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Grosvenor House wins MMI Bar Academy competition.

Latin American bar and restaurant Toro Toro from Dubai luxury hotel Grosvenor House Tower Two won MMI's third annual Platinum Fusion 2012 competition last night, beating off stiff competition from renowned outlets including Mahiki, Zuma, Okku and The Ivy.

Organised by the MMI Bar Academy and Russian Standard Vodka, the competition challenged teams of mixologists, chefs and waiters to create and serve innovative food and drink combinations - each using Russian Standard Vodka as the key ingredient and inspiration and at least one other shared ingredient.

The winning team from Toro comprised bartender Archie Avinante, chef Diego Fernando Sanchez and waitress Maria Isabel Aguilar Chaw.

They had eight minutes to prepare and present their cocktail and dish to a panel of judges headed by Simone Caporale, head mixologist at Artesian Bar, Langham Hotel in London, which was recently awarded the Best European Cocktail Bar at the Paris Bar Show.

Joining Caporale on the judging panel was Uwe Micheel, director of kitchens, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek and president of the Emirates Culinary Guild; Julien Coron, head sommelier at Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire; Lino Marchese, bar manager, Bahri Bar, Madinat Jumeirah; Mike Borsdorf, executive chef, Grand Hyatt Dubai; Kerrie Simon-Lawrence, editor in chief, Cosmopolitan; and Louise Oakley, group editor, hospitality at ITP Business.

The cocktail was called Russuvas and flavoured with cherry tomato, vanilla syrup, black grapes and blueberries while the plated dish, named Russduck, Uvas and Vanilla, again contained black grapes and vanilla oil.

As well as winning the overall team award, Toro Toro also picked up the Best Chef Award for chef Diego, who won over the judges with his personality, interaction and the taste of his ambitious dish.

The winning team scored a four-day trip to Moscow and the home of Russian Standard, St, Petersburg, while the chef also won AED1500.

The Benihana team from Amwaj Rotana - comprising M. Syarief.Aip, Christoper C. Namocatcat, and Irene Yhan - took second place and won AED4500 in prize money.

Third place went to Zuma, represented by Mehmet nur sur, Vinh Quanq and Aloice Masuku, who won AED3000.

Reflecting the calibre of the winning teams, the remaining individual trophies went to M. Syarief.Aip for Best Bartender and Aloice Masuku for Best Maitre d'.

In total, 10 teams took part in the Platinum Fusion final last night, which was held at The Living Room at Grand Hyatt Dubai.

The teams were from Okku, Gaucho, The Ivy, Mahiki, Fairmont Dubai, Amwaj Rotana JBR, Shangri-La Dubai, Grosvenor House Tower Two, Zuma and Ritz-Carlton DIFC.

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Publication:Hotelier Middle East
Date:Jul 9, 2012
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