No fewer than five of Rotorua’s Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar staff took home medals at the NZChefs National Salon. The team travelled home with 12 medals and a trophy after competing in a variety of cooking, bartending and table service challenges.
Skyline Rotorua general manager, Bruce Thomasen, says the event 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, were Prithviraj Shetty and Kunal Sharmar who each took home a gold medal and category win. Shetty won the Mystery Box Table Setting Challenge, while Mr Sharmar 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 Sharmar in the Wine and Beverage Service Challenge and equalling him in the Classic Cocktail Challenge, where they both claimed bronze. Mr Sharmar also went on to win silver in the Innovative Cocktail Challenge.
Mr Sharmar 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 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.
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.