Student LifeBringing Home Bronze At Servicemeisterschaft 2019

The first time the prestigious accolade was awarded to a student from SHMS

He was a university freshman in Vietnam when Louis Do first discovered his love for hospitality. His other passion, wine, led him to Switzerland where he is now completing his Postgraduate Diploma at SHMS. Within months of starting the course, this passion combined with his talent quickly shone through and impressed.

Louis was thrilled to learn that he was one of the 25 shortlisted finalists for the esteemed competition held in November 2019. Organised by the Hotel & Gastro Union, the Servicemeisterschaft (Service Championship) 2019 is one of the most anticipated events at the biennale IGEHO fair in Basel. The competition’s eleventh instalment is widely regarded as the industry’s biggest platform for catering professionals to showcase their skills and make valuable connections. MalvinHartwell2

It was both a pleasure and challenge to take part in this competition. More importantly, it was not merely a battle to find a winner but a stage for participants to measure and improve their knowledge and skills in this industry.

 

In July, Louis started training intensively for the demanding requirements of the competition. For three months, he worked tirelessly to master the techniques behind eight disciplines in order to impress a professional panel of judges and industry experts. The judging criteria were built around these eight disciplines:

  1.  Exceptional table: a test of creativity where participants prepared a table with a three-course meal based on the five natural elements of wood, water, fire, earth and metal
  2.  Cheese: blind tasting that tested the participants’ understanding of a variety of swiss cheeses from different categories. They then had to present the cheeses and serve it to the visitors
  3.  Mixology: the participants prepared and served two classic cocktails to two visitors in the audience
  4.  Flambé: the finalists were given the opportunity to showcase their skills by preparing a flambé tiger shrimp dish for the judges and a visitor of the show
  5.  Wine: participants were required to decant and serve a randomly selected red wine, with a focus on the description of the grape, presentation of the wine and wine service
  6.  Barista: participants served their own coffee concoctions for the visitors and judges
  7.  Tartar: participants prepared a tartar dish that was judged based on flavours and presentation
  8.  Mystery: the final mystery task was for the participants to cut and serve a cake

Speaking about his preparations for the competition, Louis admitted that the language barrier was a major challenge for him as a non-native speaker of German. He was also less confident about the blind tasting of cheeses as compared to other sections. However, he credited the course programmes at SHMS for providing him with a solid foundation in service and food and beverage, that helped him during the competition.

One of the highlights for me was hearing that the judges enjoyed my coffee that was served with saffron. This was an incredible opportunity and I am grateful for the encouragement and guidance that I received from my lecturer, Mr Nicolas Bourassin. I have learnt so much and I feel inspired to continue sharing my passion with others.

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Upon completing his internship, Louis has plans to travel to Vietnam before returning to pursuing his MSc in Hospitality Management.

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