Everyone's a winner

Last month saw the arrival of the much anticipated Hotelier Middle East Awards, organised by Caterer’s sister title, Hotelier Middle East

  • E-Mail
By  Laura Barnes Published  December 1, 2006

|~||~||~|Last month saw the arrival of the much anticipated Hotelier Middle East Awards, organised by Caterer’s sister title, Hotelier Middle East. As a member of the judging panel, I was overwhelmed by the sheer response and number of nominations, least of all for the Chef of the Year, Food and Beverage Manager of the Year and Outlet Manager of the Year. Not only did it show the admiration and respect for peers and fellow colleagues, but it also proved that the Middle East has a lot of talent to offer. Personally, I found the judging exceptionally difficult, more notably for the Chef of the Year Award. Having met and interviewed all three candidates, I can honestly say that each one deserved the accolade. However, in the end the award went to Jason Whitelock, who is gracing the cover of this month’s issue. A true pioneer, he is pushing forward the dining scene in Dubai, and as a diner at Verre by Gordon Ramsay and the Glasshouse on numerous occasions, he really does expect the best from his colleagues. But it is not just chef Jason that makes the restaurant what it is. At the Hilton Dubai Creek he has a very talented back of house team that night after night, strive to produce dishes of top quality, And in the front of house, the team of restaurant managers, sommeliers and waiters, deliver the food to a high standard, rounding off a real five-star service. But the awards are not just about applauding the big names. Of course, they are the people who are known within the industry, but there is a whole team working alongside them that should not be forgotten. No restaurant worth its salt would sit a customer to a table with a creased or food-stained tablecloth, and there is nothing worse than entering a dining area with crumbs littering the floor. But all of this is down to the housekeeping staff that work tirelessly throughout the night to make sure the restaurant looks as good as new the following day. Likewise during the service, the sparkling glassware, smudge-less cutlery and pristine white crockery is all thanks to the stewarding team. There is nothing worse than receiving a glass covered in lipstick, or a plate that has the remnants of somebody else’s food on there. It is thanks to these real unsung heroes that a restaurant remains popular, and working tirelessly, I sincerely hope that hotels and restaurants throughout the region recognises their work. But while the Hotelier Middle East Awards are a yearly event, staff should be rewarded and appreciated throughout the year, none more so than during the Christmas period. One of the busiest times of year for any food and beverage outlet, holidays and family celebrations are sacrificed to please guests. And on that note, as 2006 draws to a close, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code