“We all love our industry but there is no denying that it needs a shake up!” says TV presenter and celebrity chef Andi Oliver. She’s talking about diversity and inclusion in the hospitality sector. More specifically about those who are not getting the recognition they deserve. “The way we view excellence can and should be expanded,” she continues. “There are amazing chefs from a plethora of backgrounds working all over the country, who are creating stunning food that reflects the multiplicity of culture in the UK.”
We say a big ‘amen’ to that. As does Lorraine Copes (pictured above). Having set up Be Inclusive Hospitality (BIH) in 2020 to connect, inspire and empower individuals and businesses from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, the BIH Spotlight Awards sponsored by caterer.com and Campari have been devised to take that one step further by giving people in often overlooked groups props and praise for their hard work.
“Our aim for the BIH Spotlight Awards is to present opportunities for the nominees and winners alike, enabling them to advance and widen their business networks and audiences,” Lorraine explains. The award-winning advocate and champion of change in the hospitality industry continues: “We look forward to celebrating the success of some of the brightest stars of the present and future.”
As do we. The 11 categories take in everything from awards for Best African Food and Writer of the Year, to Chef of the Year and Rising Star. And naturally, the drinks industry gets a look-in, with awards for Drinks Professional of the Year and Pub and Bar of the Year.
Everyone is invited to put forward nominations across all categories, and self-nominations are also welcomed. Once submitted, the shortlist and winners will be decided by an expert judging panel co-chaired by Andi Oliver and CEO and chairman of luxury restaurant group, D&D London, Des Gunewardena. Joining them on the panel are some of the brightest lights in food and drink, we’re talking food and diversity consultant Mallika Basu; Masterchef winner and restaurateur, Shelina Permalloo; author and chef, Mike Reid; global rum ambassador, Ian Burrell and wine and sake educator, Shane Jones. The winners of the two People’s Choice Awards will be decided by the number of public votes.
Chef of the Year Award
African Food Award
Caribbean Food Award
East and South Asian Food Award
Drinks Professional of the Year
Writer of the Year Award
Head Office Impact Award
Pub and Bar of the Year Award
Rising Star Award
The People’s Choice Person of the Year
The People’s Choice Restaurant of the Year
How to vote
Find out more about the categories and submit your nominations at bihospitality.co.uk
Voting closes on 9 September and the shortlist will be announced on 24 September. The winners will be announced at the ceremony at Percy’s London on 24 October.
We can’t wait!