Race into the virtual reality of the future of Hospitality

23 Jul 2018

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    Teams had to design and prepare their dishes according to the theme – “Silver Ties”, and present to our panel of judges and chefs using sponsored ingredients as well as a mystery ingredient
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    Champion of Hospitality Race 2019 – Team GARYLLEA of Clementi Town Secondary School
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    Team GARYLLEA’s winning dish garnered additional points with its high nutritional value and unique taste and texture, suiting the taste and needs of senior citizens.
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    1st Runner-Up of Hospitality Race 2019 – Team AXA of Bukit Batok Secondary School
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    Team AXA with their local rendition of a traditional Nasi Ambeng and Ondeh Ondeh
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    2nd Runner-Up of Hospitality Race 2019 – Team FUHUA 2329 of Fuhua Secondary School
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    Team FUHUA 2329 and their nutritional Grilled Chicken Red Dates & Wolfberries Spaghetti Soup, and savoury Coconut Panna Cotta with Spiced Pineapple Compote and Passionfruit Puree with Caramelised Pineapple

Hospitality Race was back again in 2019, but bigger and better! With the theme – “Silver Ties”, participants explored age-appropriate and engaging activities, and cuisines suitable for senior citizens. It aimed to promote active ageing and create a more enabling and inclusive environment that supports people of all ages, including older people.

This year, in line with the ever-changing and dynamic Hospitality Industry, we incorporated the use of Virtual Reality technology.  Similar to previous years, Hospitality Race 2019 included various challenges during the qualifying rounds. The secondary school student finalists competed in two components - an ultimate cook-off competition and a Virtual Reality Local Attraction Showcase during the finals.

Here are the main highlights of Hospitality Race 2019:

Qualifying Rounds: 25 – 28 March 2019

A total of 100 teams competed in 7 Hospitality & Tourism Challenges; Match the Herbs & Spices Challenge, Restaurant Service Challenge, Match the Event Process Flow Challenge, Towel Folding Challenge, Product Styling Challenge, Waiter Relay Challenge, and Know Thy Bones.  Over 300 participants had a taste of the varied operations of hospitality businesses during the Race. Only the top 20 teams with the most number of Race stamps and who completed the Challenges in the shortest time moved on to the semi-finals.

Semi-Finals Rounds: 10 – 30 April 2019

For this year’s race, students had to develop a Virtual Reality Local Attraction Showcase. They had to conceptualise and create a guided virtual reality (VR) tour of a chosen local attraction, and submit the storyboard. Aligned to the theme of Silver Ties, students had to highlight the unique selling point of the various selected attraction to senior citizens. The top 10 teams with the most interesting VR storyboard proposal proceeded to the finals.

Culinary Clinic & VR Content Creation Workshop: 23 – 24 May 2019

The 10 shortlisted teams had the opportunity to attend a concise and in-depth Culinary Clinic by hospitality professionals to learn more about food nutrition and food preparation before their final culinary showdown. Each team had to prepare a Main Dish and a Dessert aligned with the Silver Ties Theme by incorporating 1) Organic Gluten-Free Pasta or Organic Brown GABA and Riceberry Rice and 2) SuperFood Juice.  Participants also attended a Virtual Reality (VR) workshop on how to create 360 degree videos for their VR Local Attraction Showcase.

Finals – 11 June 2019

Each team presented their VR Local Attraction Showcase to a panel of judges, comprising industry veterans in virtual reality, events and customer experience fields, and also the senior citizens from Blossom Seeds and Care Corner (Woodlands).

At the same time, the final cook-off was conducted at the Republic Polytechnic Oliva Training Restaurant. Teams were also surprised at the introduction of a mystery food ingredient which they had to incorporate into their dishes! While taste and preparation were important components, teams were also judged on hygiene standards and their ability to incorporate the mystery ingredient. It was an intense battle in the kitchen where one by one, teams had to complete cooking within one and a half hour in the presence of chefs and judges, and present their dishes for tasting. Live judging commenced the moment each team stepped into the kitchen.

It was indeed a remarkable achievement by all teams as they developed inspiring VR showcases, some even heart-warming for the senior citizens! Mouth-watering, savoury yet healthy dishes were delivered to the judges one after another. A whole lobster was even seen in one of the dishes!

Hospitality Race 2019 ended with a prize-presentation ceremony graced by the Guest-of-Honour, Ms Jeannie Lim, Assistant Chief Executive of Policy and Planning Group, Singapore Tourism Board.

The 10 teams of finalists spent over 4 months preparing for this day – from developing a storyboard proposal, filming and curating their VR video, to designing their menu and honing their culinary skills. It was a tight competition among multiple teams as they wrestled to clinch the top 3 positions. After an intense battle, Team FUHUA 2329 of Fuhua Secondary School emerged as the 2nd Runner-Up with their captivating VR Showcase that brought its audience on a tour of Singapore’s River Safari, Asia's first and only river-themed wildlife park.

Team AXA of Bukit Batok Secondary School secured 1st Runner-Up placing with their heart-warming VR rendition of Kampung Memories – Lorong Buangkok, which touched the hearts of many senior citizens. Additionally, they impressed the palates of the judges with a local traditional Nasi Ambeng and Ondeh Ondeh that is not only nutritious, but also suited the theme – “Silver Ties”.

It was indeed a neck-and-neck race, and the Championship title went to Team GARYLLEA of Clementi Town Secondary School with their extraordinary VR Showcase that presented Singapore’s awe-inspiring 101 hectares garden that’s set in the heart of the city, Gardens by the Bay. Their winning dish – Gaba Rice Chicken Porridge and Super Passion Fruit Bubur Cha Cha, also garnered additional points with its high nutritional value and unique taste and texture.

We would also like to congratulate all teams for successfully completing this exciting discovery journey with us!  We hope that every participant enjoyed themselves and brought home valuable experiences and memories with them. We thank all the secondary school students, principals and teachers for your participation and support for Hospitality Race 2019.  See you in Hospitality Race 2020!

Thank you, supporting partners, Lam Soon Singapore Pte Ltd and Doki Doki Instant Superfood, and our immersive technology partner, HiverLab, for the strong support too!