Phoebe Davis talent with the cocktail shaker helped her take out the Junior Service Person of the Year award at Taranaki/Wanganui Hospitality Competitions at Witt yesterday.
“I love experimenting with different flavours. You can add anything and make a cocktail to your liking, add a bit-of-this and that, and you can make something amazing,” said the 19-year-old New Plymouth woman who won a silver medal in the classic cocktail class.
The Okurukuru Winery assistant manager, who has already competed at national level, also won golds in table setting and wine and beverage, and silver in barista, to win the overall award for junior competitors.
“I was calm because I’ve done lots of practice, usually about three times a week,” Miss Davis said.
About 100 people from secondary schools, tertiary institutions and industry took part in the event which featured cooking, front of house, barista and cocktail making classes.
Western Institute of Technology hospitality tutor and head judge, Caroline Shaw, said she was excited by the quality of the competitors, who were chasing certificates, medals and prizes worth up to $500.
“The talent has been really good especially from the schools. It’s been really impressive and it’s pleasing to see they are dressed properly and are giving it a go,” Mrs Shaw said.
“Front of house is an area that people often don’t see as being professional, but there’s a lot of work that goes into it.”
Glyn Bromley, who came from Hamilton to study hospitality at Witt, said he loved the competition.
“I got into hospitality because it’s something exciting that you don’t do every day, and you gain skills that you can use in a variety of ways,” the 19-year-old who won a gold for his cocktail making said.
“I’ve worked at SkyCity making cocktails and working behind the bar so I have a bit of experience in the industry. I think it did help because it made me more familiar with the tools and the types of alcohol.”
Winners from yesterday’s event now have the option of going onto the nationals in Auckland later in the year.