Be Inclusive Hospitality reveals finalists for 2023 Spotlight Awards

13 September 2023 by
Be Inclusive Hospitality reveals finalists for 2023 Spotlight Awards

Not-for-profit organisation Be Inclusive Hospitality (BIH) has announced the finalists for its second year of the BIH Spotlight Awards, which celebrates industry figures from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.

BIH received over 300 public nominations for 15 awards, which include Chef of the Year, Drinks Professional of the Year and Brand of the Year.

This year's judging panel featured Mike Reid, culinary director of Rare Restaurants; Monica Berg, co-founder of Tayer & Elementary; Adele Oxberry, chief executive of Umbrella Training; and food and diversity consultant Mallika Basu.

The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony at M Theadneedle Street, London, which is due to take place on 16 October.

Lorraine Copes, founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, said: "Following the success of our very first BIH Spotlight Awards last year, we're really looking forward to celebrating more of our industry's unsung talent. We're over the moon with the number of applications we've received this year and can't wait to raise a glass to all our finalists, alongside our incredible judging panel, at our awards ceremony on the 16th October."

The 2023 Be Inclusive Hospitality Spotlight Awards finalists

Chef of the Year - Sponsored by

  • Dixie Fingal-Rock Innes, chef at Sohaila Restaurant - London
  • Eric Allangba, founder/ chef patron of Funky Feast - London
  • Lalit Kumar, executive chef at IHG
  • Ahmed Abdalla, head chef, Legacy at The Grand - York

Pastry Chef of the Year

  • Fang-Yu Lin, head chef and owner of Sugarcane Studio Ltd - Bath
  • Donovan Dyer, head pastry chef of M Restaurants - London
  • Ryan Panchoo, owner of Borough 22 Doughnuts - London
  • Sara Assad-Mannings, owner of Bun Head Bakes - London

Drinks Professional of the Year - Sponsored by Moet Hennessy UK

  • Sonal Clare, wine director at The Wilderness - Birmingham
  • Stephanie Wangui, senior sommelier at Noble Rot - London
  • Jeri Kimber-Ndiaye, head sommelier at The NoMad Hotel - London
  • Wine Educator, Shane Jones

Caribbean Food

  • Liam Barker, chef & educator - London
  • Ayanna and Ayisha Fisher, director of Ayannas London
  • Jamaican Restaurants, Rudie's Jerk Shack - London
  • Adians Tropical Fusion Restaurant - Birmingham

African Food - Sponsored by Pedros

  • The Flygerians - London
  • Tunde Tejumola, chef at Suyaman - London
  • Louis Ashok, chef at Technique London Ltd
  • Restaurant brand, Chuku's - London

South Asian Food

  • Sohini Banerjee, supperclub chef for Smoke and Lime - London
  • Restaurant brand Rambutan - London
  • Roti Chai Restaurant - London
  • Manju Patel, head chef at Manju's - Brighton

East & Southeast Asian Food - Sponsored by ESEA Eats

  • Charlene Liu and Liu Qian, founders of Liu Xiaomian - London
  • Amy Poon, founder of Poon's London & Poon's Wontoneria
  • Chao Zhang, founder of Tofu Vegan - London
  • Nicole Ma & Ryan Leung, founders of Hoko London

Middle Eastern Food - Sponsored by Persian Hospitality Network

  • Ayesha Kalaji, head chef at Queen of Cups - Glastonbury
  • Modern Persian Kitchen, co-founder of Modern Persian Kitchen - Durham
  • Imad Alarnab, founder of Imad's Syrian Kitchen - London

Writer of the Year - Sponsored by Decanter

  • Chetna Makan
  • Jimi Famurewa
  • Gurd Loyal
  • Rashmi Narayan

Head Office Impact - Sponsored by DesignMyNight

  • Olajide Alabi, equality, inclusion and wellbeing partner at Turtle Bay Hospitality
  • Brian Beaton, employment programme manager for The House of St Barnabas
  • Ollie Stewart, progression manager for The House of St Barnabas
  • Vicky Ilankovan, manager at Equal Measures UK

Bar or Pub of the Year - Sponsored by Campari UK/WSET School London

  • The Village People - London
  • Trailer Happiness - London
  • The White Horse Buckover - Wotton-under-Edge
  • Diogenes the Dog - London

Brand of the Year - Sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

  • Crazy Gin Ltd
  • Jamaican Rum Vibes
  • Tarsier Spirits
  • Cue Point Ltd

Rising Star - Sponsored by Umbrella Training

  • Chef and food writer, Rahel Stephanie
  • Senior coffee trainer at Well Grounded Jobs CIC, Aashifa Hussain
  • Co-founder of Kromanti Rum, Danielle David
  • Commis chef at The House of St Barnabas, Blossom Green

Peoples' Choice Person of the Year - Sponsored by Deliveroo

  • Director of human resources at The Biltmore Mayfair, Sting Khumalo
  • Author and bartender of Lyaness Bar, Emanuele Mensah

The Peoples' Choice Restaurant of the Year - Sponsored by OpenTable

  • Gouqi
  • Akoko

Be Inclusive Hospitality was incorporated in 2020 to challenge the lack of representation of ethnic minorities in the industry.

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