Winners announced for inaugural BIH Spotlight Awards

26 October 2022 by
Winners announced for inaugural BIH Spotlight Awards

Be Inclusive Hospitality (BIH) announced the winners for its inaugural Spotlight Awards on Monday night (24 October), the first awards to celebrate the diversity of talent within the UK hospitality industry.

The awards ceremony was held in London at Percy's Kensington and was hosted by TV presenter, author and pastry chef, Ravneet Gill.

The event recognised winners across 11 categories selected by industry leaders and peers from a shortlist of 44 finalists. There were also two People's Choice Awards.

The winners were as follows:

  • Chef of the Year: Babatunde Abifarin, Farin Road, Edinburgh
  • African Food: Maria Bradford, Shwen Shwen event catering, Kent
  • Caribbean Food: Lara Luck, food stylist and recipe developer, London
  • East and South East Asian Food: John Li, the Dumpling Shack Group, London
  • South Asian Food: Priya Deshingkar, Deccan Tiffin Maharani Supper Club, Hove
  • Middle Eastern Food: Ayesha Kalaji, Queen of Cups gastropub, Glastonbury
  • Bar/Pub of the Year: The Dodo Micropub, Lucy Do, London
  • Drinks Professional of the Year: Imie Augier, Soda and Friends, London
  • Writer of the Year: David Jesudason
  • Head Office Impact: Tasneem Sharrem, professional and engagement officer at Fat Macy's, London
  • Rising Star: Reuben Nehikhare, founder, the Parlor, London
  • People's Choice Person of the Year: Henna Zinzuwadia, founder and director of Wine for AYỌ Collective, London
  • People's Choice Restaurant of the Year: Cue Point, London

The judging panel was co-chaired by TV presenter and celebrity chef Andi Oliver and co-founder of D&D London, Des Gunewardena. They were joined by food and diversity consultant Mallika Basu, MasterChef winner and restaurateur Shelina Permalloo, M Restaurants executive chef Mike Reid, global rum ambassador Ian Burrell, wine and sake educator, Shane Jones, CEO and founder of Umbrella Training Adele Oxberry, co-owner of London's Tayēr + Elementary Monica Berg, and chef consultant Jay Morjaria.

Oliver said: "The nominees have been amazing and inspiring – it's so wonderful to get an insight into how the cross cultural creative culinary minds are ticking across the country. I am so hopeful for the future of our industry and the potential for true growth and inclusion."

Gunewardena said: "We need more business leaders and successful entrepreneurs from Black, Asian and other minority backgrounds to serve as role models in order to encourage more young people from BAME communities to enter our industry. I think that Lorraine Copes' excellent initiative in establishing the BIH Spotlight Awards will help do that."

Lorraine Copes, founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, added: "When launching these awards, my mission was to shine a much-needed spotlight for our community and to celebrate the individual brilliance, dedication and passion that exists in our industry. I want to thank the public for their nominations and our esteemed panel for their support and selection of our winners. My heartfelt congratulations go to our 13 winners on their resounding and continued success."

Photo: Freezeframe Media

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