Mixologist Fraliza Gianniodis from the Ritz-Carlton, Boston was crowned 2019’s Beverage “Master of the Craft” at the 2nd annual Chopped-style competition.
Marriott International recently recognized Fraliza Gianniodis of Artisan Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton, Boston as 2019’s Beverage Master of the Craft for the Americas. Fraliza emerged victorious after the final round of the 2nd annual competition designed to discover and showcase top culinary and beverage talent across Marriott International properties in North, South and Central America.
Over the past six months, more than 3,000 bar and restaurant associates of all levels from 378 properties across 30 hotel brands competed to prove their prowess through quick-fire cooking and bartending challenges. During the timed, rapid-fire competition, each contestant was tasked with incorporating a mystery ingredient into a signature dish or cocktail, which was then judged on the basis of technique, creativity and taste.
The competitions began at individual hotels, and the subsequent winners moved on to sectional and regional competitions. On October 22, there were 12 culinary and 12 beverage finalists including Fraliza who traveled to the Marriott Marquis, Washington D.C., where they competed dish-to-dish and drink-to-drink to determine the three finalists for each category. The final six contestants competed for the championship titles last week at Marriott International’s headquarters in Bethesda, MD where Artisan Bistro’s Fraliza walked away with the top prize.
“The Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Boston are so proud of Fraliza,” says William Bunce, general manager of the hotel. “We all knew, our guests included, that she was a talented star at Artisan Bistro. She’s incredibly deserving of this award.”
“Over the past year, Masters of the Craft quickly gained momentum across the organization and has become a competition our associates are eager to participate in – and show off their talents as creative artisans,” said Dana Pellicano, Vice President of Food & Beverage Experience for the Americas at Marriott. “I am overwhelmed by the inventive spirit of the competitors and moved by each of their stories and what brought them here today. It is our hope they inspire the next generation of artisans.”
Fraliza who began her career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 2011, was most recently at The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan before coming to Boston. She explains that she moved to Boston from Puerto Rico to gain more exposure while fine-tuning her passion for cocktail making. “It was an honor to not only represent Boston, but Puerto Rico in this competition,” she says. “This has been such an incredible journey. I’m both humbled and honored to have met so many amazing people who have taught me new ways to craft cocktails. And having this support and recognition from Marriott inspires me to keep being the best I can be behind the bar.”
From the beverage division, Fraliza won the title using the secret ingredient China Martini Liqueur with mezcal and chocolate bitters to craft an Old Fashioned-inspired cocktail. Her winning cocktail recipe:
La Vincitrice (“The Winner” in Italian)
1 ½ oz China Amaro Martini
1 oz Angels Envy
¼ oz Mezcal (Leyenda)
3 dashes Chocolate Bitters
Stir and serve over one large ice cube. Garnish with flamed orange peel and cinnamon stick on fire.
As one of two winners of the Masters of the Craft competition, Fraliza will receive an all-expenses-paid culinary or beverage educational experience to further foster their talent, as well as a custom-made chef’s jacket or bar apron.
First to congratulate Fraliza were Marriott International leaders including Bill Marriott, Executive Chairman; David Grissen, Americas Group President; and Erika Alexander, Chief Lodging Services Officer, The Americas.