Taking Home the Gold in Young Talents Escoffier APAC 2023

SHATEC hospitality student Benjamin Ong achieved the top award in the prestigious competition.


Benjamin Ong, SHATEC hospitality management student sharing his exceptional win for Singapore in the Young Talents Escoffier APAC 2023.

Singapore, 2 May 2023 – SHATEC hospitality student Mr. Benjamin Ong was unveiled on Thursday as the newest Gold award recipient of the Young Talents Escoffier Asia Pacific (APAC) 2023’s Service Contest.

Organised by the Disciples Escoffier International Association and held at Food&Hotel Asia (FHA)-Food & Beverage from 25th to 27th April 2023, the competition spotlights the best young talents in hospitality services before an internationally acclaimed panel of judges.

Benjamin’s competitive training began as early as last November in preparation for WorldSkills Singapore 2023 (Restaurant Service) in March, firmly guided by his SHATEC trainers*. Post-Worldskills, he carried on undeterred to clinch the top spot as Young Talents Escoffier APAC’s youngest competitor after facing strong contenders from five other countries: Indonesia, Macau, New Caledonia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Inclusive of six tests within an intensive five-hour competition duration, Benjamin demonstrated his skills in gastronomic excellence, including table setting; wine knowledge and service; as well as food preparation and service.

Benjamin shared, “I feel proud and honoured to have the chance to represent Singapore and showcase my skills. I look forward to more opportunities to learn from the industry experts and widen my exposure in hospitality.”

By maximising his time to train while maintaining a regular schedule of attending classes and taking examinations, Benjamin was an unstoppable force, showing grit in the lead-up to the international competition.

One of his principal trainers, Ms. Eleen Cai, Manager of Food & Beverage Studies at SHATEC, recalled, “Benjamin has proven himself following various challenges. He never stopped preparing while he self-isolated amidst COVID, just three weeks before the competition. He proactively requested to meet online with us trainers and industry personnel so that we could guide him in turns.”

“I want to highlight the team spirit of [all trainers] who taught Benjamin all the skills he needed to bring home the gold,” shared Ms. Melissa Padilla, Senior Trainer of Food & Beverage Studies at SHATEC. “I am thrilled to see him embrace the future of the F&B industry and unleash his potential. It has been a joy to train with him.”

Ms Charlene Rosco, Trainer of Hospitality and Business Studies, SHATEC, who supported Benjamin in the areas of interpersonal skills training and grooming, added, “The knowledge and experience that he has gained from the competition will surely motivate and lead him to greater heights.”

For details on the competition, visit https://fhafnb.com/young-talents-escoffier/

Our heartfelt thanks to:

- Chef Edmund Toh, Young Talents Escoffier (YTE) Asia President, for providing us this opportunity in the competition.!

- Kim Guan Guan Coffee Trading Pte Ltd for their generous sponsorship in the form of tokens of appreciation for Benjamin’s service guests.!

*Benjamin’s Gold award is possible with the unwavering support of the following SHATEC trainers during his training stint: Mr. Mike Low, Ms. Eleen Cai, Ms. Melissa Padilla, Mr. Jason Ow-yong, Ms. Charlene Rosco, Chef Gerald Cheok, Chef Pratheep Shunmugasundaram and Chef Val Chean.


SHATEC student Benjamin Ong with several of his trainers who played an instrumental role in his success in the Young Talents Escoffier service competition. (Pictured left to right: Ms. Charlene Rosco, Ms. Melissa Padilla, Benjamin Ong, Ms. Eleen Cai)


Benjamin represented Singapore showcasing a medley of impressive service skills.


Also presented on the Prestige table in-competition: a beautiful centerpiece crafted by trainers Ms Melissa Padilla and Ms Charlene Rosco! It is inspired by Singapore's famous supertrees and made with reusable materials, fresh succulents and flowers.


Benjamin and Mr. Jason Soon (pictured right), Founder of Kim Guan Guan Coffee Trading Pte Ltd. Mr. Soon also kindly sponsored tokens of appreciation for Benjamin’s service guests.

Young Talents Escoffier Competition Overview

The Young Talents Escoffier Asia Pacific (APAC) Competition has two categories for young individuals under 25: a kitchen category and a service category. An opportunity built on meetings, but mainly on imparting knowledge to the younger generations. It has now carved a spot for itself at international gastronomy conventions.

In collaboration with Disciples Escoffier International (DEI) Association and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, the Young Talents Escoffier is the arena for young culinary talents to display their gastronomic skills and be accredited by a panel of internationally acclaimed judges.

The Young Talents Escoffier APAC kicked off its programme at FHA-Food & Beverage from 25 – 27 April 2023.