"My mission was to shine a much-needed spotlight for our community"

Alex South

Alex South


Be Inclusive Hospitality (BIH) proudly announced the winners of the first ever awards to celebrate diverse talent within the hospitality industry in the UK.

The BIH Spotlight Awards were held in London at Percy's Kensington and was hosted by TV presenter, author and pastry chef, Ravneet Gill.

It celebrated winners across 11 categories selected by industry leaders and peers from a shortlist of 44 finalists, with 2 People's Choice Awards, chosen by the public.

The award's judging panel was co-chaired by industry luminaries, TV presenter and celebrity chef Andi Oliver and co-founder of D&D London, Des Gunewardena, alongside food and diversity consultant Mallika Basu; Masterchef winner and restaurateur, Shelina Permalloo; author and chef, Mike Reid; global rum ambassador, Ian Burrell; wine and sake educator, Shane Jones; CEO and founder of Umbrella Training, Adele C Oxberry; Co-owner of Tayēr + Elementary, Monica Berg; and chef consultant, Jay Morjaria.

Commenting on the event Andi said: "The nominees have been amazing and inspiring - it's so wonderful to get an insight into how the cross cultural creative culinary minds are ticking across the country."

She added: "I am so hopeful for the future of our industry and the potential for true growth and inclusion. Congratulations to everyone see you all next year!"

Winners of the BIH Spotlight Awards included: 

Chef of the Year

Babatunde Abifarin, Farin Road, Edinburgh

African Food

Maria Bradford, Shwen Shwen, Events caterer, Kent

Caribbean Food

Lara Luck, Food by Lara Luck, London

East and South East Asian

Food John Li, The Dumpling Shack Group, London

South Asian Food

Priya Deshingkar, Deccan Tiffin, Maharani Supper Club, Hove

Middle Eastern Food

Ayesha Kalaji, Queen of Cups, Gastro Pub, Glastonbury

Bar/Pub of the Year

The Dodo Micropub – Lucy Do, London

Drinks Professional of the Year

Imie Augier – Soda and Friends, London

Writer of the Year

David Jesudason

Head Office Impact

Tasneem Sharrem, Professional and Engagement officer at Fat Macy’s 

London Rising Star

Reuben Nehikhare, Founder of The Parlor, London

People’s Choice Person of the Year

Henna Zinzuwadia, Founder and Director of Wine for AYỌ Collective, London 

People’s Choice Restaurant of the Year

Cue Point - London

Commenting on the event, Des said: "Reviewing, judging and scoring the 44 finalists was a formidable task...like a business version of the Eurovision Song Contest! I loved doing it. I was really impressed and touched by the stories behind so many of the people showcased here."

He added: "We need more business leaders and successful entrepreneurs from Black, Asian and other minority backgrounds to serve as role models in order to encourage more young people from BAME communities to enter our industry. I think that Lorraine Cope's excellent initiative in establishing the BIH Spotlight Awards will help do that."

Lorraine Copes, Founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality commented: "I am absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer exhilaration and joy that I experienced last night during our first BIH Spotlight Awards Ceremony. When launching these awards, my mission was to shine a much-needed spotlight for our community and to celebrate the individual brilliance, dedication and passion that exists in our industry."

She added: "I want to thank the public for their nominations and our esteemed panel for their support and selection of our winners. My heartfelt congratulations go to our 13 winners on their resounding and continued success."

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 26th October 2022

"My mission was to shine a much-needed spotlight for our community"