Be Inclusive Hospitality Spotlight Awards announces winners

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Be Inclusive Hospitality Spotlight Awards announces winners

Related tags Be Inclusive Hospitality Lorraine Copes

Be Inclusive Hospitality (BIH) has announced its winners 2023 Spotlight Awards.

The awards, which were held last night (16 October) at M Threadneedle Street in London, champions businesses and individuals from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds in the hospitality industry, with Aji Akokomi's London restaurant Akoko and Evening Standard​ food critic Jimi Famurewa among this year's winners.

A total of 15 awards categories featured with the winners decided by a judging panel that included Mike Reid, culinary director of Rare Restaurants; and Adele Oxberry, chief executive of training and apprenticeship provider Umbrella Training.

Akoko in London's Fitzrovia received The Peoples’ Choice Restaurant of the Year award, while Famurewa was named Writer of the Year.

Other winners recognised at the ceremony, which was hosted by chef and restaurateur Shelina Permalloo, include Ahmed Abdalla, head chef of Legacy at The Grand in York, who was named Chef of the Year; Amy Poon, the founder of Poon's London and Poon's Wontoneria, who received the award for best East and Southeast Asian food; and Jeri Kimber-Ndiaye (pictured above), head sommelier at The NoMad Hotel, who was named Drinks Professional of the Year.

“Last night marked an extraordinary celebration of outstanding talent in the hospitality industry,” says BIH founder Lorraine Copes, who launched the BIH Spotlight Awards last year​.

“The ambience was unparalleled, and I express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who contributed to this event. Whether it was our esteemed judging panel, our sponsors, and the hospitality community who nominated their favourites. It was a privilege to be surrounded by so many passionate and dedicated individuals, and I offer my hearty congratulations to all our deserving winners.”

BIH Spotlight Awards 2023 winners 

Chef of the Year - sponsored by​ 

  • Ahmed Abdalla, head chef, Legacy at The Grand - York

Pastry Chef of the Year 

  • Ryan Panchoo, owner of Borough 22 Doughnuts - London 

Drinks Professional of the Year - sponsored by Moet Hennessy UK 

  • Jeri Kimber-Ndiaye, head sommelier at The NoMad Hotel - London 

Caribbean Food 

  • Liam Barker, chef and educator - London 

African Food - Sponsored by Pedros 

  • The Flygerians - London 

South Asian Food 

  • Manju Patel, head chef at Manju's - Brighton 

East & Southeast Asian Food - sponsored by ESEA Eats 

  • Amy Poon, founder of Poon's London and Poon's Wontoneria

Middle Eastern Food - sponsored by Persian Hospitality Network 

  • Modern Persian Kitchen, co-founder of Modern Persian Kitchen - Durham 

Writer of the Year - sponsored by Decanter 

  • Jimi Famurewa

Head Office Impact - sponsored by DesignMyNight 

  • Olajide Alabi, equality, inclusion and wellbeing partner at Turtle Bay Hospitality

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

  • The Village People - London  

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

  • Crazy Gin Ltd

Rising Star - sponsored by Umbrella Training 

  • Chef and food writer, Rahel Stephanie

Peoples’ Choice Person of the Year - sponsored by Deliveroo

  • Director of human resources at The Biltmore Mayfair, Sting Khumalo

The Peoples’ Choice Restaurant of the Year - sponsored by OpenTable

  • Akoko

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