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Celebrating Excellence in Hospitality: BIH Spotlight Awards 2023

In a dazzling evening of recognition and celebration, the 2023 BIH Spotlight Awards held on Monday 16th October at M Threadneedle Street shone a light on excellence across 15 diverse categories, including the coveted titles of People’s Choice Restaurant of the Year, People’s Choice Person of the Year, and Chef of the Year. The event also celebrated the best in various cuisines, writers, and head office impact in the industry.

Inspirational Judges:

This year’s winners, carefully chosen by a panel of industry luminaries, including Mike Reid, the Culinary Director of Rare Restaurants, and Adele C. Oxberry, Chief Executive of Umbrella Training, truly representing the crème de la crème of the hospitality world. The high calibre of entries made the judging process a challenging task, and the victorious individuals and establishments have truly showcased their remarkable talent and dedication. Numerous guests embraced the spirit of the evening by arriving in attire that represented their diverse cultural backgrounds, adding to the celebration of diversity within the industry.

Founder’s Gratitude:

Lorraine Copes, the visionary founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, expressed her deep appreciation for all those who contributed to the event’s success. She acknowledged the invaluable role played by the distinguished judging panel, the generous sponsors, and the passionate hospitality community who nominated their favourites. The evening brought about a feeling of togetherness as attendees mingled over canapés created by Jokè Bakare, of Chishuru and drinks by Tye Biswas. Their enthusiasm grew as the winners were announced, creating an electric atmosphere that filled the room. It was truly an honour to be among such passionate and dedicated individuals.

Meet the Remarkable Winners:

The spotlight shone on some remarkable winners across various categories:

  • Chef of the Year: Ahmed Abdalla, Head Chef at Legacy at The Grand, York.
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Ryan Panchoo, Owner of Borough 22 Doughnuts, London.
  • Drinks Professional of the Year: Jeri Kimber-Ndiaye, Head Sommelier at The NoMad Hotel, London.
  • Caribbean Food: Liam Barker, Chef & Educator, London.
  • African Food: The Flygerians, London.
  • South Asian Food: Manju Patel, Head Chef at Manju’s, Brighton.
  • East & Southeast Asian Food: Amy Poon, Founder of Poon’s London & Poon’s Wontoneria.
  • Middle Eastern Food: Modern Persian Kitchen, Co-Founder of Modern Persian Kitchen, Durham.
  • Writer of the Year: Jimi Famurewa.
  • Head Office Impact: Olajide Alabi, Equality, Inclusion, and Wellbeing Partner at Turtle Bay Hospitality.
  • Bar or Pub of the Year: The Village People, London.
  • Brand of the Year: Crazy Gin Ltd.
  • Rising Star: Chef and Food Writer, Rahel Stephanie.
  • People’s Choice Person of the Year: Director of Human Resources at The Biltmore Mayfair, Sting Khumalo.
  • People’s Choice Restaurant of the Year: Akoko.


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