The annual event is a celebration of the region’s top F&B talent, a chance to reconnect with colleagues, and an opportunity to show your brand to some of the industry’s most influential figures.
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Faye Truin, Assos CIPD
HR & Operations Manager
Held at the five-star JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai on September 28, 2022, the annual event is a celebration of the region’s top F&B talent, a chance to reconnect with colleagues, and an opportunity even to show your brand to some of the industry’s most influential figures.
There have already been hundreds of nominations submitted, with the deadline for entries on Friday, August 5. Set to be one of the most competitive awards in our history, it has never been more important to bring together a team of impartial, knowledgeable industry experts.
Once the final nominations are in, the Caterer Middle East team will create the shortlists in each category before the judging panel painstakingly goes through each nomination to decide who should be winner and highly commended in each award.
This year, there’s a set of entirely new faces on the judging panel, though none of them are new to the region or industry.
Colin Clague, a chef whose work has taken him to London, Singapore and Dubai, with roles at Zuma in London, as well as Q’bara and Ruya in Dubai among his posts.
Gregory Wright, co-founder and managing partner of F&B talent specialists Food People.
Stefan Breg, managing director – KEANE Consult & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a long-standing member of the F&B community in the region and regular columnist for Caterer.
Yousra Zaki, editor of Caterer Middle East and Hotelier Middle East.
With a culinary mastermind on the panel, a talent expert, a gifted consultant and our own editor, the quartet of judges all bring different skills to the process.
Read on to find out more about each judge.
With decades of experience, Colin Clague is a fantastic addition to the panel, able to judge nominees from a culinary standpoint. Previously executive chef of the famed Zuma in London, Clague has been in the Middle East for more than a decade, working in Q’bara and later Ruya in Dubai, which later made its way to Mayfair.
Speaking about his involvement this year, Clague said: “I am honoured to be one of the judges for the Caterer Middle East Awards 2022, I’ve been in the region for a very long time and it’s wonderful to see how the industry has developed, adapted and continued to grow into one of the leading gastronomic regions globally.”
Gregory Wright can spot top talent a mile away, a useful skill considering there will be dozens of sparkling nominations to comb through.
In 2017, he co-founded Food People, which is one of the most recognised consultancy businesses in the F&B space and collaborates with some of the most innovative food businesses in the UAE and beyond. His expertise spans across all areas of the food industry, with a passion and core focus toward the restaurant industry contributing to the fine, premium, casual and QSR dining across the Middle East.
“I’m honoured to be part of such a prestigious awards event and it’s a privilege to support the industry by acknowledging some of the incredible concepts that we have here in the UAE as well as highlighting the people that bring these establishments to life,” he said on his involvement in the awards.
Stefan Breg is MD of KEANE Consult & Kingdom of Saudi Arabia providing the lead on strategic F&B consulting, master planning and concept development for Keane’s studios In London, Dubai, Riyadh, Bangkok and Miami. He has previously held regional leadership roles at Starwood/Marriott for EMEA, IHG (SE Asia) Hilton (Europe) and E&Y Consulting.
Breg has over 400 F&B concepts to his name and brought brands such as Buddha-Bar, Hakkasan, Pierre Gagnaire and Embassy to the Middle East, as well as helped develop mixed-use icons such as Mall of the Emirates and Yas Mall.
Yousra Zaki is the editor of the region’s most-trusted F&B trade title, Caterer Middle East – the go-to publication for industry professionals including chefs, restaurateurs, F&B directors, and operations managers, as well as mixologists and sommeliers. Zaki handles daily digital operations on the brand’s websites and social media, as well as video content. She also edits monthly magazines and works with the rest of the team on brand events.
The Caterer Middle East Awards are dedicated to professionals who make the culinary scene in the Middle East among the most exciting in the world, rather than crowning the leading establishments in the market. From the kitchen hero who cleans the floor at the end of the night to the restaurateur who launches the latest hot spot, the Caterer Middle East Awards are for everyone working in the Middle East’s renowned F&B sector.