31 July 2013
Australasian Barista Award Winner Credits NZ Hospitality Industry
Aucklander Vishal Dhiman says the past three years honing his barista skills in New Zealand are behind his recent win of
a top Australasian award.
Dhiman won third place at the Muffin Break Best Barista Competition in Sydney, beating some of the top baristas from New
Zealand and Australia.
Dhiman moved to New Zealand from India to enhance his barista career, which started with a year’s experience in his
hometown of Chandigarh.
The Muffin Break Albany manager, who studied Hospitality Management at The University of Auckland, is thrilled to have
made his mark here and across the Tasman.
“I love representing New Zealand, as it’s now my home,” says Dhiman. “Plus the training and support I have received from
my time at Muffin Break and The University of Auckland have helped me to achieve my goals as a barista. It has also
given me the opportunity to travel to Australia, for the first time, to showcase my coffee-making skills, which was
amazing. I’ve wanted to go there ever since I was in India.”
In preparation for his recent Sydney jaunt, Dhiman made more than 700 coffees. However, it was his extensive New Zealand
hospitality experience and education that made Vishal a serious competitor and allowed him to take home the third place
The latte art aficionado, 26, is so pleased with his efforts that he is keeping his trophy beside his bed.
“It’s the first thing I see when I wake up and last thing I see at night. Hopefully next year it’ll be the winning
Dhiman relishes making every coffee; he counts it as practice for future overseas competitions.
His boss, Muffin Break Albany owner Angelo De Vincenzo, says it felt like destiny when Dhiman came to him looking for a
“He came to us so raw but so full of passion from day one. He said that if I gave him a chance he’d prove that he could
do it and he has,” De Vincenzo says.
“Vishal’s always taken every opportunity and excelled. His family in India can be very proud of him. My wife won’t let
anyone else make her quarter strength large latte.”
The Muffin Break Best Barista Competition saw Dhiman make a signature drink (an espresso with a berry infusion), a
cappuccino, and an espresso for each of the four judges, totalling 12 drinks all in just 15 minutes.
About Muffin Break
Muffin Break is a premium bakery-café franchise owned by Foodco Group Pty Ltd. Specialising in foods freshly-baked
on-site daily and recognised for its CSR Golden Bean award-winning proprietary coffee blend, Muffin Break occupies a
unique niche in the retail food industry. The Muffin Break concept originated in Canada but was acquired by Foodco in
1989 and refined for contemporary conditions. Muffin Break now comprises more than 260 cafés across New Zealand,
Australia, the United Kingdom and India.
There is no break like a Muffin Break!