A fighting spirit among Caterer Awards finalists

The 2011 Caterer Awards is a tough competition, says Louise Oakley
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ITP hospitality group editor Louise Oakley
ITP hospitality group editor Louise Oakley

The Middle East’s food and beverage professionals are an undeniably tough bunch — working six-day weeks in some countries, coping with split-shifts, taking home often meagre wages and regularly managing heavy workloads while understaffed, they would need to be.

But while in some industries the above issues would act as major barriers, causing people to grumble and give up, in the F&B business, it seems the reverse is true. Genuine, hard graft is a given and for many, overcoming hurdles is more of a motivator than an hindrance.

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This is certainly true for the 50 industry professionals shortlisted for this year’s Caterer Middle East Awards, who are revealed over pages 22 to 30 of the September magazine issue ahead of the grand ceremony tomorrow - September 7 in Dubai.

Whether waiters or chefs, bartenders or events caterers, what was clear in every shortlisted nominee, was a commitment to developing not only their own careers, but also the reputation of their outlet and the Middle East culinary scene as a whole.

Many have invested in their own training, from learning a language to mastering mixology, and some have juggled multiple roles, or foresaken holiday, for the benefit of their restaurants.

The tales are inspiring and, in what is the third edition of the Caterer Middle East Awards, the competition is serious, with some of the region’s best foodies going head to head for the industry accolades.

And when it comes to the shortlisted bars and restaurants in the Outlet Awards, the cream of the crop are represented, reflecting the continued growth of fine dining in the region alongside the more recent emergence of standalone restaurants and upscale casual brands.

Fortunately, they are all taking a rare night off to attend the Awards — visit HotelierMiddleEast.com later this month to find out whose fighting spirit won them the battle!

Louise Oakley, Group Editor — Hospitality
Email: louise.oakley@itp.com

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