Caterer Middle East Awards 2011 winners revealed

Top chefs, service experts and outlets recognised for F&B excellence
The proud Caterer Awards 2011 on stage
The proud Caterer Awards 2011 on stage

The stars of the Middle East’s F&B industry have been recognised for their dedication and achievements at the Caterer Middle East Awards 2011.

Three hundred excited chefs, restaurant managers and bar staff, alongside industry suppliers and awards sponsors, gathered at the Mehteran Theatre at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on the Palm Jumeirah last night for the third edition of the Caterer Middle East Awards.


Three of the 14 accolades were for the best outlets in the Middle East.

Okku Dubai was named Restaurant of the Year; Barasti at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina bagged the Bar of the Year Title; and Tribes at Mall of the Emirates was awarded best New Outlet of the Year 2011.

On collecting the Restaurant of the Year Award, Okku operations manager Ross Ledingham said: “There’s no such thing in the Middle East as Michelin stars or Rosettes, and this is effectively the Middle East version of Michelin stars”.

The remaining 11 awards were individual titles for kitchen and service professionals.

The top chef gongs went to Okku Dubai’s head chef Hugh Sato Gardiner, named Chef of the Year — Standalone Restaurant, and to Scott Price, executive chef at Verre by Gordon Ramsay, Hilton Dubai Creek, who was crowned Chef of the Year — Hotel Restaurant.

Caterer’s Kitchen Hero of the Year title was awarded to Chamara Segera, commi 1, Butchery, Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah, Fujariah.

Segera was praised by the judges for his work ethic and for continually demonstrating professionalism and innovation against the odds and far beyond expectation.

Front of house, Arun Narayanan of Blue Orange Restau¬rant at The Westin Dubai scooped the award for Restaurant Manager of the Year and Armani Dubai’s Rengarajan Rengasamy was named Sommelier of the Year.

The new category of Events Caterer of the Year was won by chef Harald Oberender, director of kitchens — F&B production, event and hospitality services at Dubai World Trade Centre.

After receiving some of the biggest cheers of the night, Oberdender said: “I have to say that it wouldn’t be possible without the team. The team is behind me, the team makes it happen, as well as our senior vice president. For such big events you can’t do it alone — you need someone behind you. I hope this award will give something back to the team”.

Caterer Middle East received more than 400 nominations for the awards.

The top nominations in each category were then whittled down to a shortlist of five and a team of independent judges, each with their own areas of expertise, was tasked with picking the winner and highly-commended nominees from each category.

Commenting on the success of the 2011 awards, ITP business group editor — hospitality Louise Oakley said: “It was fantastic to see so much support from the industry both over the months leading up to the awards and at the Awards ceremony itself, which was a real celebration of the booming food and beverage business in the Middle East.

“I would like to offer my personal congratulations to all the winners and to every highly commended and shortlisted nominee.”

A full list of winners and highly commended nominees is detailed on the next page.


BARTENDER OF THE YEAR: Graziella Nieto, Okku Dubai
Highly commended: Joseph Mijares, Cin Cin, Fairmont Dubai and Nenad Stanojkovic-Romeo, Cavalli Club, Restaurant & Lounge, Dubai

BAR MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Ferdie Idris, Yas Island Rotana Abu Dhabi
Highly commended: Stephen Cromie, At.mosphere Lounge, Burj Khalifa, and Jimmy Barrat, Zuma, Dubai International Financial Centre

WAITER OF THE YEAR: Pheang Nary, C-Taste Restaurant, Centro Barsha, Dubai
Highly commended: Gaynor Hubert, Verre by Gordon Ramsay, Hilton Dubai Creek and Nuwan Sampath Hibutugoda, Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Lounge

SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR: Rengarajan Rengasamy, Armani Hotel Dubai
Highly commended: Krste Georgiev, Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Lounge, Dubai and Daniel Blais, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi
Sponsored by MMI

RESTAURANT MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Arun Narayanan, Blue Orange Restau¬rant, The Westin Dubai
Highly commended: Ashley Saxton, MJ’s Steak House, Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah and Louis Noronha, Wavebreaker, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah
Sponsored by Acqua Panna/San Pellegrino

EVENTS CATERER OF THE YEAR: Harald Oberender, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)
Highly commended: Natalie Kurz, cluster director of conference & events, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, Dubai and Mohammed Waseemuddin, banquet manager, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach
Sponsored by Horeca Trade (platinum sponsor)

PASTRY CHEF OF THE YEAR: Antony Nicholas Hoyle, Madinat Jumeirah Dubai
Highly commended: Gilles Favre, Dubai World Trade Centre and Sally Handoko, Fairmont Dubai
Sponsored by Baqer Moheibi

SOUS CHEF OF THE YEAR: Raghuprasad S. Pillai, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
Highly commended: Prasad Jadhav, Carluccio’s Dubai Mall and Francesco Dimonte, Armani Hotel Dubai
Sponsored by TSSC

KITCHEN HERO OF THE YEAR: Chamara Segera, commi 1, Butchery, Iberotel Miramar Al Aqah, Fujariah
Highly commended: Babuji Panicker, chef de partie, Wavebreaker, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah and Nalendra Anindita, junior chef, Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Lounge, Fairmont Dubai
Sponsored by A.Ronai/Steelite

Highly commended: Dwayne Cheer, At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa and Richard Stratton, head chef, Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Lounge, Dubai
Sponsored by Horeca Trade (platinum sponsor)

CHEF OF THE YEAR — HOTEL: Scott Price, executive chef, Verre by Gordon Ramsay, Hilton Dubai Creek
Highly commended: Olivier Biles, chef, Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, InterContinental Dubai Festival City and Anston Fivaz, executive chef, Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel & West 14th Steak House
Sponsored by Royal Culimer

BAR OF THE YEAR: Barasti, Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, Dubai
Highly commended: Okku Dubai and Breezes Beach Bar and Terrace, Hilton Fujairah Resort

NEW OUTLET OF THE YEAR 2011: Tribes, Mall of the Emirates, Fashion Dome
Highly Commended: Rhodes Twenty10, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa Dubai and At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Sponsored by Elenco

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: Okku Dubai, located at The Monarch Dubai
Highly commended: Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Lounge and Bussola, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi
Sponsored by A.Ronai/Steelite




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