Excited to serve a Creole-themed dining experience, the Mango House Seychelles food and beverage team – Koko Mango – has qualified to take part in this year’s final of the ‘Taste of Hilton: Flavour & Flair EMEA 2022’ competition.
The final will take place on November 3 in Barcelona under the theme ‘Venture Beyond’. The annual even brings together food and beverage teams from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Through their drinks or dishes, the different finalist teams will compete to have their creations featured on Hilton menus across the region.
This year’s ‘Taste of Hilton’ received 94 entries from across the regions and over the past few months, judges have whittled these entries down to three finalists. A fourth team made it through to the final by getting a wildcard.
Koko Mango multi-national team
The team comprises of five members – Sravana Bhagavat, Merla Delorie, Chris Young Kon, Rahul Rawat, and Michael Turyasima – each having their specialty within the food and beverage industry.
The Mango House Seychelles food and beverage team. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Bhagavat, the team leader and the head chef at Mango House, is ‘the guru’ of the team and Delorie, a pastry chef at Mango House Seychelles, as the ‘sweet chef’ for the competition. Rawat who is the head of mixology at the resort, is the ‘liquid chef’; Turyasima, the barista supervisor, is the ‘caffeine’, and Young Kon – a chef de partie – is the ‘solid chef’.
Members of the team originate from Seychelles, India, and Uganda.
Koko Mango’s menu
Soursop, mango, banana, fish, and cinnamon are some local Seychellois ingredients that Koko Mango will use in the various dishes and drinks. Coconut is one item that features in most of the dishes and drinks and Delorie shared that it is used in different ways.
The team from Mango House Seychelles will be representing the African and Indian Ocean Region with their joint Creole-themed feast made up of the ‘Koko-nut negroni’, ‘Koko-Nut spritz’, ‘Millionaire palm heart salad’, ‘Fish curry 2.0’, ‘Creole fusion and medley’s Affogato’.
Curry is a dish enjoyed with a lot of spices not only in Seychelles but also in South East Asia.
The Creole fusion made by the Koko Mango team. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Speaking about the ‘Fish Curry 2.0’, Bhagavat shared that “not everyone can enjoy the dish in this manner, so we are tweaking it to for a fine dining experience, catering for the European palette.”
“We are cooking homemade food but in a fine dining way – we changed things a little bit plating and dressing wise, and we are bringing the story behind each dish and drink to the world. The person who eats or drinks from our menu will also be consuming the story,” said Bhagavat.
“We want to make the whole of Seychelles proud,” added Delorie.
Preparations for the competition
The team is currently meeting once weekly to practice the preparation of their dishes and drinks, and closer to the competition the frequency will increase from twice and thrice weekly to daily meets.
The competition started with the first round where the team showcased the concept on paper, which was then presented to the jury during the second round in a live stream. In the semifinals, the jury got to taste the dishes and for the final, the whole dining experience will be brought before judges with global recognition in the food and beverage industry.
Source: Seychelles News Agency