Media Release: Star chef winner named


ON the 8th September, city centre hotel brand, Mint Hotel, announced its very own star chef is winner of the award-winning company’s annual City Café Star Chef competition.

Ambike Viabhaz won the month-long competition in a glittering grand final at Mint Hotel Tower of London in the City last night. Eighty industry guests enjoyed a three-course gourmet meal, with each course created and executed by a different chef. A panel of judges, including Mint Hotel’s group executive chef, Scott Macdonald, chose the winning dish.

The competition was designed by Macdonald to showcase and harness the talent of Demi Chefs de Partie and Commis chefs within the group’s signature restaurant City Café, in all eight Mint hotels, across the UK and in Amsterdam. Each hotel held an initial heat, whose winners were entered into two cook-off heats at Mint Hotel Leeds and Mint Hotel Westminster. These heats produced the three finalists competing in last night’s event.

“City Café Star Chef is a celebration of the incredible talent we have at Mint Hotel, not only those involved in the final, but each and every one of our team who is committed to using the very best seasonal ingredients to create exceptional food for our customers, always,” says Scott MacDonald.

The menu for the grand final included a starter of Lobster Bisque with a medley of seafood, sea asparagus and saffron butter, by Demi Chef de Partie Andrew Kelly of City Café at Mint Hotel Leeds. Next the winning dish, a main of Denham Estate Venison Three Ways Wellington with English truffle, confit, shoulder, aromatic sausage with beetroot, created by Ambike Viabhaz, of City Café at Mint Hotel Tower of London.

Finally, a dessert of Dutch Candy concluded the meal – a dish containing liquorice, Dutch candy cane and marshmallow ice-cream, devised by Tommy Foekens, Demi Chef de Partie at City Café, Mint Hotel Amsterdam.

Ambike Viabhaz’s venison dish will now feature on the forthcoming City Café autumn menu. Ambike was presented with a RAK commemorative plate and wins a five-day stage at Michelin-starred restaurant Hibiscus.

All three finalists won a branded and personalised City Café Star Chef jacket and MAC knife.

For more information about City Café or Mint Hotel, please visit

Picture caption: Star Chef winner Ambike Viabhaz receiving his commemorative plate, from Group Executive Chef, Scott MacDonald, at Mint Hotel Tower of London. High res image on request.

About Mint Hotel

Mint Hotel is a dynamic, innovative and award-winning city-centre hotel brand, co-founded in 1995 by Sandy Orr, Executive Chairman, Donald McDonald, Vice Chairman, and David Orr, Chief Executive, with Bill Crerar. Mint’s portfolio of seven UK hotels – in London (Westminster and Tower of London), Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds Manchester – and one international property, Mint Hotel Amsterdam (opened May 2011), offers 2,783 rooms and now employs over 1,500 people, with 600 jobs created in the last eight months alone.

Mint Hotel is the only hotel brand offering iMacs in all guest rooms as standard and has free, fast Wi-Fi throughout. All guest rooms are ergonomically designed and embrace natural daylight from floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened. City Café is Mint Hotel’s award winning destination restaurant, serving contemporary British dining using locally-sourced ingredients. All eight restaurants have outside terraces for al fresco dining in the city. Mint also offers modern, versatile meetings and event rooms with unique spaces for private dining, including its rooftop Skylounge* bar, with outdoor terraces and exclusive private dining.

Find out more about Mint at

*Skylounge is available at Mint Hotel Amsterdam, Mint Hotel Leeds, Mint Hotel Tower of London, Mint Hotel Westminster, Mint Hotel Manchester.

For more information please contact:

Kate Eglinton

Results PR

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7953 7616


Mint Hotel Head Office
3rd Floor, Millbank Tower
21-24 Millbank
London, SW1P 4QP
T: +44 (0)20 7901 1606

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