Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Broccoli trees on menu at hospitality contest

Broccoli trees on menu at hospitality contest

Sun Menghoth, 28, stands behind his creation: a zoo carved from fruit and vegetables, at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.
Sun Menghoth, 28, stands behind his creation: a zoo carved from fruit and vegetables, at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. NICK STREET

Broccoli trees on menu at hospitality contest

With pumpkin and taro for elephants, broccoli for trees and carrots and yam for giraffes, Sun Menghoth had less than three hours to create a zoo. After successfully carving a fruit and vegetable diorama, the 28-year-old commis chef from NagaWorld was awarded a bronze medal.

From the finest fruit-carvers to the swiftest of bed-sheet changers, a wide array of hospitality professionals came together at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra yesterday and Saturday to compete at the fourth annual Cambodia Restaurant Association (CRA) Competitions.

Around 120 hospitality workers took part in nine competitions. They included baristas, bartenders, cake decorators, wine stewards, servers and chefs. First prize winners, who included representatives from Hotel Cambodiana and French restaurant Topaz, received $300. Contestants in second and third places won $200 and $100 respectively.

Van Porleng, CRA president and owner of Van’s Restaurant, said: “It’s very important to have the competition because it really enhances people’s motivation to do their best to raise the standard of service and quality of the hospitality industry in Cambodia”, said Porleng.

New to this year’s event was the wine steward competition, which judged contestants knowledge of wine and their ability to properly serve a glass. Hak Seyha, Topaz restaurant’s 27 year-old wine steward, said that the competition was child’s play. “The general knowledge about the wine was too easy, and the competition has no blind tasting or anything,” said Sehya, who competed in an international competition in Singapore in August.

At the chef’s table, Rambutan Resort’s Meng Ly, 23, explained that his crab dip was a family recipe from Siem Reap. Hotel Cambodiana’s Heng Sothear took the top prize.

Success at the CRA Competitions has previously elevated contestants to the international stage. Last month, three winners of the 2012 CRA Competitions flew to Kuala Lumpur to compete in the Culinary 2013 Malaysia competition, where Nuon Phonet of K West Restaurant won a silver medal for her bartending skills.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk