Cue Point, the British Afghan smoked barbecue company founded by head chef Joshua Moroney and director Mursal Saiq, was named The Peoples’ Choice of the Year in recognition of their work in the hospitality sector. Last year, Saiq and Moroney announced the launch of restaurant-cum-social enterprise Cue Point Kitchen enabling refugees and immigrants to learn about cooking, restaurant management and operations to help them climb the ladder in the hospitality sector.
John Li, co-founder of The Dumpling Shack Group, took home the top spot in the East and South East Asian Food category, and Babatunde Abifarin, founder of Farin Road pan-African restaurant in Edinburgh, was named Chef of the Year.
Other winners at the awards, which were hosted by chef and Countertalk founder Ravneet Gill, included The Dodo Micropub in Hanwell, Ealing, run by owner and CEO Lucy Do, which was named Bar/Pub of the Year; Maria Bradford, founder Afro-fusion cuisine brand Shwen Shwen, in the African Food category; and Tasneem Sharrem, progression and engagement officer at social enterprise Fat Macy’s, who won in the Head Office Impact category,
The Spotlight Awards celebrate businesses and individuals of ‘exceptional talent and achievement’ from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds within the hospitality industry and were judged by a panel of chefs and experts that included TV presenter and celebrity chef Andi Oliver alongside; Des Gunewardena, former CEO and chairman of D&D London; food and diversity consultant Mallika Basu; MasterChef winner and restaurateur Shelina Permalloo; author and chef Mike Reid; global rum brand ambassador Ian Burrell; and wine and sake educator Shane Jones.