLabs, the company in charge of keeping it safe, secure and free
from viruses and attacks, has also come up with a solution to flter out pesky junk mail, keeping
the system running smoothly and effciently
“One of the biggest headaches for enterprise IT security professionals is keeping systems
current. With new security threats appearing daily, hourly and even minute-by-minute, just staying
up-to-date can be a full-time job,” said Nigel Mendonca, MessageLabs’ Regional Director, Asia.
“SaaS removes that burden from the customer and deals with it fast and effectively behind
the scenes. That leaves businesses free to get on with what it does best – serving its customers.”
Said Shane Izaks, General Manager, Information Technology of The Hongkong and Shanghai
Hotels Limited said of the issue, “The risk of being attacked through our communications channel
has been reduced tremendously. Virtually all annoying or potentially dangerous traffc is blocked
before it reaches our systems. And what we don’t see, we don’t have to worry about.”
Computer viruses can harm hotelsystems
IN BRIEF
ChaophyaParkHotel, Bangkok has launched
its newly built ‘mansion house’ MICE venue,
Tarathep House, an elegant stand-alone house
with a façade of columns and a white dome.
Located close to the main hotel entrance
within the hotel’s famous gardens, Tarathep
House can accommodate upwards of 600
people for cocktails and up to 450 people for a
sit down dinner.
With its own driveway and grand entrance,
guests’ frst impression of the venue will be the
artistic water feature in front. Designed with a
duplex mezzanine foor, the Tarathep House can
be used for exclusive private parties, exhibitions
or product launches in Bangkok. This beautiful
venue comes complete with its own kitchens;
top of the range audio visual equipment;
cocktail bars; changing rooms and washroom
facilities.
Commenting on the opening of Tarathep
House, Andrew Wood, General Manager of
the Chaophya Park Hotel & Resorts said, “We
designed Tarathep House specifcally with
exclusive exhibitions and product launches in
mind. Our policy is to only offer the Tarathep
House to one client at a time to ensure the
event planner will ‘own’ the venue throughout
the period of the event.
The Ultimate Romance package at the award-
winning AnantaraPhuketResort&Spa
celebrates romance in a whole new way. Aimed at
couples celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary or
spontaneous romantic getaway, Anantara claims
to offer an escape to a world all about love.
On arrival, couples will be shown to their
Anantara Pool Villa, which boasts an expansive
living space and a sense of privacy unparalleled in
Phuket. Each villa features a beautiful bathroom
with the hotel-resort’s signature oversized terrazzo
tub, which resides in perfect harmony with the
private pool, indoor and outdoor rain showers,
daybed and outdoor living sala.
Daily extras like breakfast at the private
sala, a complimentary bottle of Champagne and
personalised Dining by Design candlelit dinner,
as well as an indulgent in-villa spa bath ritual will
lull couples into a feeling of complete and total
relaxation.
Artist’s renderingofTarathepHouse
Couples can enjoya romantic sunset at Anantara
i n d u s t r y n E w s
AHCT August 2009
i n d u s t r y n E w s
August 2009 AHCT
photography by Afp
A fAscinAting cAreer
in A booming field
the ecole hôtelière de lausanne
IEHLJ was the ñrst hotel school in
the world. it provides university-
level training to talented, ambi-
tious students aiming for fast-
track careers in the hospitality
industry.
The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
(Switzerland) which was founded
in 1893, is the world’s leading
educational institution for the
international hospitality industry.
The training it provides is based on
a balance between the arts and the
scie:ces, o: Lelwee: l¦e scie:li[c
aspects and the artistic aspects of
management. With an enrolment
of over 1’700 students from 90
different countries, the School
trains future leaders, who will
be in charge of developing the
sector in years to come.
Its active and extensive network
of 25,000 alumni worldwide
includes many of the great names
in the world of hotels, and plays an
important role in supporting those
aiming for an international career.
EHL offers three programmes
(a Diploma, a Bachelor and
a Master) devised to satisfy
the highest standards in hotel
management. These courses en-
sure up-to-date teaching of high
level managerial skills, while
placing the accent on the strategic
dimension of commercial mana-
gement in the food and beverage
and hotel sectors. Courses in
management and strategy are
combined with practical work,
projects and the organization of
events. In addition to hotels as
such, the industry is vast, varied and
dynamic: wellness centers and
spas, cruise ships, golf and
country clubs, airline catering and
conference venues are all closely
related to it, and are booming.
EHL graduates are typically appointed
lo cosilio:s i: n~:¦eli:o, [:~:ce
and human resources. The world of
hospitality today extends far beyond
ils l:~oilio:~¦ [e¦o. c:iv~le L~:¦s,
hospitals and clinics, humanitarian
organizations… must all take into
account the wishes of their clients.
admissions@ehl.ch
Phone: +41 21 785 11 11
www. ehl. edu
BabyRaimoncelebratesherfrst
birthdayinstyleattheGolden
TriangleAsianElephantFoundation.
Sheisaperfectexampleofthework
beingcarriedoutbythecharity.
For a holiday with star value, Anantara
Naladhu – a private resort on a pristine island
in the Maldives – offers discerning travellers
a way to holiday like Naladhu devotees Kate
Moss and Roger Federer. Nineteen luxuriously
appointed houses feature top of the line
amenities and a romantic ambiance; perfect
for an escape to tropical island paradise.
The LagunaPhuket is the newest place
for political celebrity sightings, having recently
hosted a number of signifcant sessions during
the 42nd ASEAN Ministerial Meetings. United
States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was
on hand to attend the meetings, as well as
enjoy the beauty and luxury of the property.
The ConradCentennialSingapore
mixed business and pleasure when it
welcomed 2008 Nobel Peace Prize winner
and former President of Finland Martti
Ahtisaari and love ballad-singing 80’s hair
band Air Supply, both in the same month.
Celebrities are fockingtoresorts like the
Anantara Naladhu resort in the Maldives
This month marks the unveiling of plans for a
new, ambitious Sheraton in Incheon – Songdo City.
The hotel also will set a new benchmark for hotels in
Korea, being built using eco-friendly methods, and
aiming to be the frst fully non-smoking, LEED (the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
rated hotel in Korea.
“We are extremely excited to introduce this
brand new Sheraton hotel in the heart of Incheon
Free Economic Zone” said Alain Rigodin, the General
Manager of Sheraton Incheon Hotel. “Songdo, once
a quiet island, is designed to be the world’s most
beautiful, functional and environmentally friendly city.
The Sheraton Incheon will offer deluxe facilities and
service to welcome business people in a warm, eco-
friendly and completely smoke free environment.”
The overall design approach of the Sheraton
Incheon was based upon the concept of a “Return to
Utopia.” The style is a delicate blend of the modern
Sheraton language, traditional Korean patterns and
graphics, and the word ‘Songdo’ that translates as
“pine tree island.”
Shangri-LaHotelsandResorts has
signed an agreement with China Huaming
International Investment Corporation (CHMIIC)
to manage a hotel in Moscow, marking the
group’s frst property in Russia.
Set to open in 2012, the 400-room hotel
will occupy the top foors of a 42-storey main
building in the Park Huaming Business Centre
in Moscow – a new major multi-purpose
development. Next to the Russian Botanic
Garden, Northeast District, on Vilgelma
Pika Street, the hotel guestrooms will have
a minimum size of 40 square metres and
each room will have a view of the Chinese
landscapes at the Park Huaming Business
Centre or views of the Russian Botanic Garden.
Madhu Rao, Managing Director and Chief
Executive Offcer of Shangri-La Hotels and
Resorts said, “As we continue to expand
globally, Russia remains one of our key markets
and we look forward to working closely with the
Moscow community.”
As part of the fve-month global celebration of the
momentous Westin Heavenly Bed 10th anniversary, Westin
HotelsandResorts has announced the Heavenly Getaway
Package. The package offers travellers all the ingredients
for a restorative retreat, including breakfast in bed every
morning, 4pm late checkout and special anniversary rates at
over 160 participating Westin hotels and resorts worldwide.
The brand’s fve-month Heavenly Celebration will bring
a little bit of “heaven” to guests and consumers around the
world. Throughout 2009, Westin will introduce several new
additions to the Heavenly product line and host Heavenly
White Sales and experiential events in high-profle locations
worldwide. From Beijing to Boston, every one of Westin’s
169 properties and more than 29,000 employees will
participate in the celebration with special events, Heavenly
promotions and giveaways.
The cult favourite HeavenlyBedfrom Westin
Plans for an eco-friendlySheraton in Incheon
IN BRIEF
i n d u s t r y n E w s
AHCT August 2009
The institute is able to pursue research like this because it has
built up a reputation for trustworthiness and rigour over time and
by working with the industry, explains Dr Smith. “The industry will
share confdential data with us, making the research more valuable
and useful,” he adds.
Macau’s Institute For Tourism Studies (IFT) also maintains close
links with industry partners and has been expanding its student intake
and course offerings as the territory’s hospitality sector has expanded,
especially in revenue management and branding of destinations.
Day-to-day planning can be aided greatly by accurate forecasts of
tourism-related demand. Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School
of Hotel & Tourism Management (SHTM) has helped developed
such a system, which is maintained by an expert panel under Professor
Haiyan Song, Principal Investigator of the System.
The Hong Kong Tourism Demand Forecasting System was
launched last March and has already taken a prize for innovation.
The system allows hoteliers to see forecasts for arrivals,
expenditure by sector and hotel room nights for 10 major source
countries for Hong Kong. It also makes 10-year outgoing predictions
for Hong Kong tourists.
“Using this system, industry personnel can generate different
scenario analyses based one their own estimation of economic growth
rates and fuctuations in currency exchange rates,” Professor Song
tells AHCT.
The professor has also been a speaker on the fnancial crisis
at seminar organised by the United Nations World Tourism
Organisation.
Do your research
SHTM is not the only number crunching school providing the
industry with useful information. Taylor’s College, School of
Hospitality & Tourism conducts what it calls Tourism Observatory
research, producing industry indexes and monitoring performance.
“Emphasis has also been placed on researching issues, such as
sustainable tourism development and the transfer of technology
and knowledge in hospitality tourism and gastronomy,” explains the
institute’s Programme Director Neethiahnanthan Ragavan.
He adds that the school also extensively researches the
development of employable skills and the essential competencies
required of hospitality and tourism graduates.
Maintaining close links with the industry is key for both sides
and Marc Ledermann, Chief Executive Offcer of Les Roches Jin
Jiang tells AHCT that the college has an advisory board of hotel
chain vice presidents and general managers, giving feedback to
ensure the relevance of the education provided. The academic
research associated with Les Roches comes from Switzerland, from
the government-recognised University of Applied Sciences, Les
Roches Gruyère.
Different colleges seem to have disparate perspectives on what it
is relevant for them to research and which topics constitute the future
challenges to the hospitality industry.
Cédric Focking Schneider, Corporate Communications
Coordinator, External Relations at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
(EHL) in Switzerland explains the school’s concerns: “One of the
most important research areas of Lausanne Hospitality Research is
human resources management and hotel performance. The objective
of this research area is to fnd solutions on how to retain and develop
talent in the hospitality industry in order to help hotels develop a
sustainable competitive advantage. The academic research in this
feld gives answers for example on how to develop employee fexibility
(qualitatively and quantitatively)? What is the level of effectiveness
of empowerment programs and how can they be improved? How to
develop hotel employee entrepreneurial behaviour? How to evaluate
the performance of hotel employees? What is the impact of HR
management strategies on hotel performance?”
This is also an area of concern for the IFT. The school’s Executive
Assistant Manager David Wong tells AHCT that it is a major mistake
that some hotels make to stop training when times are tough. “When
the hotels are quiet, we should be busy,” he says.
In fact, many hospitality schools argue that it is the training
they provide as much as the academic research to support the
Listening to the teacher may
be one of the only ways for
the hospitality industry to
grow stronger out of the global
downturn, fnds Mischa Moselle
Learning
from past
mistakes
“A
t this juncture, the impact on the broader economy
and financial markets of the problems in the
subprime market seems likely to be contained,”
Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke said in
Congressional testimony in March, 2007.
And if he doesn’t have a clue about the fnancial and economic
issues facing the world, how can anyone else be expected to make
sense of affairs?
This is more than a nicety for hotel owners and operators facing
plunging RevPAR, GOP and occupancy and attempting to devise
counteracting strategies and even short-term survival plans. Yet
while such issues may not seem academic, it turns out that academia
has a range of tools and answers that can be of great practical
assistance.
Revenue management 101
One temptation for hoteliers is the decision to lower rates to attract
more guests. Interim Dean Dr Russell Arthur Smith of the Cornell-
Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management in Singapore would
advise strongly against it. Research by sister school, Cornell School
of Hotel Administration in the United States has found that luxury
hotels that drop their rates when times are hard rarely if ever recover
the original rates.
“The industry will share confdential
data with us, making the research
more valuable and useful” Interim Dean
Dr Russell Arthur Smith
Students at Raffes Campus Business School,Singapore
Facilities at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
IFTmaintains close industry
contacts tomake lectures relevant
Singapore’s Cornell-NanyangInstitute ofHospitalityManagement
Abusiness schoolgearedtowards hospitality
M a n a g E M E n t
10 AHCTAugust 2009
M a n a g E M E n t
August 2009 AHCT 11
The school has a flagship Winter School, developed in
collaboration with the Hong Kong Hotels Association, which has
been conducting Management Development courses since 2003.
Over in Singapore at the privately-run Raffes Campus Business
School, the emphasis is on the practical and vocational.
“Our programmes are based on TAFE Australia – it is a
requirement of the Australian Quality Framework (AQTF) to have
relevant and recent learning. The programmes are developed based
on interaction with the Australian Ministry of Education, industry
practitioners and the academic team.
“In Singapore, we use the programmes developed by Box Hill
Institute which is our academic partner. The programmes we deliver
are VET (vocational education training) and are the same as the
competency based programme used by WSQ (Workplace Skills
qualifcation). This is a national skills development programme used
by the Workforce Development Agency in Singapore,” explains
Raakel Peter, Executive for Marketing and Communications, at
Raffes Campus.
“We do not separate theory and practical delivery. They are
integrated and are assessed using formative assessment techniques,”
she adds.
In the Philippines Enderun Colleges have been launched with
the needs of the industry very much in mind, Provost and Chief
Operating Offcer Lance Masters tells AHCT. The schools, which
offer hospitality management and culinary courses respectively, take
a number of steps to ensure that its offer is one that will be useful for
its students and for the companies they work for after graduation.
The curriculum at International Hospitality Management was
designed in consultation with senior industry fgures who complained
that many fresh graduates lacked foreign languages and were also
lacking in self-confdence. The hoteliers urged four principles on
the college.
Firstly they said the college should incorporate industry best
practice into their courses and were prepared to offer their own
internal training guidelines and manuals to help with this. These
are used a supplementary materials to recognised course books, All
students are required to learn a foreign language.
Secondly, the courses are taught only by professors with industry
experience. Advanced culinary courses are only taught by Michelin-
experienced chefs, and the culinary programme is undertaken in
conjunction with Formation Alain Ducasse, the training school
founded by the multi-Michelin-starred French legend.
The school has a unique taken on internships, which sees students
packed off for industry experience relatively early in their courses,
having been prepared by the school for their specifc internship. The
internships are relatively lengthy and this means that the students can
take much shorter second ones when they graduate.
Fourthly, the school and its restaurants have been designed to
resemble as strongly as possible the type of 5-star hotel environment
that its students aim to work in.
In Switzerland the EHL offers more than practical courses as it
says its “teaching is the equivalent of the world’s best business schools,
but applied to hospitality.”
Again, as with Enderun, courses are designed with input from
industry leaders. “We build the academic programmes in close
cooperation with industry leaders. We take part in many international
conferences and can observe the market needs, but more over we
seek advice and input on our educational orientation and strategic
decisions at our International Advisory Board. This board consists of
19 top managers refecting the hospitality industry and meets twice a
year at EHL,” says the school’s Focking Schneider.
Les Roches Jin JiangChiefExecutive Offcer Marc Ledermann
Professor
Haiyan Songof
the HongKong
PolyTechnic
University
SchoolofHotel
andTourism
Management
Interim Dean Dr RussellArthur
Smith ofCornell-Nanyang
Institute ofHospitality
Management
The schoolat Les Roches Jin Jiang
Enderun Colleges Provost and
ChiefOperatingOffcer Dr Lance
Masters
industry. While the IFT’s Wong tells AHCT that a lecturer from the
school recently spoke at a crisis management seminar in Singapore,
he is keener to emphasise the training offered by the school. As a
government-funded body, the school can offer many free seminars,
tastings and workshops.
What to teach
Hong Kong’s SHTM recognizes that many hospitality companies are
seeking to broaden their employees’ horizons and are also aware that
competition is not just on the level of pricing and physical product
but on standards.
“Service Quality Management is among the most popular topics
and is constantly in demand,” says Professor Song, also citing the
school’s Executive Development Programme offerings in Uniform
System of Accounting and Conference Management as examples
of industry-relevant training.
M a n a g E M E n t
12 AHCTAugust 2009
A
ccording to Ashok Anantharam a veteran of the hospitality
industry, Senior Consultant, GRT Hotels & Resorts,
“2008-09 saw a substantial drop in occupancies and
Average Room Rate (ARR) across all categories of hotels
in Chennai. Overall market demand has dropped by 20 percent in
both occupancy and yield and this trend will continue in the frst
quarter of 2009-10 as well. However, future booking trends indicate
that the worst may be over and the market will see a gradual pickup
of demand in October 2009.”
This short term drop does not seem to have made the city less
attractive to potential new hotel owners and operators.
Located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal, Chennai
– the capital of Tamil Nadu – is the fourth largest metropolitan city
in India and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.
The industry of tourism
Anantharam explains, “The Chennai hospitality market has seen a
substantial growth both in terms of room nights and ARR over the
last three to four years. There has been consistent increase of around
20 percent each year through 2008-09. From a demand point of view
the city has gained considerable commercial importance because of
its broad based industrial activity, gateway to South India and the
capital city of the state with a very forward looking approach to
industrialisation.”
Anantharam continues, “Chennai is also the starting point of
several south India based tours for inbound tourism. From the supply
point of view there was not an increase in the capacity and hence
existing hotels saw the beneft of a ‘buoyant demand’ situation.
Occupancies of hotels in luxury, frst class and economy classes also
showed a consistent growth in key proftability parameters.”
Interestingly room rates in Chennai were considerably lower than
those in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore but an increase in demand
for rooms has narrowed this gap.
Buoyant hub
Likewise, Virender Razdan, General Manager, Sheraton Park Hotel
& Towers, Chennai says, “We are bullish about the Chennai Market
and see it showing marginal growth by Q3 to Q4 of this year due
to buoyancy in the manufacturing and infrastructure sector. State
government will also sell the state as an attractive destination for
all future investments, major international companies which have
manufacturing bases in Tamil Nadu are shifting their back end
operations to Chennai ... Hence the Chennai luxury market should
see steady growth in the next couple of years.”
“According to industry experts Cushman & Wakefeld, CRISIL
Chennai room supply will grow by 14 percent (2008-2011) whereas
demand will decrease by 3 percent. But ground realities belie this,”
argues Razdan.
Pradeep Kalra, Senior VP Sales & Marketing, Sarovar Hotels
& Resorts says, “Chennai being a corporate hub and base of many
big industry players, it attracts a lot of business travellers. Pharma,
manufacturing, heavy machinery, engineering and automobile
sectors are major contributors in the present times. With crunching
travel budgets and decreasing corporate spends, the pressure on the
Sound
fundamentals
to boost
Chennai
growth
International and domestic brands
plan to capitalize on the city’s
manufacturing and tourism draws,
Sharmila Chand reports
Le RoyalMeridien Chennai
Chennaiis an important religious centre
Chennai’s headymix ofbusiness and
tourist attractions is drawingvisitors
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call centres. On the other hand, Chennai has seen a spectacular rise
as a commercial hub over the last fve years and this has resulted in
international players looking seriously at Chennai. More than 3,000
rooms are expected to be added in the luxury/frst class market
between 2012-13 and several of these are well known international
brands. The Oberoi Group, Taj and ITC are also expanding their
presence in the city. Taj has recently opened the Taj Mountroad in
addition to their three existing hotels (two in Chennai and one in
Mahabalipuram, 60 kilometres south of the city). ITC is opening
India’s largest luxury hotel - ITC Grand Chola in 2011-12. A
relatively new entrant is the service apartment segment – Ascot
establishing its presence here.
Razdan, explains, “Chennai is being positioned as the next
fnancial hub after Mumbai. Come 2010-11, the city will run short of
rooms keeping in view that more automotive companies are working
on shifting their production base to Chennai and Tamil Nadu.
Current ones are shifting all backend processes to the state.
Banks like Citibank are expanding their operations further
from Chennai.
A metro rail project and other infrastructure realty projects will
see huge growth in corporate travel. Chennai vis à vis other cities in
the south ( Bangalore/ Hyderabad) has experienced fewer decreases
We are hopeful to arrest decreases and show growth by September
of this year onward.”
Industry veteran Anantharam is also optimistic. “Chennai will
see a large number of international hospitality players beginning
operations by 2012-13 and this will coincide with markets also
gaining buoyancy both in the business and leisure segments. I expect
to see the Chennai hospitality scenario, maturing even further and
this augurs well for the consumer who is prepared to pay for quality
and fnds a positive price value relationship in the service delivered
to him,” he says.
PradeepKalra,Senior VP Sales &Marketing,Sarovar Hotels &Resorts
hospitality sector will continue till the economy recovers by the end
of this fscal year.”
He points out, “Radha Regent, a Sarovar Hotel, has managed
to buck the trend on account of its strong sales offces network across
11 source markets and a smaller room inventory.”
Some global brands are already operating very successfully
in Chennai and this includes Sheraton, Meridien, Radisson, and
Courtyard by Marriott. In addition, several more players like
Hilton, Intercontinental, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Marriott,
JW Marriott and Ascot are likely to open by 2012-13.
On an optimistic note, Anantharam, says, “While 2008-09 saw
a slump in demand, business is expected to pick up in the second
half of 2009-10 and the opening of the new hotels will coincide with
increase in demand. However, there is no doubt that the quantum of
increase in supply will outstrip the rate at which demand is expected
to grow in the medium term and Chennai will see a market scenario
of ‘Perfect Competition’ where those hotels which provide superior
value will come out trumps.”
Brands in India
Until a few years ago, the main concentration of global hotel brands
in India was in the gateway cities of Mumbai and Delhi. Later on
Bangalore was the focus area due to the exponential rise of IT and
Sheraton –
alreadyoperating
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The Sheraton Park Hotel&Towers Chennai
“We are bullish about
the Chennai Market and
see it showing marginal
growth” Virender Razdan
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1 AHCT August 2009
V
oice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is the broad term
applied to all telephone, conference and video technology
that communicates over an IP network. More and more
telecommunications and technology companies are
taking steps that show this is the way forward. One of those is New
World Telecommunications, which recently announced a partnership
with SolutionInc to market and sell the group’s SolutionIP software,
which provides internet connectivity, billing and management, to
the hospitality sector in Hong Kong, Macau and China. In theory,
it should be a cheaper, clearer communication option that allows
international calls and meetings from anywhere in the world at as low
as 50 percent of the cost of landlines or mobile phones. In practice
however, while in developed countries VoIP has taken off, in Asia
there is still some reticence to adopt this technology.
The pros
In a perfect world, hotel guests, back offce, and the hotel executives
themselves can beneft from the implementation of VoIP solutions.
Explains a representative from Aculab, “An analogy would be the
number of third party applications available for the iPhone – the
basic underlying principle is the same,” but every hotel can use IP
networks to suit their needs. Uses for hotel guests include cheaper
international calling rates, meetings and conference solutions that
range from voice to video, and peace of mind that the hotel bill at
the end of the stay will not be sky high.
Cost-cutting
communication
“When the infrastructure is put in
place, there is a guaranteed way
to see a return on investment for
everyone.” Matthew Kuan
An overlooked use of
VoIP is the beneft for
back-offce operations.
But there are still
hurdles to clear reports
Christina Kautzky
For both front and back offce functions, explains Matthew Kuan,
Leader, Hospitality Solutions, Nortel Asia, “We are able to unify
traditionally disparate communication networks within the hotel,”
which allows offce desks using analogue phones and engineers on
walkie-talkies using radio frequencies, to communicate without
purchasing any new hardware.
And, says a marketing representative from UK-base Aculab,
“Having to maintain a single IP-based network for all services
involving voice, data, etc. should lead to reduced [operating] costs.”
Another positive for hotels is the ability for executives within the hotel
to use the meetings facilities for their own purposes. The current
downturn has forced hotels into cost-saving mode, and according
to a number of industry sources, this means lowering internal
international call charges. Explains Kuan, “If you have executives
all over the world, instead of all fying to one distant location, each
person can fy to the nearest location in the region and conduct a
conference call from there. It’s a tremendous cost saving tool.”
The cons
Historically hotels have hit a number of roadblocks when looking at
installing VoIP solutions. Particularly in less developed countries or
rural areas, the infrastructure for connections was – and sometimes
photograph courtesy of radvision
t E c h n o l o g y
1 AHCT August 2009
t E c h n o l o g y
August 2009 AHCT 19
just as easy as using the web at home or picking up a mobile phone.
The company explains, “Whether [guests] are tourists keeping in
touch with home, or business professionals on the move, everyone
needs easy and quick access. But access alone is not enough; it has
to be quick to connect, fast to transmit and not result in a huge bill
for usage. In effect, it must be as simple as using a mobile phone or
sending a fax.”
Over the past few years, as hotels have enjoyed high occupancy
rates and expenses were not at the top of the mind, hotels did not need
to offer cheaper solutions. For those travelling for business purposes,
the company footed the bill for expensive calls and meetings. Now,
however, that is not the case, which is leading to a reassessment of
what hotels need to be offering.
The happy medium
“Today,” explains Kuan, IT departments are being called upon to
“put on their thinking caps to fnd ways to leverage technology for
cost cutting measures.” Globally this has changed the way that hotels
are viewing VoIP.
Technology companies are being asked to sit down and explain
just how VoIP technology will impact their bottom line. And, says
Kuan, “We can show you precise ways that this is a real value add
and its clear ROI. When the infrastructure is put in place, there is a
guaranteed way to see a return on investment for everyone.”
But while solutions exist, there are barriers for hotels, and ensuring
owners are purchasing the right system is one. Aculab adds, “Perhaps
the biggest challenge is making sense of the various offerings - the
plethora of offerings - that are available.” From expensive solutions
offered by the traditional tier-one telecommunications vendor space,
through tier two and three vendors of SME-scale IP-PBXs to hosted
platforms, SIP trunking and peer-to-peer solutions such as Skype, “it’s
a minefeld.” But all is not lost. “Maybe the best advice is to specify
what it is that you want to achieve, then seek information from a local,
in-country solutions provider or vendor.” The company cautions,
“I’m sure [solutions providers] would tell you – each and every one
– that they had the answers to all of your problems and questions…
Inoperability is often a good topic to quiz companies on.”
Aculab’s rep advises, “Don’t let them oversell you, and equally,
make sure you don’t get caught up in the proprietary solution trap
- that simply negates many of the advantages that VoIP brings in
the frst place.”
This is a trend that the industry is addressing, and some like
Nortel have been proactive in being open about it. Says Kuan, “We
realise that wireless and the interfacing of applications is the way
forward … so we are developing technology in the direction that
hotels really want.”
Just how the tech industry will respond to these new demands
remains to be seen, but what is clear is that the hurdles originally
associated with IP systems are slowly but surely becoming a thing of
the past, which benefts hotel guest, hotel executives, and everyone
in between.
.
VoIP Solutions can…
Lowerinternationalcallingratesbyupto0percent.
Offercheapermeetings,businessandconferencesolutions.
Connectdisparatenetworksoffrontoffce,backoffceandengineeringdepartments.
Allowhotelemployeestoconnectwithregionalandglobalchains.
MakeWiFiconnectionspossiblethroughoutthehotelforavarietyofcommunicationsoptions.
AVoIP solution from Phillips
MatthewKuan,Leader,
HospitalitySolutions,NortelAsia
LG-Nortel’s IP0system
Videoconferencingsaves moneyon travel
still is – simply not in place. This is an ongoing issue, though one
that individual countries are working on not just from a hospitality
perspective, but also in terms of overall telecommunications
penetration. Unfortunately though, in places where lines are not
currently in operation, VoIP is simply not an option.
In terms of hotel infrastructure, many have been resistant to
change their approach and disrupt the status quo by adding additional
wires and routing cables. But, as SMC Asia points out, “Even in our
personal lives the internet has become completely pervasive. We
keep in touch with our friends by email; we buy books, CDs, car
insurance, vacations and virtually anything else over the web. Most
of us would now be lost without it.” Likewise access to solutions for
telecommunications and video conferences is essential to keep the
contemporary hotel guest happy. SMC offers solutions aimed at being
t E c h n o l o g y
20 AHCT August 2009
from the chef ’s travels add an element of the
exotic, with glass panelling over the window
top. But this exterior is mostly the architect’s
hand; his is frmly in the kitchen itself.
The restaurant group has ‘owned’ the
upper part of Star Street in Wanchai for
years with a hold on the best building, but
1/5 nuevo is but the latest incarnation of that
location, having been a Japanese restaurant
in its former life, then a European grill. “For
the new restaurant, which focuses on more
tapas-style European food, the issue was not
for the kitchen to be big but practical,” Gabet
says. “I used to run a kitchen in Japan that
was 1,500 square metres with 400 seats, but
size doesn’t matter and has nothing to do
with the beauty of the kitchen, especially in
Hong Kong where it is so compressed.”

Window operating system
He says the key is to make the kitchen as
functional as possible while creating at least
some element of the visual. “Open kitchens
are very popular; these days guests want
to see the action. But I don’t feel you need
to show everything, it’s mostly the chef ’s
performance, so we show what we want
to show.” In his case that means the open
window is restricted to just the head and
sous chef at the fnish point, showcasing the
grill, fattop and range work and the fnishing
plating. Ten years ago, he says, kitchens were
showing everything, and it was too much.
“You just want to see the sexy part, not
some cook peeling carrots.” You won’t see
the cold preparation area, nor the pantry
and certainly not the ‘deep prep’ area where
they frst receive and process the produce and
meats. Even the dessert area is off-limits.
The washroom is located past the kitchen
so everyone at some point in the evening is
bound to get a close look. Some just give
it a glance, but some show a keen interest
and stay for several minutes. The window
can be seen everywhere in the restaurant,
including the busy bar when the curtain is
open. But during dinner service the large
foor-to-ceiling barrier gives diners a sense of
privacy and it effectively separates the entire
bar area from the dining room. Gabet says
while he designed the kitchen, there were
three others involved: the actual interior
kitchen designer who sources the equipment
and the interior designer of the restaurant,
the group’s dedicated EC Studio, who did
the intriguing frontage, and the operator of
course, who has the fnal say on everything.
There are also safety issues such as fre and
hygiene, whose departments can easily
close or postpone opening if they fnd some
discrepancy.
“The design of the kitchen is so that the
power structure is like a pyramid, with the
Bruce Dawson looks at two kitchens to see
how they have been adapted to both the
space and the chefs’ requirements
Making an
exhibition of
themselves “You just want
to see the sexy
part, not some
cook peeling
carrots”
Patrice Gabet
T
his is a study in contrasts: two
‘open’ kitchens, one designed by
the executive chef from scratch,
the other by a hotelier with no
consultation with the chef. Is it a question
of function over beauty, or is there a happy
compromise to be reached with both?
Patrice Gabet is not just the Executive
Chef but is also the Executive Director of
Elite Concepts, which operates 1/5 nuevo,
recipient of a Michelin 1 Bib Gourmand
with a one fork ‘comfort rating’; as well as an
Italian, Chinese, Japanese, French and New
American restaurant, properties in Beijing
and a resort. Restaurant 1/5 nuevo is billed
as “a cocktail lounge with casual dining;”
has massive marble-effect pillars next to the
bar and around the restaurant shimmering
with gold; the walls, feature tones of mud,
red, clay, blue and black; small beautifully
designed tiles for the backdrop of the bar
and a pillar giving a fsh-scale visual ripple
effect to the bar top. The light clay textured
walls and lampshades, and red lighting
effects highlight the kitchen at night. There
is a white marble countertop facing the
open part of the kitchen’s refective copper
surrounding window, copper heat lamps, and
the counters are all stainless steel as well as all
the equipment in the kitchen. The window
is over three metres wide and on the shelf
above Moroccan tagines and unique cutlery
chef at the top. It is not a democracy, the chef
controls his kitchen like the captain of a ship.
The system must follow the top.”

Design by proxy
In sharp contrast to the chef-driven design
process that formed 1/5 nuevo, the master
planner of the brand-new Sha Tin 18
Chinese open show kitchen at the Hyatt
Regency Sha Tin did not spend hours
in meetings with his head chef; instead,
he based the design very closely on the
successful show kitchen ‘Made in China’ at
the hotel in Beijing. Andreas Stalder is the
Senior Vice President, Product & Brands
Development of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.
Sha Tin 18 features four show kitchens where
diners can see in full view the preparation
of authentic Cantonese and Northern
Chinese cuisine. There is a pastry kitchen
and tea bar; noodle and dumpling station
where hand-pulled noodles from Xian and
handmade dumplings are made to order with
bar seating; wok kitchen/claypot/steamed
dishes kitchen; and fnally a barbeque kitchen
with two massive Beech ovens to roast the
1/nuevo’s take on kitchen design
Open kitchen –limitedview
d E s i g n
22 AHCT August 2009
d E s i g n
August 2009 AHCT 2
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enclosed area. Guests can only see the
fnished dishes, but are never given a chance
to look at the procedures.” He says guests now
have the chance to see the fresh ingredients,
the cleanliness of the preparation process,
and can better appreciate the culinary skills
of the chefs. “This not only gives confdence
to the guests, it’s also entertaining. It becomes
not just a meal, but a new experience.” He
says the toughest challenge of the open
kitchen concept for his chefs is the sudden
shift to interacting with the guests, and the
intense scrutiny in which they are under.
“There is no room for error, but we try our
best to maintain a calm and jolly state of
mind,” he says.
Stalder doesn’t believe in windows.
“Either show or don’t show, but you want to
see the chef ’s hands, what they are doing.”
Therefore he went ahead with his vision
without consulting the chef. “Often you
haven’t even appointed the head chef in
the conception phase; we know what works,
how a Chinese kitchen works. We gave a lot
of thought to attention to detail and design;
show kitchen and interior design become one
and the same.” He dismantled the kitchen
into components, with seating between
these components, and gave the designers
no part in the layout. “There is nothing
more frustrating than designers who don’t
understand kitchens,” he asserts.
Interior designer Tony Siu still managed
to put his spin on the eventual outcome, while
not involved with the kitchen, he lent his fair
to the interior design of the restaurant, and
indeed, the whole hotel since day one with
all the with subtle elements such as birdcage
lighting, stone facing for the show kitchens,
themes of nature, wood, rustic unpolished
stone and classic Chinese design updated
with elements such as mirrors for depth.
“People are lining up just to look at the
wok station, and enjoy sitting all around the
noodle station,” he says with obvious pride.
“I got a lot of direction from Stalder and
I’ve worked for more than two years on the
balance between the seating and the kitchens,
learning the concept that you can order
anything from anywhere in the restaurant
and watch while the chef makes it right in
front of you, or from afar.”
signature Peking Duck and Sha Tin Roast
Pigeon. Added to this are fve private rooms
and a vast outdoor terrace to take in the
mountain view. But Stalder hopes that guests
will be equally transfxed with his four show
kitchens, each manned by a chef renowned
for his particular area of expertise.
“We wanted to create something
exciting, not ‘just another hotel restaurant,’”
he says. “The kitchen is the most intimate
part of your home, a comfort zone. We’re
taking the concept inside out – nothing to
hide, nothing to be shy about. This means
the chefs change their behaviour, they don’t
shout, they look better; it’s something not
expected in Sha Tin.”
Interactivity
Chef Nelson Zou, Chef de Cuisine, Sha
Tin 18, has adapted to the new style. “The
advantage of having an open kitchen is
that it’s interactive. Traditional Chinese
restaurants tend to hide the chef in an
The entrancingentrance toSha Tin 1
The kitchens can be seen
from anytable in Sha Tin 1
The dessert kitcken at Sha Tin 1
d E s i g n
2 AHCT August 2009
Calling all
beetroot
afcionados
Have a great recipe for beetroot
carpaccio? Make a mean gingered
beetroot soup? For those who fnd
the often-overlooked beetroot a joy to
cook with, contact Ragnar Fridriksson,
a member of the World Association
of Chefs Societies, via Facebook to
contribute to a cookbook he is editing
dedicated to this root vegetable. He
is looking for recipes from around
the world, and those chosen will be
featured in the book with the chef’s
name and place of work. Successful
entrants will also receive a free fnal
copy of the book.
Waiting 11 years
for a number 8
The latest opening in Hong Kong’s bar and dining Soho district is the
appropriately named Soho 8.
The name of the Staunton’s Group outlet comes from the area and
the street address of 8 Staunton Street. The company have been waiting
for the spot to become vacant for 11 years.
The restaurant looks over the Mid-Levels escalator and grabs
attention with a wall-mounted, backlit fve-foot model of a whale.
Open windows also give onto Staunton Street itself, providing more
opportunities for people-watching.
There is an emphasis on premium cocktails, Champagnes and New
World wines.
Management and chef Jeffrey Le Bon decided to go for a Surf and
Turf menu, using produce sourced from the Pacifc Rim and Argentina.
Signature surf dishes include spice crusted rare sashimi grade tuna,
while the turf could be rack of Australian lamb with Indonesian spices.
The actual Surf + Turf combo is a fllet of Australian beef tenderloin with
Béarnaise sauce and half a Boston lobster.
Flavour of Thailand
Lotus, the modern Thai restaurant and cocktail lounge in Hong Kong’s
Central district recently brought in two mixologists from Bangkok to give
their cocktail menu a pep up.
Although Bennie Sorum and Thomas Anostam are actually Swedish,
they have attempted to capture the favours of Thailand in their cocktails
and their Siam Sunrise has been appointed the country’s offcial cocktail
by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The pair, who have been mixing for about seven years each and
have been in the Land of Smiles for three or four years, also wanted to
create cocktails that matched the Thai cooking of well-known Australian
chef Will Meyrick. One of the aims of mixology is to bring the kitchen into
the bar and Sorum and Anostam’s creations are certainly loaded with the
favours of the Thai kitchen – lemongrass, coconut, pandanus, lime and
the inevitable chilli.
MOHG snags
Blumenthal
British chef Heston Blumenthal, noted for both his playful experimental
cuisine and his research into historic British cooking, is to open a
restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London in the autumn of
2010.
The kitchen will be headed by Ashley Palmer Watts, who has been
Group Executive Chef at Blumenthal’s three-Michelin-starred The Fat Duck
for nine years.
The menu will be a revival and modernization of traditional British
recipes and the design of the restaurant will refect that concept. Design
will be in the hands of Adam Tihany who will work with Blumenthal and
the Mandarin Oriental. The designer plans to highlight traditional British
materials such as wood, leather and iron.
David Nicholls, Corporate Director of F&B at the Mandarin Oriental
Hotel Group is a friend of Blumenthal and he says that has, “Always shared
his enthusiasm for English recipes and … enjoyed working with him to
develop talented British chefs through the Roux Scholarship programme.”
Rare salmon treat
Gourmets have the opportunity for a rare treat through to mid-August at Harlan’s in
Hong Kong.
The restaurant’s Executive Chef Nelson Chiu has sourced the rare seasonal delicacy
of white salmon from Alaska. The fsh, also known as the Ivory King or Chinook salmon
is rare relative to the large numbers of red-feshed King salmon with which it migrates
and because they are in season only for a short summer period.
The fsh has a unique mild, sweet and buttery favour.
Chef Nelson’s creative uses of the fsh include a cured salmon with potato pancake,
watercress, caviar and honey mustard dressing and a salmon consommé with conft
tomatoes, tarragon, miso, Chardonnay and pineapple.
The fsh, which make up only fve percent of the King salmon family, is white feshed
because it has an extra enzyme that processes carotene, the chemical that turns other
salmon pink or red.
Mandarin OrientalHyde Park,London
Fire roastedprawns with garlic,coriander andsweet redchillijam from Soho
Pan roastedAlaskan salmon
CuredAlaskan salmon
Thirsty world
Exhibition Vinexpo in Bordeaux had been expecting
a large decrease in visitor numbers but found the
actual drop limited. They recorded only a 7.56
percent dip, despite what the organisers term the
‘ambient economic gloom’.
A further surprise was the large number of
professional visitors from mainland China and Hong
Kong – 1,322 attendees second only to the number
of professionals attending from Britain. The keen
interest in wine has been attributed to the abolition
of import duties in Hong Kong.
“The overseas contingent exceeded all
estimations, especially the remarkable turnout from
Hong Kong and China,” said Vinexpo Chairman
Xavier de Eizaguirre.
The latter were not the only Asians showing
interest in wine. Tax cuts on wine in Thailand are
thought to be behind the 93 percent increase in
visitors to the show from that country.
Overall, 46,621 professional buyers attended,
with 34 percent being from 135 countries outside
of France.
Vinexpo–attractinga worldwide audience
An often-overlookedvegetable Photograph courtesyofVinexpo
c u l i n a r y n E w s
2 AHCT August 2009
c u l i n a r y n E w s
August 2009 AHCT 2
“W
hen I was a kid there
was Neapol itan and
that was about it,” recalls
Alvin Leung, The Demon
Chef at Hong Kong’s Bo Innovation, referring to the
quintessential strawberry, vanilla, chocolate trio. Today,
“anyone and everyone could live their whole lives with
just chocolate ice cream and be entirely happy and
satisfed. But they don’t have to.”
As ice cream favours morph from vanilla to tomato
soup, the sky is the limit. But just how favours are perceived
in different regions and among various demographics is a
study in learned taste behaviour as well as a testament to the
global obsession with ice cream in all its forms.
Oldies but goodies
Rhys Adams is Project and Marketing Director for El Grande,
distributors of Ben & Jerry’s, and says classics continue to be the
favourites. “Vanilla is a core favour throughout the world,” he
says. Likewise, New Zealand Natural (NZN) counts vanilla as its
top seller, regardless of who is buying.
Over at the Häagen-Dazs counter, oldies are still goodies, but
after that, things get interesting. Marketing Executive, Kinki Chow
points out, “Macadamia nut and green tea… fruity favour ice creams
are also very popular [in Hong Kong], especially in [the] summer
period. Some successful cases include apricot and cream, mango and
passion fruit and summer berries.”
While vanilla appears to be widely accepted throughout the
region there are mixed reviews on regional taste preferences. “There
is a perception that sweeter favours are not as successful in the Asian
From praline to pork,
Zara Horner fnds that
ice cream is changing
its stripes – and colours,
and favours and place
on the menu
Ice cream for all
“Generally, females
occupy 70 percent
and males
30 percent of our
core target segment”
Kinki Chow
market,” says Adams, “but this has not impacted
upon our sales.” Chocolate chip cookie dough,
chocolate therapy and Chunky Monkey all sell very
well, and are all very sweet.
A spokesperson for Mövenpick, says that the idea
that Chinese don’t like sweeter favours is a bit of a
misconception. “That’s not necessarily true,” she says.
“They are relatively more health conscious so they tend
to opt for fruity favours instead.”
Gelato creator Paolo Predonzan of I Scream Gelato
explains that most of his original recipes were infuenced
by summers in Germany, where patrons like “sweet, sweet,
sweet.” For the local palate in Asia he has tweaked his
closely guarded 400 recipes to reduce sweetness by up to
16 percent.
Variations on a theme
According to Campbell Cave, General Manager Asia, New
Zealand Natural (NZN), some favours are market specifc “Green
tea, sells well in Asia but does not rank in the top twenty in most
other countries. Another example is durian fruit; this is very popular
in Singapore and Malaysia but frankly could not be given away in
most other countries. The Thai people tend to prefer sweeter treats
so in Thailand hokey pokey, which is butterscotch candy mixed with
vanilla ice cream is the number one selling product.”
Cultural answers aren’t always obvious, though. Predonzan
created ‘Rice Cream’ in plain, mango, chocolate or vanilla, which
didn’t pass the test. “I think it was a case of, ‘I eat rice three times a
day – why would I want it for dessert too?’”
Häagen-Dazs, which offers between 16 and 24 favours at any
Mövenpick sayChinese consumers prefer fruityfavours
Vanilla can be the base
for manychefcreations
Ben &Jerry’s
creative cookie
dough ice cream
F o o d
2 AHCT August 2009
F o o d
August 2009 AHCT 29
do not buy ice cream solely for personal consumption, nor do they
choose ice cream brands based on taste alone. Häagen-Dazs defnes
ice cream culture as an expression of personality and style.”
But retailers aren’t the only ones able to leverage this obsession
with ice cream. The St. Regis in Bali, creates its own, which is sold
at the hotel’s Gourmand Deli. Pastry Chef Vincent Stopin says that
the homemade ice cream is “very popular nowadays.” With favours
ranging from banana nutmeg to dried chilli apple, Sumatran coffee to
bitter Valrhona chocolate chip, the hotel is able to offer their guests
an on-site taste test “before we put it out for sale.” Stopin says this
makes creating new favours much more targeted when he “receives
comments from guests who love ice cream.”
Ice cream goes highbrow
That expression is something even Michelin Star chefs are taking
seriously. Ice cream has made its way into high-end restaurants, taking
on forms like Wasabi Ice Cream topped with Hamachi at Union J in
Hong Kong, and Bacon & Eggs at the Fat Duck in Bray, England.
Consumers are now willing to try more favours because, as
Mövenpick’s spokesperson says, they are used to branching out,
“especially in food services as chefs often demand new and exotic
favours to lavish their cooking ideas, especially in the creation of
new a la carte menus.”
Bo Innovation’s Leung has come up with a “Chinese wind-dried
pork sausage ice cream.” He adds that ice cream has transformed
itself from just a dessert to a key menu item served during any
course. Flavour combinations such as wasabi and mustard grab
diners’ attention, but these are generally “used early on in the menu
as starters, or teasers, or palate cleansers.”
Even Predonzan through his retail gelato shops and distribution
networks likes to try favours on the savoury side. He created a basil
ice cream specifcally purposed to top tomato soup, which he describes
as “lovely.” And he promises there is no better accompaniment to a
Caesar salad than a dollop of anchovy ice cream.
While these may be novelty favours, NZN’s Cave encourages
hotels and restaurants not to underestimate their clientele. “Try new
favours,” he encourages. “We have often been surprised [in our
experience] that two hotels almost next door to each other have guests
that consistently prefer totally different ice cream favours. Work with
your supplier to create sundae menus which will help drive sales for
the beneft of both parties.”
But the bottom line is that ice cream is a comfort food that crosses
all cultures, ages, genders and demographic boundaries. Finding the
right favour for the right audience is a matter of experimentation,
and quite simply, just asking.
one time, develops eight new tastes and introduces two for retail
every year. “Occasionally,” says Chow, the company also develops
“favours with cultural variances to satisfy local palates” or goods for
local shop promotions like ice cream cake, and limited edition dine-in
and take-away creations.
For Ben & Jerry’s, perhaps one of the more inventive mass market
ice cream companies, Adams explains that favours are created by
a team of ‘favour gurus’ in Vermont, “based on their research. But
occasionally they are the product of [a] Ben & Jerry’s consumer or
a collaboration with famous fans.” They all – save Cherry Garcia,
not available in Hong Kong – sell well in spite of the perceived
differences in tastes.
One cone for every man, woman and child
The demographics of ice cream preferences are diffcult to nail down.
Urban legend has it that children are the most notorious ice cream
fends, while women come in second, followed by a sweet tooth-less
male population. However, I Scream Gelato notes no real difference
in the gender of its patrons, nor does Adams of Ben & Jerry’s sales.
Even hard numbers can be misleading. NZN reports that 70
percent of its customers are female but that “male customers visit
more frequently and spend more,” says Cave. In terms of age, those
without a twenty-something metabolism appear to be less keen on ice
cream. “The majority of our customers are under 30,” he says.
Häagen-Dazs keeps very detailed demographic information,
and says Chow, “Generally, females occupy 70 percent and males 30
percent of our core target segment [in the] 25-40 years [age bracket].
We project that the younger group is increasing so that it is one of
our key segments to invest in” going forward.
However, there is no defnitive conclusion because ice cream is not
necessarily a favourite of one group or another. “Today’s consumers
Demon chefAlvin Leungis notedfor his
Chinese wind-driedpork sausage ice cream Häagen-Dazs offer 1-2favours at anyone time
PaoloPredonzan of
IScream Gelatohas
taken his product in a
savourydirection with
basilice cream
Häagen-Dazs ice cream has even endedupin moon cakes
F o o d
0 AHCT August 2009
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Asian Hotel & Catering Times
(AHCT) has been serving the
Asian-Pacific region as a familiar
and trusted industry publication
for three decades, and is widely
acknowledged to be the only
magazine that covers all aspects
of the hospitality industry.
asian hotel
& Catering times
puBlisHed since 1976
SubScRIPTION FORM

M
ore refned global palettes and rising competition
amongst Asia’s l uxury hotel s has l ed to an
unprecedented rise in the quality and diversity of
coffee offerings throughout the region. “In a sense,”
says Ho Chee Wu, Sales Director for Asia, Franke Coffee Systems,
“the cafe scene in a particular market dictates the level of quality
and product offering that a hotel [needs] to offer.”
However, there is no disputing that tastes are more sophisticated
and hotels are stepping up to the plate. “Guests are asking for more
high-quality coffee” than ever before says Robert Ypma, Sales
Manager Export for Bravilor Bonamat. “This requires a professional
machine.”
Adds Neal Robinson, Senior Vice President, International Sales
at United States-based coffee machine manufacturer, Bunn, “I see
the hotels adding various beverages to their menus and updating
equipment,” because “guests are fully aware of all the options
available with coffee today, including espresso, cappuccino and latte,
espresso-based drinks with milk as well as favours, and also fresh-
brewed coffee, both pre-ground or ground on site.”
This changes the necessary functionality of the machine. “Coffee
machines should be fully automatic or have auto programming, and
be easy to use and manage,” says Vivien Kuan, Marketing Manager
at Metadesign, which distributes Lavazza coffee machines and
accessories. “Machines should also be stylish yet multi-functional.”
Swiss manufacturer Schaerer even provides a coffee consultant
to help decide which machine best suits their needs.
Espresso breaks
For conference groups meeting in the hotels’ function spaces, “hotels
are also looking to provide an experience for meeting rooms and
conference centres where attendees have options beyond the standard
fare when it comes to their beverage offerings,” says Robinson.
He adds, “Some hotels are going with branded programs, such
as Starbucks, and most are becoming more aware of the incremental
sales and profts provided by increasing their offerings and quality of
the beverages being brewed.” Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel
Taipei recently began offering Starbucks-branded coffee corners as
a themed meeting break option.
For those who concentrate on improving their in-house banquet,
conference and breakfast room facilities, companies like Bravilor
Bonamat design machines capable of making up to 40 litres of
coffee in 20 minutes and keeping it fresh in air-tight thermoses for
up to fve hours.
Schaerer’s Matic family of coffee machines is touted as, “[An]
indestructible machine ... designed to handle heavy loads and to
work reliably under continuous operation throughout a very long
service life. Instead of the usual electric motor, the brewing unit of
this high-performance machine is powered by an oil-hydraulic drive
for increased durability and reliability.”
Modern technology
For business lounges and conference halls companies are continuing
to innovate. Anders Backstrom, Export Sales Manager for Asia,
Crem International explains, “The traditional way of serving coffee
out of 1.8 l decanters is becoming an expensive hassle for outlets as
the brewed coffee must be consumed within 30 minutes – before it
turns bitter and burnt in taste.” The group’s ‘Serving Station’ keeps
the coffee hot and preserves the aroma by using its own heat within
a closed, vacuum-sealed container.
Likewise, the conditions essential to a good cup of coffee have to
be controlled for quality. Explains Bravilor Bonomat’s Ypma, “We
design machines to make sure that the water does not go through
the coffee too quickly or too slowly; we ensure the temperature is
controlled so that the coffee remains at the ideal temperature,” and
as the company has been in the business for 60 years, they’ve got
plenty of experience making the perfect cup – or hundreds of cups
– of premium coffee.
In-room upgrades
The pre-recession boom also brought gourmet coffee machines to
Restaurants and hotels are
upgrading their coffee service
as guests’s tastes become
increasingly sophisticated,
fnds Angela Glenn
Coffee
culture
individual guest rooms. Before tough times hit, Franke’s Ho notes
that the demand by fve-star hotels for capsule-based machines
increased.
The Nespresso machine came frst and has been dominating the
market but newer arrivals are giving Nestle a run for their money.
As reported in last month’s AHCT, Mars have entered the market
with their Flavia machine.
“People have become more professional, almost expert in their
coffee tastes and they have high expectations and are more demanding
when it comes to coffee quality – even for self-service, in-room
facilities,” says Kuan.
“Lavazza’s Blue and Espresso Point coffee capsule systems are
equipped with automatic dose and milk frothing functions,” she adds.
“Single-serve capsules are also available for beverages such as lemon
Bravilor Bonomat’s professionalcoffee machines
Lavazza’s Blue andEspressoPoint coffee capsule
systems are equippedwith automatic dose and
milk frothingfunctions
Bunn’s Titan solution for high volumes
Accordingto
manufacturer
Bunn,many
hotels are
upgradingtheir
equipment
Consumers have
an increasing
awareness oftheir
coffee options
d r i n k
2 AHCT August 2009
d r i n k
August 2009 AHCT
Spectra: Bringing individuality
to the next level – day in & day out
Taste is unique to all of us. Even more so when talking about coffee.
It lies within the capabilities of a great machine to evoke the sheer endless
product variety it enholds. Combine this unimaginable level of enjoyment,
paired with versatility that could previously only be dreamt of, in one
great looking piece of art . May your wishes become reality – with Spectra.
Astonish your guests with this flexible and sleek looking machine.
The art of excellent coffeemaking
Franke Kaffeemaschinen AG
Franke-Strasse 9
4663 Aarburg
Switzerland
Phone +41 62 787 36 07
Fax +41 62 787 30 10
www.franke-cs.com
Fair trade by defnition is both a legal term and an organised social
movement aimed at bringing producers of commodities like cacao and
coffee, particularly in developing countries, into the supply chain, paying
them higher prices and promoting sustainability. The trend is much more
evident in the West, but café’s like Singapore’s recently opened Boncafé,
which serves fair trade coffee, are beginning to pop up in the region as well.
Christian W. Huber, Managing Director of Boncafé International
explained, “Coffee lovers and afcionados are becoming more aware of fair
trading practices the world over, and they are choosing to be consumers
with heart and respect.” Adding, “Boncafé is proud to be a part of this
growing movement, and would like to support this increased awareness
by doing business with partners who offer better trading conditions in the
supply chain, end to end.”
While advocates of fair trade argue that their efforts bring farmers closer
to self-sustained economic growth, there are a few who criticise it as a
misnomer. Fair trade pays but a few pennies more than the average for
cocoa growers in west Africa for example, which does not bridge the gap
from poverty to prosperity, they say. It is unclear whether some proponents
of fair trade have any plan to help farmers they work with mechanise their
farms, allowing for increased product and ostensibly increased revenues
and long-term sustainability.
However, whichever side of the argument one stands on, fair trade
sends a message that consumers are willing to pay more to do what they
feel is the right thing for farmers providing their morning cup of coffee.
Fair trade coffee from Boncafé
tea, peach tea and low-fat hot chocolate.”
In-room gourmet coffee facilities can be an important point of
differentiation. In Beijing’s highly saturated luxury hotel market, a
huge jump in room inventory in the lead up to last year’s Olympic
Games saw properties scrambling for ways to stand out from the
pack. Hilton Beijing Wanfujing for one offers deluxe coffeemakers in
each of its 255 oversized guestrooms and suites. In less competitive
markets, capsule and automatic coffee machines are increasingly
available in deluxe room categories and suites.
Skim milk, double-shot
caramel macchiato, Sir?
At F&B outlets, it takes a fully trained barista and a semi-automatic
European coffee machine to meet diners’ expectations.
“For fine dining we have recently launched our premium
automatic espresso machine, the Diamant,” says Backstrom. “This
is ideal for delis, cafés and exclusive restaurants that take pride in the
coffee they serve. The machine is equipped with a multi-boiler system,
which gives baristas ultimate control over the delicate temperature
settings for their premium coffees.”
Schaerer’s solution for the fne dining room is its Coffee Art range,
which is promoted not only for its capacity but also for the wide variety
of milk options available and the chocolate dispenser.
What’s next?
“We see a huge surge in smaller hotel, restaurant and catering sector
(HORECA) outlets as the coffee drinking trend continues to grow in
popularity across Asia,” says Backstrom. “Fully automatic machines
are increasing in popularity for their convenience, but traditional
espresso machines still have a strong market share due to the value a
barista adds to the coffee served. We also see an increasing interest
in traditional flter coffee over both Asia and the Pacifc, thanks to
improved brewing methods and cost-saving possibilities.”
As the market grows, local preferences are also being taken into
account. Hot milk tea and, to a lesser extent, hot milk coffee (popularly
known as kopi in southeast Asia), are very popular hot beverages in
Asia, according to Robinson. In fact, hot milk tea comprises 40 per
cent of all hot beverages served.
“In the past, serving these beverages was very labour-intensive,
but now there are automated solutions for these beverages, more
hotels can offer them to their guests,” he says. “The beverages
produced by this equipment – Bunn has a Hot Milk Tea Brewer
– have the same ‘mouth feel’ and taste that guests are expecting, but
the process is faster.”
While the trend is clearly present, the economic downturn has
taken the wind out of some hotels’ sails. At the moment, says Ho,
“the hospitality industry has curtailed their budget for coffee machine
acquisition and is seeking bundled solutions from their coffee (roaster)
suppliers.”
But when things improve, “In-room machines will become more
and more popular with the drop of the machines’ price due to mass
production and greater focus on coffee,” predicts Kuan. The coffee
culture is here to stay.
Franke’s versatile Spectra
Crem’s Diamant for fne diningoutlets
Fair trade in a cup
d r i n k
AHCT August 2009
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Boncafé International Pte Ltd
Boncafé Roasting House
208 Pandan Loop
Singapore 128401
T: (65) 6776 2216
F: (65) 6779 2620
E: salesenquiry@boncafe.com
MALAYSI A - Kuala Lumpur
Boncafé (M) Sdn Bhd
2, Jalan Cahaya 15, Taman Cahaya,
68000 Ampang,
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Malaysia
T: (60) 3 9285 3678
F: (60) 3 9285 3351
E: saleskl@boncafe.com.my
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Boncafé (Far East) Ltd
1011 Tower 2, Silvercord,
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you can be certain of the tremendous quality of Boncafé products.
From an extensive range of gourmet coffee blends, to an international
selection of automated coffee machines, Boncafé offers you everything
you need to further develop your foodservice business.
Boncafé. Your professional coffee partner.
Visit us at Food & Hotel Malaysia from 11-14 August 2009
at Booth 2F-01, Hall 2, KL Convention Centre
Todd In AHCT_July-August.indd 1 6/17/09 4:34:40 PM
W
ild sturgeon is so threatened with extinction that
its harvesting comes under the auspices of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES).
The inter-governmental wildlife conservation body issues annual
quotas detailing how much of the fsh can be harvested to extract
eggs – caviar – save this year, when so far no quotas have been
issued at all.
Jason Wong, Managing Director of J&A Fine Food tells AHCT
that the CITES quotas are normally issued in April and as none had
been issued by mid-July, “there is an 80 percent chance that there
will be no Caspian Sea caviar” harvested this year.
There may not be that much demand for the delicacy in the
frst place, though. Wong says that sales of caviar have dropped by
around 20 percent in the frst half of this year. Wong’s export sales
have been hardest hit while demand from Hong Kong has remained
relatively stable.
Wong also points out that some 70 percent of his business comes
in the last quarter of the year, before the holidays and New Year’s
celebrations.
Jeff Ronan, Project Manager of Caviar Kaspia restaurant in
Hong Kong’s Central fnancial district, tells AHCT that his restaurant
had started out as a caviar restaurant that also sold food, especially
smoked fsh and has become a restaurant with a caviar sideline. While
the restaurant still had the odd customer willing to spend HK$2-3,000
(US$260-387) on caviar, set menus are now HK$290 (US$37) for
lunch and HK$690 (US$89) for dinner.
Fresh vs farmed
As reported in previous issues of AHCT, demand for caviar has been
dropping steadily for some time due to consumers’ environmental
concerns over wild caviar and because of the previous poor reputation
of farmed caviar.
Jean-Pascal Salvaj, Managing Partner of Planet Caviar Hong
Kong, China and Macau says that while the quality of farmed caviar
is improving, the eggs from wild sturgeon will always be a “better
choice for the connoisseur” than eggs from farmed sturgeon, which
swim in freshwater as opposed to seawater and have a poorer diet.
Planet Caviar sells wild caviar from Iran and Azerbaijan and
farmed caviar from hybrid sturgeon species in China.
Caviar is generally judged on the size of the eggs, the texture
(a little crunch is preferred), colour, favour and aroma. In the past
As a traditional Chinese celebratory dish, abalone will never go out of
fashion – in fact it seems as though producers are struggling to meet
the demand.
Chinese chefs prefer wild abalone from South Africa but are also
keen on the Australian and New Zealand catch.
OceaNZ Blue, a supplier in New Zealand has been farming the
product, locally known as paua, for export to China.
Abalone farmers face a delicate and unusual problem due to the
creature’s biology. The abalone’s anus is next to its mouth, which
doesn’t pose a problem in the wild, where the currents can remove
waste matter.
“On the farm we have the abalone in shallow trays with water
running over them at quite a high velocity. We also have large buckets
that tip and wash a wall of water over them every 40 seconds. This
is very effective at washing away the faeces,” says OceaNZ Blue’s
Marketing Director Carol Lloyd.
The company’s product is nitrogen frozen for export, rather than
canned as is traditional and is being well-received by Chinese chefs.
Australian farmers has also been exploring improved aquaculture
of abalone. The Australian Commonwealth Scientifc and Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO) have been working with farmers
to develop hybrid abalone. Recognising the increasing importance
of farming abalone, as farmed output increases and the wild catch
decreases, the Australians also want a slice of the Chinese market.
According to their statistics, the farming of abalone is dominated
by China and Taiwan.
The current aim is for farmed abalone to be a quarter of the
Australian harvest by 2012.
The aim is to combine the market quality of one species with the
growth and survival characteristics of the other. To this end hundreds
of abalone families have been created and thousands of individuals
tagged for monitoring.
Better abalone by design
Farmingabalone in NewZealand
While wild sturgeon
was once caviar
fans’ favourite,
Mischa Moselle talks
to industry experts
and fnds out just
how good farmed
varieties can be
Saving caviar
from itself
Caviar is judgedon eggsize,colour,aroma,texture andfavour
The Russian Room caviar bar at the MGMGrandMacau
Iranian caviar master Mr Taufanisupervises the production process for J&AFine Food
F o o d
AHCT August 2009
F o o d
August 2009 AHCT 9
In Italy Agroittica raise white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) on
a farm that takes cooled water that is a by-product of a steelworks.
As in France, the caviar is Malossol, meaning it has very little salt
added. The eggs are also large at 2.8-3 mm across.
The company is the world’s largest producer of farmed caviar,
with production of 24 tonnes a year. Agroittica has recently been
experiment with a hybrid breed, crossing the Venetian sturgeon
(Acipenser Naccari) and the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser Baerii). The
result, according to the company, is caviar that “is characterised
by small-sized roe which are extraordinarily full of favour and
consistent.”
China has become of interest to caviar connoisseurs in recent
years; in fact the caviar bar at the MGM Grand in Macau sells Caviar
Planet’s hybrid caviar made in China, as does the three-Michelin-
starred Robuchon à Galera at the Hotel Lisboa. The hybrid caviars
offered in the Russian Room are a lightly salted Paris; a large-grained
and light coloured Héritage; a low salt St. James and a Malossol, that
‘stands out by its unique saltiness.’ These are from a Huso Dauricus/
Acipenser Schrenkii cross.
J&A Fine Food’s processes farmed caviar from hybrid fsh under
the watchful eye of an Iranian caviar master who comes to China to
supervise the production process.
As with Caviar Planet, the hybrid comes from crossing the same
two breeds – the Maur sturgeon (Acipenser Schrenkii) and the Chinese
Beluga (Huso Dauricus).
Wong describes the favour of the eggs as rich and buttery and
the texture as ‘excellent’.
Of course, there is no accounting for taste. Yet if the advocates
of farmed caviar are right and it is growing in quality, the world’s
caviar markets could look very different in three years time.
Wong believes that by then there will be plenty of farmed caviar
available, much of it from China and the price will hence drop,
prompting increased demand. As for wild caviar, this will become
increasingly rare and expensive and will sometimes not be available
at all.
Planet Caviar’s Salvaj also says, “Wild caviar will remain very
expensive and maybe more and more only affordable for the
very rich.”
many farmed caviars have had small egg size and poor texture.
One issue for some consumers is that harvesting the eggs from
the sturgeon has meant killing the fsh. A Russian- and Latvian-run
company in Latvia has found a way to harvest the caviar without
killing the fsh. Mottra’s technique is to gently massage the eggs from
the fsh when the sturgeon are old enough – around fve years old for
the species used by the company.
Mottra was founded in 2002 and uses an old trout farm to raise
the fsh. There are 16 fsh tanks full of double-fltered artesian water
in an entirely enclosed environment, meaning that the fsh are raised
not only in a pollution-free environment but also need not be fed
with chemical additives or medicines. The company raises Acipenser
baerii for Osetra and Acipenser ruthenus for Sterlet caviars and has been
awarded CITES certifcation.
Farming is taking place in many countries; France, Italy, Germany
and the United States are some of the key players but there is some
growing interest in caviar from China. Others are attempting farming
in Chile, Israel, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
Best in breed
Wong, who sources wild Caspian Sea caviar and farmed caviar from
France, Italy and China and exports it worldwide, tells AHCT that it
is important to look at the breed of fsh being used. In France, by law,
only the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerri) can be farmed, and Wong
characterises the caviar from this fsh as having too soft a texture.
Caviar house Sturia, farmers of sturgeon in France’s Acquitaine
region, are keen to emphasise the long-lasting hazelnut favour of
their eggs but their product description has no reference to texture. A
change in the law in 2007 means that France will be producing caviar
from other species by 2012. A French farmed caviar can be tried at
the Caviar House at Hong Kong’s International Airport.
“There is an 80 percent
chance that there will
be no Caspian Sea
caviar harvested this
year.” Jason Wong,
J&A Fine Food
J&AFine Food’s sturgeon farm in China
Mottra has developeda technique for
harvestingeggs without killingthe sturgeon
Eggs from Caviar Planet
F o o d
0 AHCT August 2009
“Love Yourself,
Love Caviar”
J&A Fine Food Limited is a fine
food wholesaler that specializes
in the trading of wild and farmed
caviar. With our extensive business
network J&A is able to source and
select the finest caviar from Iran,
Caspian Sea, China and Europe.
For more information, please contact:
info@jafinefood.com Tel: (852) 2175 0818 Fax: (852) 2175 0308
Address: Flat A, 11/F., Union Industrial Building, 116 Wai Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
J&A FINE FOOD LTD
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J&A Aug 09.pdf 7/23/09 10:37:34 AM
Quality coffee
As coffee culture continues to develop in Hong
Kong so does the expectation of customers
that they are getting that cup of freshly roasted,
high quality, frst crop, 100 percent Arabica
coffee. Uncle Russ Coffee Hong Kong’s original
coffee company roast only 100 percent Arabica
coffees from the best coffee estates in the world
in Hong Kong with aid of their own Master
Roaster.
All the coffee’s are roasted and blended
to order guaranteeing fresh, personalized high
quality coffee with wholesale solutions to suit to
all customers.
For more information:
Tel: +852 25528036
Fax: +852 25202686
sales@uncleruss.com.hk
www.unclerusscoffee.com
As audio-visual equipment increasingly needs to jive with personal devices
like iPhones and iPods, electronics companies are developing systems that
take music fles to a whole new level. The iHome iP1 fagship iPhone/ iPod
speaker system combines form and function effortlessly. The smooth edges
of this sophisticated docking station hide the cutting edge technology
beneath: a highly effcient 4-Channel amplifer solution that is complimented
by the patented Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station technology. It
even comes with a video-out port so that movies and programmes can be
viewed on a television.
The Dexim HD AV dock with new HDMI output -DRA022 takes things
one step further, enabling music lovers to play their favourite songs on a
Hi-Fi stereo, or show off photos and videos on a TV screen. But what
makes this model special is the ability to connect images in HD, with an
HDMI cable, and scroll through at the touch of a remote control button.
Sounds, images and the experience of the iPod or iPhone have been
revolutionised with this compact, high-tech gadget.
For more information: www.leader.com.hk
Back to nature
Ecological awareness is more pronounced than ever. Organic products are booming,
outdoor activities are “in” and traditional values – such as authenticity and honesty – are
acquiring a new status in the framework of sustainability and durability; natural things
are virtually idealised. With its Urban Nature series, Villeroy & Boch’s Hotel & Restaurant
Division presents an innovative tableware concept that offers a casual, stylish and
emotional interpretation of the nature theme for the hotel and catering sector. With Urban
Nature, well-known items of tableware – such as gently-contoured rectangular-shaped
cups and various sizes of plate and platter – act as a counterbalance to such highly-
effective articles as the elegant tableware bridge. Guests want places where they can
experience an atmosphere of well-being and “feel good hospitality” wherever they go.
Villeroy & Boch gives this to them at every meal.
For more information: www.villeroy-boch.com/hotels
Home is
where the
music is
The Dexim HDAV dock
The iHome iP1fagshipiPhone/ iPodspeaker system
p r o d u c t n E w s
2 AHCT August 2009
p r o d u c t n E w s
August 2009 AHCT
MF TXCA09 ad AHCT.indd 1 3/6/09 17:09:49
E
nsuring ice is hygienic remains the number one concern
for hoteliers purchasing an ice machine, says Jerry Kaiser,
Commercial Director, East Asia/Australia Manitowoc
Foodservice Asia Pacifc.
A major supplier of a full-range of food service equipment,
Manitowoc Ice produces the best-selling ice making machines in
North America. In Asia, Manitowoc supplies major hotel groups
including Starwood, Marriott, Taj Hotels, InterContinental Hotel
Group, Leela Kempinski and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. The
company works with a network of local distributors who service
and support its full line of ice cube machines, which range in size
from 22 to 48 inches and can produce up to 2 tons of ice a day. For
example Manitowoc’s best-selling S450 is only 30 inches wide and
can produce up to 460 pounds of ice per day.
Kaiser explains that with all ice machines, the best way to
maintain hygiene is to eliminate contact between users’ hands,
utensils and airborne or environmental contaminants and the ice.
He says that machines must be very easy to clean. That’s one reason
“we’ve had tremendous success, as our machines are extremely easy
to clean and maintain.”
“For example, the evaporator area is completely sealed so it’s
easy to maintain for all of our customers – this prevents ice falling
off our machines,“ Kaiser explains.
Kaiser attributes Manitowoc’s success to the attention it pays
to what he calls the four “S” rule - Sanitation, Savings, Sound and
Serviceability – which gave its best-selling S-series its name.
The S-series has become the workhorse of the hotel industry
due to its ability to deliver a consistently high standard of ice.
“It’s been well-accepted,” says Kaiser. “And it is specifed by many
F&B managers, GMs and consultants.”
Clean and
green, ice
and easy
Ice is a potent source of
proft for any restaurant
or hotel, however like
any other food product
it must be carefully
handled every step of the
way says Ruth Williams
Le Meridien Bangkok’s signature KyotoMartiniuses crushedice around-rather then inside -the glass tokeepthings cool.
The look ofthe machine is a consideration ifit is tobe seen andusedbyguests
E q u i p M E n t
AHCT August 2009
For more detail on Kitchenology
TM
or equipment solutions from our leading Manitowoc
Foodservice brands - including Cleveland, Convotherm, Deleld, Fabristeel, Frymaster,
Garland, Jackson, Kolpak, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Manitowoc Beverage Systems, Multiplex,
Merrychef, and Servend - visit www.manitowocfoodservice.com
E q u i p M E n t
Ice machine issues
Hygiene
• The highest possible level of hygiene is essential. Ideally the ice
should be dispensed without any exposure to airborne contaminants,
foreign objects and should not be touched by hands.
• Ice machines should have a self-cleaning cycle that runs on a regular
basis. As well as keeping the ice pristine, manufacturers say that
regular cleaning keeps the machine running effciently.
• Consider local water quality. In challenging locations, even when a
hotel has its own purifcation system, an additional water flter may
be useful to avoid ice that tastes chlorinated or “chemical.”

Energy Effciency
• Compare the energy effciency ratings and standards. If properly
maintained ice machines can last up to 10 years and energy
effcient models can save money year after year. According to the
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), machines that have
earned Energy Star certifcation and carry its logo are on average 15
percent more energy-effcient and 10 percent more water-effcient
than standard models.
• NB: The EPA claims that each Energy Star certifed commercial
ice machine can save businesses about 1160 kWh annually, or an
average of US$100 per year on energy bills. Energy Star machines
also consume less water – up to 2,700 gallons/year less.
Practical Matters
• Once you have found a range of models that can provide the hygiene
and energy effciency that you require, consider what shapes and
types of ice they offer – half dice cubes, full dice cubes, unusual
shapes, fakes and nuggets.
• How much ice will your property need each day in different locations?
Do you need faked ice for displays? Your supplier should be able
to advise you on average uses in similar locations.
• Consider the pros and cons of larger machines in fewer locations
versus more small units in multiple locations. The space available
may be the deciding factor.
• The aesthetics of the machine itself may also be an issue if you
opt for smaller machines that will be on show on guest foors, in
restaurants or bars. A machine that will always look smart and clean
is essential to provide guests with extra reassurance.
• Ask the ice machine supplier about the heat and sound effciency
of the model; after ease of cleaning these two factors are most
important to the staff that have to work with the machines day in
day out.
Cutting the carbon footprint
Green credentials are also a concern for anyone purchasing
equipment for hotels as all properties are looking for ways to reduce
energy consumption.
Kaiser reports that Manitowoc’s engineering team in the USA
has achieved signifcant improvements over the last two years and
its machines’ energy and water consumption have decreased. The
company currently has 56 Energy Star qualifed models, which
represents about 60 percent of its models.
Energy effciency has been achieved by remodeling the machines
and developing smaller compressors, smaller condensers and
improving the wall insulation.
Foster Refrigerator, British market leader and exporter to several
Asian markets, has a long history of environmental frsts, such as the
frst CFC-free manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment.
A long list of standard features on their equipment ensures energy
savings of up to 20 percent and the products are 98.3 percent
recyclable.
Other icemaker manufacturers are also striving to achieve similar
levels of energy effciency and long-lasting equipment through
innovation. Japan’s Hoshizaki has gained Energy Star-certifcation for
many of its machine and has trademarked the CycleSaver technology,
which it says allows its cubers to produce the same quantity of ice in
half as many cycles as competitive brands.
Fewer cycles per day reduces energy consumption and Hoshizaki
says it can take its ice machines 15 years to accumulate as many cycles
as the competition does in 6 years.
Another major manufacturer of commercial ice machines,
Scotsman Industries, offers more than 50 Energy Star-rated models,
and its Scotsman Prodigy Cuber has gathered a collection of
awards including the 2007 National Restaurant Association Kitchen
Innovations Award.

Design and use
A large fve star hotel might have anywhere from eight to 48 ice
machines, but their specifcations and end purpose are not necessarily
uniform.
Some properties opt for large ice making machines and distribute
ice as needed, but the trend toward adding ice machines so they can be
placed strategically around the property is on the rise. More machines
translate into less time spent collecting and transporting ice around a
hotel, less wasted water, and for guests – ice on demand.
With mixology and fancy drinks becoming the norm, bartenders
are increasingly seeking out specialist cubes, such as Hoshizaki’s
crescent-shaped ice, which promises better liquid displacement,
less splashing and reduces water wastage. Manitowoc reports that
the classic rhomboid, dice and half dice remain the most popular
shapes for hotels.
The growth in the popularity of blended drinks has also increased
the demand for ice in food and beverage departments. Smoothies,
iced specialty coffees and cocktails all demand a constant supply
of ice, which translates into more tabletop and under the counter
machines, ideal for coffee shops and bars.
United States manufacturer Follet has its Horizon range that links
to a drink dispenser (also manufactured by Follet) and is specifcally
designed, the company says, “to eliminate the manual toting
of ice.”
Howmuch ice you need
depends on the venue
photograph courtesy of the excelsior, Hong Kong
Ice –from Manitowoc
E q u i p M E n t
AHCT August 2009
Sept 1 – 3 Restaurant & Bar
Hong Kong 2009
Hong Kong Convention and
Exhibition Centre
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Sept 24 – 26 Viethotel 09 Expo
National Convention Centre
Hanoi, Vietnam
Oct 1 – 3 Food&HotelVietnam 2009
Incorporating
FranchisingVietnam 2009,
Saigon Exhibition &
Convention Center
Oct 14-16 Hotel Investment Conference
Asia-Pacifc (HICAP)
InterContinental Hong Kong
Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong
Oct 14-16 Hotel Investment Forum
India (HIFI)
Renaissance Mumbai
Hotel & Conference Centre
Mumbai
India
Oct 22 – 24 Wine & Gourmet Asia
Hall C, The Cotai Strip Cotai
Expo at The Venetian
Macao-Resort-Hotel
Nov 4 – 6 Hong Kong International
Wine & Spirits Fair
Hong Kong Convention &
Exhibition Centre
Nov 7-10 International Hotel/Motel
& Restaurant Show
Jacob K. Javits Convention
Center
New York City
USA
Nov 11 – 13 HI DESIGN ASIA 2009
Shangri-La Rasa Sayang
Resort & Spa, Penang,
Malaysia
Nov 12 – 14 Hotel Expo Macau
Hall C, The Cotai Strip Cotai
Expo at The Venetian Macao-
Resort-Hotel
DaTE EVEnT DETaIlS ORGanIzER
Vietnam’s premier food and hospitality sourcing
and networking trade event returns for the 5th
year. Running concurrently with Vietnam’s major
franchising trade event, and introducing the
inaugural ‘Vietnam Barista Competition’ to promote
the expertise, creativity and talent of top local coffee
baristas. Co-organised by Singapore Exhibition
Services and Kerry Ingredients.
Singapore Exhibition Services
No 1 Jalan Kilang Timor
#09-02 Pacifc Tech Centre
Singapore 159303
Tel: +65 6233 6638
Fax: +65 6233 6633
Website: www.foodnhotelvietnam.com
www.franchisingvietnam.com
Wine and spirits companies introduce their wares to
the new regional wine hub.
Exhibitions Department
Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Unit 13, Expo Galleria
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2824 0026
Email: exhibitions@hktdc.org
www.hktdc.com/abouttdc
Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong is the fastest growing
exhibition for the hospitality sector in Asia Pacifc. In
addition to presenting hundreds of excellent product
and service offerings from around the world, it also
attracts visitors with educational demonstrations,
tastings, seminars and competitions.
Diversifed Events Hong Kong Ltd
Tel: +852 3105 3970
Fax: +852 3105 3974
Email: info@restaurantandbarhk.com
www.restaurantandbarhk.com
Viethotel 09 is the frst major international expo
& conference in Hanoi for the hotel, restaurant,
catering and foodservices industry and will be where
decision makers meet to do business.
AMB Exhibitions Sdn Bhd
Tel: +603 40454993
Fax: +603 40454989
Email: fzan@ambexpo.com
www.ambexpo.com
Wine & Gourmet Asia is a trade, networking and
culinary platform showcasing the very best of Asia-
Pacifc’s fne wine, gourmet and hospitality industry.
Koelnmesse Pte Ltd
152 Beach Road, #25-05 Gateway East
Singapore 189721
Tel : +65 6500 6700
Fax: +65 6294 8403
Email: info@koelnmesse.com.sg
www.koelnmesse.com.sg
The frst HI DESIGN for Asia will provide key
specifers, buyers and suppliers of the hospitality
design industry with one-to-one meetings, frst-
class networking, a supplier showcase and crucial,
industry specifc seminars.
Atticus Events Ltd
11 Windsor End, Beaconsfeld, Buckinghamshire,
HP9 2JJ, UK
Tel: +44 1494 678766
Email: events@atticusevents.com
www.hidesign-asia.com
International Hotel Equipment & Supplies Expo
incorporating Foodservice Equipment, Food &
Beverage Expo is the largest gathering of the hotel,
hospitality and tourism industries in Macau.
Coastal International Exhibition Co., Ltd.
Room 2106, China Resources Building,
26 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2827 6766
Fax: +852 2827 6870
Email: general@coastal.com.hk
www.coastal.com.hk
Asia’s longest running hotel investment conference,
HICAP brings strategic insights to investors,
fnanciers, developers and leading industry
professionals about developments, changes and
opportunities in the region.
BHN and Horwath HTL
Tel: +1 714 540 9300
Fax: +1 714 540 9306
Email: hlewis@burba.com
www.hicapconference.com
Bringing hotel executives, investors, lenders,
developers and the professional advisory community
together, HIFI presents a forum dedicated to
hospitality investment in India.
BHN and Horwath HTL
Tel: +1 714 540 9300
Fax: +1 714 540 9306
Email: hlewis@burba.com
www.hicapconference.com
The world’s largest showcase and exchange of
industry products, trends and developments
continues to attract every segment and facet of the
hospitality and restaurant industry.
GLMShows
Lynn White, Show Manager
Tel: +1 914 421 3263
Email: ihmrs@glmshows.com
www.ihmrs.com
E v E n t s
AHCT August 2009
See SooEng
Javier Gimeno
Sebastian Goldmann
Singapore-based General Hotels Management
(GHM) has announced the appointment of
See Soo Eng as the new Vice President Sales.
After 14 years with the company – where
she began in 1995 as the Director of Sales
for the Chedi Phuket – she has contributed
signifcantly to each property’s growth and is
primed for success in her new group role.
Regal Hotels International has transferred
Javier Gimeno as Hotel Manager of Regal
Kowloon Hotel. This 13-year veteran of the
hospitality industry will also take on the role
of Group Project Manager for the company.
He spent much of his career in Spain before
moving to Asia in 2007 to join the Regal
Hotels International family.
The Hilton Chongqing recently appointed
Sebastian Goldmann as the hotel’s new
Food & Beverage Manager. A 12-year veteran
of the hospitality sector, after working in his
native Germany, he moved to China in 2004
and has been an executive team member at
several hotels since.
Tim Tindle
AdrianoVences
PR and communications frm impactasia has
appointed Fiona Ng as the group’s Managing
Director for its China operations. She joins the
frm’s newly expanded operations in Shanghai
and Beijing to cater to its growing list of luxury
hospitality and lifestyle clients.
Pan Pacifc Hotels Group has announced the
appointment of a new GM for Pan Pacifc
Vancouver – Tim Tindle. This Vancouver
native with a background in operations, and
sales and marketing said of his new role, “This
is the job I’ve been striving towards my whole
career. I’m thrilled!”
Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel has announced
the appointment of Adriano Vences as
Resident Manager for the Kowloon hotel.
This follows his role as Executive Assistant
Manager, Food & Beverage for Burj Al
Arab Hotel in Dubai. He has truly global
experience in hospitality, having worked on
four continents.
Fiona Ng

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