Media Contact: Melanie Ramsey

30 June 2010



“A Summer Evening at Mumbai with very Special Friends”


The Westin Mumbai Garden City

Tuesday 29 June 2010 


Mumbai-The First Annual FTA “A Summer Evening at Mumbai with very Special Friends” proved to be a memorable event for the fifty-three guests, who included hotel executives, managing directors, GMs, industry VIPs, press and sponsors.


The reception was hosted by Diageo and Brown-Forman with a variety of their most popular luxury cocktails prepared to perfection by their celebrity mixologists and served by their elegant smart hostesses; while Phillips Foods Asia provided the best quality crab meat for the The Westin Mumbai’s culinary team’s mouth-watering assortment of canapés and hors d’ouvres.  All guests were personally greeted by Paridhi Bhushan, Team Leader-Front Office; formally announced by Nikarika Rawal and gonged by Stanford D’Souza, both Assistant Managers at Prego, the Italian restaurant, and all associates at The Westin Mumbai Garden City.


The opening of the four-course gala dinner brought Fred Tibbitts to the podium, who reminded the assembled hospitality industry elite that “Service is the highest calling”.  Tibbitts then asked The Venerable Acharya Guru Gyaltsen, Executive Director, Pema Tsa’l School at Mundgod-Karnatka, India to take the podium to deliver a Tibetan Buddhist Prayer, chanted in Tibetan.


Tibbitts then called for the eleven “Loyalty Toasts”, a Tibbitts dinner grand tradition by several of the dinner VIP’s, including the host General Manager, Jan Bundgaard, The Westin Mumbai Garden City; Ajay Kumar Jha, Market Manager-West, Brown-Forman (who donated the Korbel Natural Russian River Valley champagne for the toasts); Rajeev Menon, Area Vice President, India, Malaysia, Maldives & Pakistan, Marriott International; Neeraj Chadha, Regional General Manager, Hilton Worldwide; Conrad Egbert, Editor, Hotelier India; Paul Lawlass, Global Corporate Accounts Director, South East Asia, Ecolab; Anurag Bhatnagar, General Manager, Le Royal Meridien, Mumbai; Visheshwar Raj Singh, General Manager, Trident Bandra Kurla, Mumbai; Biswajit Chakraborty, General Manager, The Leela Kempinski; Salil Fadnis, Executive Chef, Hotel Sahara Star; and Paul Kinny, Executive Chef, InterContinental Marine Drive.


Tibbitts next announced that a portion of the proceeds from the FTA Summer Dinner at Mumbai would go to the Vikramasila Foundation to benefit the Pema Tsa’l School.  Tibbitts called forward Acharya Guru Gyaltsen to accept the cash donation to his school and to say a few words of genuine appreciation.  One of the recipients of previous FTA dinner donations to the Foundation was present in the person of Tenzin Chodon, now a Registered Nurse, whose education was made possible by the FTA contributions.


Tibbitts announced that the recipient of the 2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Literary Excellence is going to Richard Xu, Editor-in-Chief of New Western Cuisine (China) Magazine.  Tibbitts continued that the 2010 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator–Asia Pacific is Martin Rinck, President – Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.  As Rinck could not attend the dinner, Neeraj Chadha, Regional General Manager-India, Hilton Worldwide came to the podium to accept the recognition and spoke eloquently as to his personal observations on why Rinck richly deserves the recognition.

Tibbitts next announced that the 2010 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence as a Humanitarian are going to Rudolf Muller, Executive Chef, Hong Kong Disneyland and Otto Weibel, Director of Kitchens, Swissotel The Stamford & Fairmont Singapore. 


At the close of the cheese and wine service, Jan Bundgaard, General Manager, The Westin Mumbai Garden City Summoned the Brigade to unanimous ovation.  The Parade of the Brigade was well-rehearsed and led by Executive Chef Robert Conte, Banquet Chef Hershal Tamhaney, Food & Beverage Manager Amit Kumar and Banquet Manager Surajit Chatterjee.  The Parade culminated on stage with Bundgaard for a Brigade family portrait of all 46 associates who worked the dinner.  The service was flawless, the food and beverage the best and a feeling of warm, inviting hospitality filled the room from start to finish.  The Westin Mumbai Garden City Catering Sales Manager, Rida Paul was the project coordinator from start to finish, while Director of Marketing Communications, Anjali Mehra arranged for some of the market’s top press to attend and cover the event, for which all may be most grateful for their very meaningful contributions to the success of the evening.


Fred Tibbitts & Associates is the leading global wine, spirits and related services consulting agency for National Account chain hotels and restaurants and event management, based at Menands, New York for the United States and Bangkok, Thailand for Asia Pacific.


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