Japanese maitre d' wins world cup for waiters

A Japanese maitre d' was crowned world's best on Friday in an international competition to find the top high-end server.

Shin Miyazaki, 35, who works at Chateau Restaurant Joel Robuchon in Tokyo, proved his mettle through nine rounds that tested his ability to dress a salad, flambe a pineapple and identify which wine works well with certain flavours.

Miyazaki beat off competitors from 14 different countries under the gaze of an expert jury who were examining everything from how he put customers at ease to how he made the Irish coffee after desert.

"I practised every day for years, I'm hooked, and now I get this award," an emotional Miyazaki said as he received the Georges Baptiste Cup.

"But this is only the beginning, tomorrow I go back to work to do my best."

The Georges Baptiste Cup was established in France in 1961 in honour of the chef and butler of the same name.

It expanded to include European entrants three decades later and in 2000 went global when it was held in Canada. Subsequent editions were held in France, Mexico and Vietnam.

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future 1 hour 6 minutes ago
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • 919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day 2 hours 20 minutes ago
    919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day

    We've brought you the drive video of the $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder -- an 887-hp hybrid supercar with two electric motors working in harmony with a big 4.6-liter V-8. But how about this? Porsche's hybrid Le Mans racer -- the 919 Hybrid, sent to us by Kevin Leech. Get on board with electrification, folks. Because it's taking over the world.

  • Watch a man drive his three-wheeled Mustang along a Texas highway 8 hours ago
    Watch a man drive his three-wheeled Mustang along a Texas highway

    Some things in life are hard to explain, like why a dentist insists on asking you questions when you clearly can't respond. Or why we call pants "a pair" even though it's just one. Or how about this puzzler: Why a person would drive their Mustang along a Texas highway despite it missing a wheel? Life is full of little mysteries, I guess.

  • Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers
    Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Singaporeans on social media reacted angrily to news that tissue sellers at hawker centres and street corners are being required to pay for an annual licence.

  • Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry
    Heartbreaking texts from students on sinking S. Korea ferry

    Heart-wrenching messages of fear, love and despair, sent by high school students from a sinking South Korean ferry, added extra emotional weight Thursday to a tragedy that has stunned the nation. Nearly 300 people -- most of them students on a high school trip to a holiday island -- are still missing after the ferry capsized and sank on Wednesday morning. Mom, I love you," student Shin Young-Jin said in a text to his mother that was widely circulated in the South Korean media.

  • Indonesia’s armed forces chief says “no apology” for warship’s name
    Indonesia’s armed forces chief says “no apology” for warship’s name

    General Moeldoko, the head of Indonesia’s Armed Forces, has clarified that he had not apologised for the naming of a warship after two Indonesian marines who had been involved in the 1965 MacDonald House bombing in Singapore.