Media Contact: Melanie Ramsey

14 May 2010


The Third Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates

“A Spring Evening in Kuala Lumpur with Very Special Friends”

Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur

Thursday 13 May 2010


Kuala Lumpur-The Third Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates “A Spring Evening in Kuala Lumpur with Very Special Friends” proved to be another memorable event for the sixty-four guests, who included hotel executives, ceo’s, presidents, managing directors, regional vice presidents, general managers, industry VIP’s, the press and valued sponsors.


The reception was hosted by Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Beam Global, William Grant & Sons and Brown-Forman serving many of their top luxury cocktails prepared by a teams of mixologists and smart servers; the Le Verre de Vin wine preservation systems, Ronnefeldt Selected Teas, serving a variety of their most popular flavors and Phillips Foods Asia providing their finest crab meat for many of Executive Chef Roland Kaiser’s marvelous canapés and hors d’ouvres.  All guests were formally announced and gonged with distinction by Jonathan Badman, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur.


The four-course gala dinner brought Fred Tibbitts to the podium, who welcomed the guests and asked that they consider “Service as the Highest Calling”.  Tibbitts explained that the primary purposes of the FTA dinners are to recognize hospitality excellence, provide scholarships in the names of those whom are honored and to make charitable contributions to benefit those less fortunate.  Tibbitts promptly called for the evening’s ten “Loyalty Toasts” by some of the dinner personalities, including Melvin Lim, General Manager, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur; Jimmy CH Low, Senior Regional Sales Manager, Riche Monde; Michael Sengol, CEO, Meritus Hotels & Resorts; Richard Xu, Editor-in-Chief, New Western Cuisine Magazine; Otto Weibel, Director of Kitchens, Swissotel The Stamford & Fairmont Singapore; Rudy Muller, Executive Chef, Hong Kong Disneyland; Denis Gruhier, Group General Manager, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa; Praba Menon, General Manager, Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur; and John Sartain, General Manager, Mandarin Orchard Singapore.


After the guests enjoyed their elegant First Course of Crab Avocado and Tomato Timbale with Fresh Basil Cream, paired expertly with New Zealand, Spanish, Chilean and French reserve wines of optimal vintages, Tibbitts announced a donation from a portion of the dinner proceeds to the China Tibetan Children Health & Education Fund, based at Hong Kong.  Rudolf Muller, Executive Chef, Hong Kong Disneyland accepted the donation on behalf of Madame Annie S.C. Wu, Fund Founder who was unable to be present.


Tibbitts returned to the podium after the Main Course of Cashew Nut Crusted, Baked Lamb Short Loin, Roasted Pumpkin Potato Mash, Semi-Dried Tomato and Zucchini with Roasted Garlic and Mint-Scented Lam Jus, paired with super premium, vintage French, Australian and Chilean wines to announce the 2010 FTA Asia Pacific Hospitality Awards for Excellence, which will be presented at the 2010 FTA Fall Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui on 7 October.


The 2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Literary Excellence was announced as going to New Western Cuisine magazine (China).  Tibbitts detailed the achievements of the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Richard Xu, as well as the increasing recognition the publication is receiving in and outside of China.  Xu then took the podium to express his appreciation for the recognition and re-dedicated the merit of the honor to serving the industry.


The 2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator-Asia Pacific was announced as going to Martin Rinck, President – Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.  As Rinck was not able to be present, Tibbitts asked Hilton Petaling Jaya General Manager, Chris Ehmann to come forward to say a few personal words about Rinck and to convey Rinck’s personal gratitude on being honored.  Tibbitts then read excerpts from Rinck’s bio, making it abundantly clear that Rinck’s richly deserves the recognition.


The 2010 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence as a Humanitarian were announced as going to Otto Weibel, Director of Kitchens, Swissotel The Stamford & The Fairmont Singapore as well as Rudolf Muller, Executive Chef, Hong Kong Disneyland.  Tibbitts asked Muller and Weibel to the podium to express their thoughts and appreciation on being recognized.  This they did most eloquently and from the heart.  Both Weibel and Muller have asked that their scholarships go to benefit at-sunrice GlobalChef Academy at Singapore.


Following the service of the Cheese Course, a Trio of Aged Cheddar, Tallegio and Iberico Rocinate Semi-Cured with Walnut Baguette paired beautifully with reserve wines of Argentina, Australia, Chile and Spain, Tibbitts asked Melvin Lim to return to the podium to “Summon the Brigade”.  Lim’s summons was answered by a resplendent parade of the kitchen seniors who prepared the dinner, led by Executive Chef Roland Kaiser as well as the service staff led by Mark Gailey, Executive Assistant Manager-Food & Beverage, Edmund Dass, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage and the dinner Captains.  Lim and his team of 37 seniors then posed on stage for several group pictures to commemorate the occasion.


With the service of the Dessert Course, being Ronnefeldt “Get the Power” Infused Panna Cotta with Light Vanilla Orange Sauce and Mango Strawberry Compote with Mokalbarie Tea Sabayon, Tibbitts returned to the stage to thank everyone for coming, inviting one and all to return to the Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur one year hence for the Fourth Annual FTA Spring Dinner at Kuala Lumpur and to wish the assembled guests a safe journey home.


Fred Tibbitts & Associates is the leading global wine, spirits and foodservice products and services consulting agency for National Account chain hotels and restaurants with offices at Bangkok, Thailand and Menands, New York, the United States.