After the great success of the first internal contest in 2017 with the So! Coffee barista contest, the ambition for 2018 was to open up the competition to all countries where Lagardère Travel Retail is present and to include a food competition.
On May 30th and 31st, Lagardère Travel Retail organized its International Foodservice Competition, gathering passionate finalists from around the world at L’Etoile du Nord restaurant, at the Gare du Nord (Paris).
The Barista competition was organized in rounds – latte art, the creation of an original hot coffee recipe, and a cold coffee recipe. The 10 best baristas from 7 countries (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Italy, Poland, and Romania) were carefully considered by a jury made of two barista and coffee experts - James Olejnik and Tom Wallis – and Lagardère Travel Retail Senior staff.
The Sandwich competition was in 2 rounds and based around the creation original cold and hot sandwich recipes, and involved 11 finalists from 8 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Poland, Romania, and the US). The jury included Simon Supp from Mondelez, bakery expert Stéphane Chérel and Christian Raimbault from Paul.
Best International Barista 2018 is Ioana Ghioncu from Romania, with 2 creative and very tasty recipes! Her hot coffee recipe - “Green Butterscotch” - is made with coffee, Butterscotsch syrup and green tea with jasmine, while her cold coffee recipe - “Spicy Expresso Tonic” - is made with coffee, Spicy Mango syrup and Tonic water.
The Best Sandwich Chef 2018 is Oana Rujan from Romania with the 2 very original and tasty recipes: “Umami Delight” in the cold sandwich category, with Philadelphia cheese, yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes, anchovy and valerian and “Crispy Plum” in the hot sandwich category with Philadelphia cheese, crispy bacon, dried plum, chives and brie cheese.
The winning recipes from Ioana and Oana will be served in all of Lagardère Travel Retail’s own brand outlets as seasonal recipes. Both winners received an iPad and a gift voucher.
“This championship is a great opportunity to celebrate our strong foodie culture and community internally and to reinforce our operational excellence through emulation and by encouraging staff training, motivation and sharing of best practices. For sure we will organize it again next year! We all learned immensely from one another and shared unvaluable tips on preparation secret ingredients,” commented Mélanie Guilldou, EVP Foodservice at Lagardère Travel Retail.