The 2014 Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge took place yesterday with The Langham’s Executive Chef Volker Marecek and Tea Sommelier Benjamin McManus taking top place.
The Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge is a contemporary approach to redefining the 21st century high tea by emphasising the importance of tea as a key part of gastronomy. The simple objective is to put the “tea” back in high tea, giving it authenticity and enhancing overall quality.
Dilmah pioneered the concept of a Real High Tea Competition in 2007 to challenge chefs to understand tea, it’s variety and the limitless possibilities of tea gastronomy and tea mixology. Dilmah Tea Gastronomy is a culinary tea adventure carried out in co-operation with chefs and culinary associations around the world.
Six food items were judged by a panel of internationally acclaimed judges who were looking for a presentation of High Tea in a contemporary manner that demonstrated the understanding of –
– The exact influence of terroir
– The knowledge of the exact taste of different teas
– The perfect brew
– The use of sustainable ingredients ideally sourced from a family business which reflects the family values that are also an integral part of DIlmah
Volker and Benjamin win a seven day tour of Sri Lanka – the home of Dilmah – attending the Dilmah School of Tea, visiting the tea plantations, and presenting their Real High Tea to the Dilmah family and VIP guests. In addition to this they have the opportunity to travel back to Sri Lanka in 2015 to represent New Zealand at the Dilmah Real High Tea Global Challenge.
The winning menu
Scampi tartar with smoked crème fraiche and scampi sand
Dilmah Exceptional Natural Lemon Verbena
Natural Lemon Verbena Iced Tea Mocktail served over lemon verbena ice
Mandarin Duck Liver Parfait
Uda Watte Black Tea with natural pollen and mandarin peel
Rose and French Vanilla Black Angus Short Rib
Marzipan Chestnut Truffle
Dimbula English Breakfast
A Full Hobbit Brew with maple syrup cream and a grating of nutmeg
Cinnamon Shortbread with Caramelised Poached Apple
Cold infused natural green tea and Moroccan mint vodka with a hint of Ceylonese true cinnamon
Supreme Ceylon Chocolate Tortellini with apricot gel pearls