April 2, 2015
CPI Hotels organised the 2nd annual Piazza d’Oro Espresso Cup competition for the best barista (bartender) of the group. The Imperial Hotel Ostrava, Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague, Mamaison Hotel Riverside Prague and 8 regional Clarion hotels, including the Clarion Congress Hotel in Vysočany, the venue of the competition, sent their representatives to the competition. An expert jury composed of the representatives of the gastronomy section of CPI Hotels and the co-organiser of the competition Douwe Egberts assessed two competition tasks – the preparation of a standard cappuccino and unrestricted coffee drinks made according to original recipes.
While the first drink was assessed according to the regulations of the Czech Bartenders Association (CBA) in addition to the taste and temperature of the drink, emphasis was placed on the correct procedure of the preparation of espresso and the foaming of milk. In the second task the competitors had the opportunity to apply a creative approach and unleash their imagination. Milan Žaloudík from Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague was best among the fierce competition scoring 258 from a total of 300 possible points with his drink Jack’s gold, which impressed the jury with its combination of honey, milk and whisky.
“The winning drink had to have an idea and drive. We also placed emphasis on the overall level of the presentation and technical preparation of the drink. And of course, it also had to taste good,” revealed Maroš Šivec, Standard & Quality Manager of CPI Hotels, who was one of the judges involved in selecting the winner. “Those are other parameters that we are particular about, even during the regular operation of our restaurants. A customer must always receive a perfectly prepared, flavour balanced drink at their table. Employees receive training throughout the year. This competition is something like the icing on the cake. Ideally, it should motivate them to continue working on themselves,” added Maroš Šivec. Second place went to David Jedinák from the Imperial Hotel Ostrava, and third place went to Michael Gorin from the home Clarion Congress Hotel Prague. The winning baristas were rewarded with valuable prizes from the organising company.