The Caterer Middle East Awards took place on May 9, 2018 at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah and revealed the best of the best in the food & beverage industry.
During the night, 16 winners - individuals and teams - were celebrated, along with highly commended nominees in each category.
Jumeirah Group won the most awards on the night: Gabriel Belanger from Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah won Sommelier of the Year; Madinat Jumeirah's Rey Aberlardo was named Chief Steward of the Year; Jade Saducas, also from Madinat Jumeirah, was heralded as Pastry Chef of the Year; and Head Chef of the Year - Hotel-Managed Outlet was awarded to Yiannis Katsikas from Shimmers on the Beach, Jumeirah Mina A'Salam. Jumeirah Restaurant Group's Aphichat Amatmontri from Pai Thai was revealed to be the Head Chef of the Year - Standalone Outlet.
Solutions Leisure's Lock, Stock & Barrel in Barsha Heights had a double whammy at the awards, scooping victories in the Bartender of the Year (Timmy Olajide) and Bar Team of the Year categories.
Restaurateur Joey Ghazal was also a big winner; he took away the coveted title of Restaurateur of the Year, and his restaurant, The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill, was awarded the trophy for Restaurant Team of the Year - Independent Outlet.
Raven Rudolph from folly by Nick & Scott won Bar Manager of the Year, while Waiter of the Year was revealed as Dipen Mody from Raffles Dubai.
The popular Kitchen Hero of the Year category was Amila Madushan Batuwangala from Galeries Lafayette, and Taj Dubai's Sachin Hasan (from Bombay Brasserie) went home with the Restaurant Manager of the Year award.
Rounding off the team titles: Casual Dining Team of the Year went to Mythos Kouzina & Grill; Events Catering Team of the Year to Atlantis, The Palm; and, Restaurant Team of the Year - Hotel-Managed Outlet to Amaseena at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai.
This year's awards were supported by: platinum sponsor Emaar Hospitality Group; category sponsors A.Ronai, A&T Group Interiors, Bragard, Precision Refrigeration and TSSC, Pulsar Foodstuff, 1765 Gemini; dessert sponsors EMF, Cacao Barry, Callebaut; photobooth sponsor Mintano by Sketches; social media partner Tint; water sponsor Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino; and beverage sponsors MMI, Campari, Fever Tree, and Skyy Vodka.