Our Barista of the Year at the Caterer Middle East awards was a runaway choice for our judges.
Jamie Elfman has headed up the coffee program at Bull&Roo concepts since 2013, earning a litany of admirers as well now as this prestigious honour handed to him by Reina Ezzeddin, marketing manager of Welbilt, at JW Marriott Marquis.
He is responsible for the ground-breaking Encounter Coffee roastery at The Sum of Us which aims to create a specific coffee profile for Dubai. Helping to define the blends that are well-received across the city’s cosmopolitan population into one signature Dubai form.
Speaking to Caterer Middle East after collecting his trophy, Elfman said: “I’ve got 22 years’ worth of making mistakes while a lot of these guys are still fairly new to the industry. I get to pass on the ‘learn from what I did wrong’ to the guys that I work with.”
Heading up a 30-strong team of baristas, Elfman’s one-to-one style of coaching ensures he gets the best from his colleagues, encouraging competition between them to keep standards high and always aiming higher.
Restaurant Manager of the Year award winner, and Elfman’s colleague, Matt Connell said: “Jamie’s passion for coffee has taken our product to another level of quality and consistency which has been instrumental in keeping our regulars happy.”
His expertise and care has also reduced wastage by 6.5% across all cafes, down to almost 2% - well below the industry average and impressing the Caterer Middle East Awards judging panel.
Luba, barista, Grounded, Renaissance Downtown Hotel
Mamerto Soriano, head barista, The Lighthouse