Partingtons At The Langham – Restaurant Of The Year 2006
(Auckland, 13 October 2006) --- The Langham Hotel, Auckland is thrilled to announce their signature restaurant Partingtons has been announced New Zealand Restaurant of the Year at the world’s largest annual hot kitchen competition.
The title was awarded to Partingtons at the New Zealand Culinary Fare. The Fare is New Zealand’s longest running culinary competition attracting over 1000 competitors making it the world’s largest competition of its kind.
The Partingtons winning team comprised of chef de cuisine Sascha Exenberger, chef de partie Ryan Arboleda and restaurant supervisor Julieta Estrai.
“It’s still a bit of a dream,” says Sascha. “We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have had such strong direction from the rest of the Langham food and beverage team. It helps that there’s a lot of harmony and we all genuinely like each other,” continued Ryan.
“To be judged to be the best in the country by your industry peers is extremely flattering,” finished Julieta.
Langham Hotel, Auckland managing director John Dick said: “We are honoured to have such talent working at our hotel. All credit to Sascha, Ryan and Julieta and to the many other staff who supported them in their own special ways by helping, testing, cajoling, training and being bruisingly honest and critical.”
“This result further reinforces what a special team of people there are working together here to make every day something very special for our guests.”
Mr Dick continued that he saw the win as proof that the tables had turned and people were once more viewing hotel restaurants as the epitome of fine dining: “Our guests have a real appreciation for the whole dining experience which includes knowledgeable and professional staff, premium produce, first-class wine and attention to detail with the quality of the linen, and only the finest glassware, silverware and crockery.”
The Restaurant of the Year competition is open to restaurants nationwide and designed to test the skills of the chefs and restaurant service staff outside their familiar environment. The challenge is for each restaurant team to design and develop a menu from a mystery box of ingredients, cook, present and serve to guests.
The Partingtons team’s winning menu consisted of Porcini and caramelised onion roll and a main featuring poached roulade of Brill and Waikani crab on sautéed asparagus with smoked freshwater eel and potato tortellini in a light lemon sauce. Dessert consisted of chocolate toffee honey fondant with cherry and prune compote and rhubarb and yoghurt ice-cream.
About the Winning Team
Sascha Exenberger, Chef de Cuisine, Partingtons at the Langham
Austrian born Sascha Exenberger brings to Partingtons a unique approach combining his traditional European skills with fresh New Zealand produce.
Sascha was trained at the renowned five-star Salzburgerhof in Austria. Following the completion of his formal training, he worked first as chef entremetier and later as sous chef at a variety of fine-dining restaurants throughout Austria.
Interested in incorporating more European influences into his cooking style Sascha travelled around Europe adding an Italian and French flair to his style. He has also worked at the prominent Shengen Restaurant in Moscow, and at the esteemed Dunloe Castle in Killarney, Ireland.
Sascha says he likes to keep clear lines of distinction with his cuisine and diners can expect dishes that reflect his European heritage with a particular emphasis on Austria, Italy and France. He enjoys surprising people with new and interesting tastes that rouses further anticipation.
Ryan Arboleda, Chef de Partie, Partingtons at the Langham
The only born-and-bred New Zealander on the team, Ryan has been with the Langham since the hotel commenced operations in New Zealand in January 2005.
Ryan has held numerous chef positions including commis chef, demi chef, sous chef and chef de partie at various hotels and eating establishments in New Zealand and Australia. He has previously worked for Sheraton Auckland Hotel and Towers, Ascot Metropolis, Copthorne, The Heritage, Quay West, Mercure, Hamilton Island and the Auckland Club.
Julieta Estrai, Restaurant Supervisor, Partingtons at the Langham
From Argentina, Julieta joined Partingtons in May 2005.
She has a degree in hospitality and a degree in tourism from Cesyt Institute in Buenos Aires. She has held several management positions at restaurants in Argentina. She also spent two years working for cruise liner Royal Caribbean and three years as the assistant director of Berlitz Schools of Languages in Argentina.
Other Langham Awards at the New Zealand Culinary Fare
Langham staff cleaned up a further 19 awards at the Fare including a gold in ‘Practical Wine Tasting’, achieved by Partingtons sommelier Josselin de Gesincourt and a gold in ‘Hot Main Presented Cold Junior,’ achieved by demi chef de partie Shannon Persterer.
A complete list of awards earned by Langham staff is included at the end of this release.
Background notes on the Langham
Langham has a legendary hotel heritage dating back to 1865 when the Langham Hotel in London originally opened as Europe’s first Grand Hotel. For 140 years, this flagship hotel has been at the forefront of sophisticated and gracious hospitality. Today, all Langham Hotels worldwide inherit the same philosophy that reflects elegance in design, innovation in hospitality, genuine service and captivation of the senses creating a truly unique hotel experience.
About the Author: Winnie Tang is the Public Relations Manager of Langham Hotels International, a new international luxury hotel brand, offering innovative hospitality based on Langham’s 140 years of legendary heritage.