recently I went for a barista competition and I pulled out when my induction got burnt. I have been practising for 4 months for the competition and only to forget my induction cooker 3 days before the comp. the comp is in a place 400km from where I stay. I only realized that I didnt have my induction cooker with me once I was at the comp area. ( sad, its like forgetting your pen for the exams i know ) . I did buy a new induction cooker and took a gamble for the comp. I served my espresso's then while making the 1st set of cappuccinos my induction got burnt. I continued to serve all 4 cappuccinos and called time. I was very despressed by what happened but my question is this. What would anyone 1 of you do if the same thing were to happen to you? would you have called time like me? would you have served another beverage?
First off, I'm very sorry that happened to you. Sometimes we're so focused at the task at hand, we forget the little things.
Second, I don't know what the competition guidelines were, so I don't really know what else I could've done. If I purchased an induction burner in the last minute, I would've tested it out for sure. And if I wasn't sure how the new induction burner was gonna work, I probably would've come up with some backup plan just in case... even if it wasn't gonna be as great as your induction offering.
That's a tough thing to have happen to you.
I do hope you were able to get some good feedback on the courses that you did serve and the rest of your presentation? That's the part that helps us grow, and one of the main benefits of competition anyway - so at least you have that, right?
One thing that I've seen some competitors do is to have a backup of their finished ingredient available in case something goes wrong. This backup might have been prepared in the practice session, stored properly, and then placed discreetly in an out-of-the-way section of the prep table in case it was needed. Not the ideal way to prepare a drink (and not going to get you full points) but at least it would allow them to serve something in case there was a catastrophic failure. Smart, given the number of potential ways things can go wrong in the comp.
Better testing the new unit prior to starting might have found the problem, though why would you suspect an issue with a brand new unit? There wasn't anything you could have done once your time started, though. Even if you'd had a backup unit stashed somewhere you couldn't have gone to get it.
Again, very sad that things went that way for you. Good luck in future competitions!
Dear Andy and Brady,
Really thanks for the input and encourgement guys.
Brady great idea to have finished product before the competition. ( never thought of that ). Well i guess that all comes thru alot of experience. By the way I did test the new induction cooker before I started but did not program and save the required temperature and time. when the induction was already at the prep table, it was unplugged by the organizers. Was only able to start it during my prep time again. well , thanks again.
It's very difficult to call the play after the game is over, but competitions are about grabbing as many points as possible. Some champions have won even without 5/6s and have gone overtime into penalty.
Even though your induction didn't work, it might have been to your benefit to have done as much as possible to serve your signature drink even without the effect of heating your ingredients. That way you would have earned some points on the sig drink instead of zeroes and the fact that you remained calm and kept going might have earned you points in the professionalism and total Impression section of the scoring.
Not to mention points for well explained and presented, Look and functionality, creativity synergy and taste balance - remember that taste balance is multiplied by a factor of 4, so even if your judges only gave you one point in that category, your total score would be 16 and that's better than zero.
Plus you would have some level of feedback from the judges comments about how your ingredients went together and how they were perceived by the judges.
The technical side, presuming you did all the yes/no points and let's say you got 3s in Dry/Clean Filter and Consistent Dosing, you would have earned another 11 points.
So even when all is going wrong around you, it's in your best interest to keep going and try to gather as many points as you can. But always remember to beware of the time. You can keep going to 15:59 (and still lose penalty points) but once you cross 16:00, it's automatic disqualification.
Best of luck next time!