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Stratosfare win impressive collection of medals

Stratosfare win impressive collection of medals

Showcasing their skills in culinary and cocktail excellence, five Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar staff have recently competed at the NZChefs National Salon, impressing the judges and walking away with 12 medals and a trophy.

The four day competition was held at the Auckland Food Show from 30 July - 2 August and saw some of New Zealand’s best and brightest chefs, service professionals and bartenders battle it out in a variety of cooking, bartending and table service challenges.

Skyline Rotorua general manager, Bruce Thomasen, says the NZChefs National Salon was a great way for the team to demonstrate their skills and be recognised for their excellence.

“We have an amazing team here at Stratosfare who work relentlessly to serve their best to our visitors every day and the Salon served as a celebration of their talent.”

Among the Stratosfare winners, it was Prithviraj Shetty and Kunal Sharma who each took home a gold medal and category win. Mr Shetty won the Mystery Box Table Setting Challenge, while Mr Sharma won the Wine and Beverage Service Challenge as well as taking home the Passionberry Cocktail Cup, with a first-class silver in the Mystery Box Challenge.

It was a close race between the two Stratosfare bartenders, with Mr Shetty taking runner up to Mr Sharma in the Wine and Beverage Service Challenge and equalling him in the Classic Cocktail Challenge, where they both claimed bronze. Mr Sharma also went on to win silver in the Innovative Cocktail Challenge.

Mr Sharma is deeply passionate about mixology and has been traveling the world for 13 years practicing the art and winning a number of awards, including Outstanding Bartender at the 2015 Rotorua Hospitality Awards.

“I was really excited to win the four medals and the Passionberry Cocktail Cup, I work really hard to make not only Stratosfare proud of the work I do, but to also make Rotorua proud.

“One of the cocktails I made at the competition was a Hangi Masala, and it served as a tribute to New Zealand and India – where I’m originally from. Kiwis are so respectful of my talent and my culture, they truly appreciate what I do and I wanted to capture this in a drink.

“Stratosfare is the best place I’ve ever worked because the whole team is so supportive and I’m putting a big effort into making it a special bar in Rotorua.”

NZChefs is the national association representing professional chefs, cooks, trainees, patissiers and confectioners in New Zealand’s most vibrant and demanding industry.

These awards follow Stratosfare’s recent success at the 2015 Rotorua Hospitality Awards, where they won Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Waiter, Outstanding Bartender and Best Emerging Chef.


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