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Executive Pastry Chef wins
2016 PATA Face of the Future 

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced that Mr Danny Ho is the recipient of the most prestigious honour for young tourism professionals in Asia Pacific – the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award. A native of Malaysia, Danny is the Executive Pastry Chef at Hotel ICON in Hong Kong SAR where he oversees all pastry and bakery operations at the hotel, which also acts as an extension of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM).

Mr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA stated, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to congratulate Mr Danny Ho on winning the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award.  He has clearly demonstrated a commitment to the responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region, and his views on how travel and tourism can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be a welcome asset to the 2016/2017 PATA Executive Board.”

Mr Danny Ho, Executive Pastry Chef, Hotel ICON said, "I was very surprised to win the 2016 PATA Face of the Future award and I feel so honoured to have been recognised in this way. This award isn’t just recognition for me – it’s actually recognition for the amazing Hotel ICON team I work with who have worked tirelessly over the past 5 years helping build up the reputation of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I couldn’t have done it without my team and the small groups of elite students. Hotel ICON is an important facility in training the next generation of hoteliers and the award validates our vision to create a commercially viable, and industry-leading hotel that is admired by hospitality experts from the world."

Mr Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire, and a judge of the essay submissions, said, "All the essays contained excellent thought-prompters on the linkage between Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals. Danny Ho's essay on the need to alleviate food waste highlighted one of the major issues facing the F&B sector, an intrinsic component of the travel & tourism industry. I compliment Mario Hardy for taking up my suggestion to have the Face of the Future essays focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and look forward to other industry associations and organisations following suit."

Danny and his team at Hotel ICON value unique experiences that demonstrate fresh Asian hospitality. His team took a chance with the introduction of Durian, an authentic fruit from Malaysia, as the main ingredient for their signature desserts. After launching the first Durian dessert the customer response was overwhelming - leading to the development of more Durian creations. The Durian is imported directly from local farmers with the hotel as the largest importer of the fruit. Many other luxury hotels have followed this trend. As they have look to source local producers more businesses are generated, thus increasing the standard of living standard for local communities and facilitating the development of the agricultural industry - especially in Malaysia where poverty is still a major issue.

With the success of their creative desserts, Hotel ICON’s reputation has steadily increased and now training courses are being organised to provide quality education to those wishing to enhance their skills in pastry.

Danny added, “Travel and tourism can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals for less developed countries. Citizens of less developed countries rely heavily on agricultural production to make a living. It is recommended that they can transform the raw materials in their home countries into multifarious goods, adding value (both monetary and non-monetary) to the product and the country. By collaborating with neighbouring or other developed countries, the less developed ones can sell the products, or hold training workshops to generate income and let travellers experience the local culture.”

Obsessed with creating the perfect dessert, Danny loves to banter with guests to perfect his culinary tales. He is known for his mastery of French pastries, with experience gained from the Shangri-la Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Cova Pasticceria & Confetteria and The Mira Hotel. His sugar showpieces have won the Gold with Distinction Awards in Pastry Professional Showpiece in the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic 2011, the Gold Award in Pastry Display in the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic 2007, and Medallist in Pastry Showpiece. Danny’s desserts focus on the combination of ingredients and technique. Influenced by seasonal produce and best ingredients, this philosophy remains a driving point of his desserts today.

As the winner, Danny receives a complimentary round-trip flight and hotel accommodation to speak during the conference at the PATA Annual Summit 2016 on May 19 and to share his thoughts about the importance of Human Capital Development, shortly after the PATA Awards Presentation. Danny will also be invited to join the 2016/2017 PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer.

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