Categories: Tourism & Hospitality

National Cocktail Competition 2020

I am so blessed to have so many good people around me. If it wasn’t for this competition, I wouldn’t have gotten to know them and made such a close bond with them during the preparation of the competition. Above all, I would like to thank our lecturer, Mr Clarence Lua who always contacted me after the practice. He always encouraged me, comforted me by letting me know that it was okay to make a mistake and praised me for doing better than anyone else if I did well. I was able to do well because the people around me were good people. Also, I am very grateful to my school for giving me this precious opportunity. After receiving the prize, everyone at school sent congratulatory messages. I felt so good and proud. Like I’ve become a star. If the precious people around me were the universe, I want to thanks the universe for letting a star named Kim Taeeon to shine. It was the most brilliant moment of my life.

On September 7, the finals of the National Cocktail Competition 2020 was held at Devan Nair Institute. The categories are cocktails, mocktails, and flare. I was honored to be able to represent MDIS as one of the finalist in the Student Mocktail Caterogry. Due to the COVID-19 and strict safety measures, the competition was simplified and done behind closed doors as compared to other years. The preliminaries were held online with video submissions of each contestant’s signature drink, and the finals were also closed to outsiders and only the contestants were allowed to enter the competition area to prevent the spread of the virus.

The reason I participated in this competition was because Mr Clarence Lua, Practical Trainer from School of Tourism and Hospitality visited our class and suggested that I should participate in the competition. At first, I lacked the confidence if I would be able to do well, but after some persuasion and encouragement by Mr Lua, I decided to participate in the competition because it would be a good opportunity for me while I am still in MDIS.

Three days before the preliminary video shoot, the five participating students started practicing and brainstorming on the recipe for our individual signature mocktail with the garnish and plating decoration. Three days felt too short for us to prepare all this. Also, it was my first time experiencing this kind of experience, so I was at a loss but my lecturer helped me with everything from menu development to decoration garnish. He did not force his thoughts unconditionally and gave us an objective evaluation while always respecting our opinions.

We filmed our individual video submission for two days. After each round of filming, we would all gather to evaluate our performance and see what improvements we can do for the next take. I thought it was a relief that everyone evaluated and judged me with objective eyes, not just me. With the help and support of the equipment and video shooting for the video at school, we did the video shooting in a comfortable and good quality. I was very nervous because it was my first time filming in front of the camera. So I made a lot of mistakes, but everyone encouraged me and cheered me on, so I regained my confidence. I had to also explain my mocktail while filming the video, but I made a lot of mistakes in my lines because of my lack of English.

A few days later, when I heard that I passed the preliminaries and was a finalist, I couldn’t believe it, so I read the text again and again. I was filled with so much joy that I felt I could fly into the sky. I was determined to win the prize for the finals. My sponsored brand was decided by drawing lots during the finals’ briefing, and I will have to create another recipe using the sponsored product within 24 hours. At that time, I realized that the preliminaries and finals are very different. The sponsored brand that I was given were Sunquick and Coca Cola. First of all, I had never heard of the Sunquick brand before, so it was a new experience for me. After many trial and error with the concoction and with the help of my lecturer, my signature drink, “Sunset Bay” was born. I watched many YouTube videos to give me inspiration and I decided to create a pretty butterfly-shaped garnish.

I practiced a lot for the demonstration of the finals. I came to school on the weekends to prepare for the competition. We practiced from morning to night in school and when I went back home, I would continue practice by role-playing alone because I was worried that I would make a mistake. I would use the shower supplies on my desk, my shampoo became the lemon syrup, and my conditioner became the grenadine syrup. This practice of role-playing alone at home really helped me a lot. When I arrived at the venue for the finals, I was depressed because there were so many competitors who were really good at it. I was mentally prepared to receive a certificate of participation but I won second place! I couldn’t believe it and felt so good and I can’t explain how I felt at this time. I was proud of myself because I felt that my hard work resulted in a good result.

Through this experience, I realized so many things. I am so blessed to have so many good people around me. If it wasn’t for this competition, I wouldn’t have gotten to know them and made such a close bond with them during the preparation of the competition. Above all, I would like to thank our lecturer, Mr Clarence Lua who always contacted me after the practice. He always encouraged me, comforted me by letting me know that it was okay to make a mistake and praised me for doing better than anyone else if I did well. I was able to do well because the people around me were good people. Also, I am very grateful to my school for giving me this precious opportunity. After receiving the prize, everyone at school sent congratulatory messages. I felt so good and proud. Like I’ve become a star. If the precious people around me were the universe, I want to thanks the universe for letting a star named Kim Taeeon to shine. It was the most brilliant moment of my life.

www.facebook.com. (n.d.). eNational Cocktail Competion 2020 – Winners.

Available at: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialABSS/posts/4426030420792225 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2020].

www.singaporebartenders.com. (n.d.). Association of Bartenders & Sommeliers Singapore. [online] Available at: http://www.singaporebartenders.com/?fbclid=IwAR0WvVL7eV-TG3jspy-NjMf2oY33HiveNU-3hKklgUbrJ7oCXQebpbxtr_8 [Accessed 18 Sep. 2020]

This article is contributed by Kim Taeeon from the School of Tourism and Hospitality.

MDIS

Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Jewellery Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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