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A Good Idea Has A Life Of Its Own

A Good Idea Has A Life Of Its Own
A local barista participating at last year’s Piazza Doro Fiji Barista competition
August 18
11:00 2018

When you start something and go at it with a strong focus, if it’s really a good idea it can suddenly take on a life of its own.

It can grow into something that wasn’t part of the original plan and if that happens you’re really lucky.

This is a story of exactly that.

Piazza Doro is a world famous coffee brand and a leader in the coffee making business.

In 2010, the Accor Hotel Group started an internal competition amongst the baristas working in the different Accor hotels in Aus­tralia, Fiji and New Zealand.

They believed that the best of their coffee makers should be identified and rewarded and that a competition to choose that per­son would lift the skill levels of everyone.

In 2011, they sent the winner from Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa to enter the New Zealand Australia competition which gained her a second place.

And so it turned out, with all the baristas practicing and pre­paring for the event, and honing their ability in the process.

In 2013 Yees Cold Storage and Pi­azza Doro decided to run the com­petition in Fiji but to open entry to all the different hotels so that the local baristas had a platform to showcase their talents.

From the start the competition was a success and every year the number of baristas and hotels competing gets bigger.

To ensure the creditability of the results the head judge is bought in from New Zealand es­pecially for the event and expert locals are added to the judging panel.

The head judge has taken part in international competitions in many places around the world, including Paris.

This year the number of contest­ants will be the largest ever and more hotels throughout Fiji are considering the benefits of enter­ing.

And the growth of people who are joining the coffee culture in Fiji is exponential, furled by the rise in quality and taste experi­ence created by having more ex­perienced baristas.

In Fiji, the competition has part­nered with Fiji chefs, a decision taken so that the Baristas would gain national and international recognition.

Currently the competition is run in three different regions, Suva, Coral Coast and Nadi

The winners of the regional competitions then come to Nadi and compete in the finals during the Moffat Culinaire Chefs Com­petition in November.

The finalists are the top three winners from each of the region­al competitions.

For example, the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort had 13 competitors and their three winners are com­peting in the Coral Coast against the winners from all the other Coral Coast hotels.

There are prizes for the regional winners and the opportunity to compete at the national level.

For the national finalists there are three trophies and cash awards and a big trophy that the winning hotel can proudly display in their most prominent area.

The competition is also a great way to encourage their staff to increase their barista skills and to develop the understanding that being a barista is a great profes­sion.

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort has won the Barista national finals three years in a row.

Despite Outrigger Fiji Beach Re­sort’s best effort InterContinen­tal Fiji Golf Resort and Spa won the 2017 competition.

They are putting in the effort to defend their champion status, so we look forward to seeing which hotels will be their competition this year.

The winning Barista will be sent by the Fiji Chefs Association to compete alongside the winning Chef of the Moffat Culinaire Competition in the World Chef Competition overseas, providing the highest platform for them to display their outstanding skills.

The organisers would like to in­vite more hotels to enter the re­gional events and try to move to the national finals

Coffee is a strong business worldwide and this competition is designed to lift the standards in Fiji and build a foundation on which the coffee culture can be built.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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