NZMA hospitality graduate Zan Xiangying (Brandy) has taken out the grand title of Barista of the Year for the Sudima Hotel Group.
Held on December 17 at the Sudima Airport Hotel in Christchurch, the competition saw top employees from the Group’s three properties in Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch battle it out for first place in a range of categories. To win the coveted Barista of the Year title Brandy had 20 minutes to produce two espressos, two lattes and two signature coffees (pictured here).
Brandy drew on the support of her manager and team to help her fine tune her signature brew.
“I’m very grateful to my restaurant manager for all the encouragement and support. I came up with the concept for my signature coffee, however after developing a milk allergy I had to rely on the team to help me adjust the proportions to extract the best flavour,” she says.
“I’m really fortunate to have such great support and am grateful for the opportunity to compete in this annual group event. It was a great way to consolidate and upgrade my coffee making skills.”
Brandy is no stranger to competitions and awards. In 2014, whilst studying for her Diploma in Applied Hospitality Management Level 6 at NZMA, she was named New Zealand Training Food and Beverage Service Person of the Year at the prestigious NZ Culinary Fare. The win proved to be a fantastic kick start to her hospitality career and after graduating from NZMA Sudima quickly snapped her up.
“The solid training I received from NZMA laid the foundation for my continual professional development, and I think the experience of participation in the 2014 National Culinary Fare gave me the confidence to compete in the Sudima group competition.”
Current NZMA cookery student Rohan Kataria also competed in the event, earning the title of runner-up in his cooking category.