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58318 02 Jun 2021

An Amazing Event to Remember During the 4th Middle East Chef Excellence Awards

Popular choice awards are back and gave recognition to the Young Chefs who will rule the kitchen someday.

Hozpitality Group had once again concluded another successful event, the 4th Middle East Chef Excellence Awards last 24th of May at the Dusit Thani Dubai. Hosted by a premier presenter, Laura Buckwell.

Raj Bhatt, CEO and Founder of Hozpitality Group, welcomed everyone after 15 months of not being in the limelight due to the pandemic, "We are back in our fourth year of the Middle East Chef Excellence Awards. Last year was strange, we did both our awards online, and we did not stop. So, this shows that COVID can slow us down, but cannot stop us." Raj emphasizes the help and support that he got from his friends and partners in bringing the event together. "Believe me, when our time comes, we will give back," he added.

This year's Chef Excellence Awards was held at Dusit Thani Dubai. In association with ICCA Dubai (International Centre for Culinary Arts) and the Emirates Culinary Guild. With the support of its sponsors: US Beef Export Federation, US Poultry Egg Export Council and United Soybean Board. Loyal partners were Zee TV Group, Restofair / RAK Ceramics, Fushia Events and Absolute Frame.


The respected panel of judges are as follows:

  • Uwe Micheel Culinary Adviser, Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek; President of Emirates Culinary Guild; Assistant VP of World Chef Association
  • Chef Majed Al Sabagh Director of Chef International Hospitality Education and Training Centre; FB Consultant at Sharjah Ladies Club
  • Manoj Abraham Mathew Territory Head MENAPT Zee Entertainment Middle East
  • Chef Alan Pedge having worked in catering industry from the age of 15 brings over 45 years of experience to the table, the last 30 years as an Executive Chef.
  • A. Chandana Prasad Director of Culinary Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort; UAE WACS Certified Judge; VP of East Coast for Emirates Culinary Guild in UAE; Founder of Salon Culinaire in UAE
  • Atim Suyatim VP PR of Emirates Culinary Guild in UAE
  • Ibrahim Yaqoot Executive Director, HR / Training Solutions DTCM


One highlight of the event is the live cook-off of 5 budding young chefs:

  • Sanjay Singh Saud, Caesars Bluewaters
  • Lekhnath Thapaliya, Emirates Flight Catering
  • Kamal Maharjan, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront
  • Naresh Bhatt, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront
  • Janith, Address Beach Resort

The five chefs battled it out for the title of Young Chef of the Year and will also win a course scholarship from ICCA Dubai worth $10,000. The semi-final round was held in ICCA Dubai last 16th of May. Video of the cook-off semi-finals:

It has been a tough competition for all the young chefs. In the end, Sanjay Singh Saud from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai won the Silver Award and it was a victory for Lekhnath Thapaliya of Emirates Flight Catering, as he took home the Gold Award for Young Chef of the Year plus the scholarship grant from ICCA.

The second part of the program is the popular choice awards, wherein the public voted for their favorites in certain categories. Also, the Judges Choice Awards had been announced, giving recognition to the finest individual and groups in the hospitality industry. Here are the complete lists of winners and could be accessed from:


Hospitality Excellence:- Executive Chef of the Year - Institutional Catering (Airlines, Catering etc)

Gold: Hugh Styles, Executive Chef, Emirates Flight Catering

Silver: Andreh Ghanimeh, Executive Chef, Intercat-Cateriya Hospitality Group


Hospitality Excellence:- Executive Chef of the Year Hotel

Gold: Nemer Hasanain, Executive Chef, The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC

Silver: Fabien Fayolle, Executive Chef, Armani Hotel Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Executive Chef of the Year- Free Standing Restaurant

Gold: David Anderson, Executive Chef, Black Tap, Sunset Hospitality Group, Dubai

Silver: Prashant Aripirala, McGettigan's Ajman


Hospitality Excellence:- Executive Sous Chef of the Year

Gold: Jouni Ibrahim, Ex. Sous Chef, Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers

Silver: Nitin Raheja, Ex. Sous Chef, Emirates Flight Catering Company


Hospitality Excellence:- Pastry Chef of the Year

Gold: Sudath Rodrigo, Pastry Chef, Radisson Blu Hotel DDC

Silver: Eranda Liyanage, Ex. Pastry Chef, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, Hilton Dubai The Walk


Hospitality Excellence:- Chef de Cuisine of the Year

Gold: Aigerim Aitbayeva, CDC, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara Abu Dhabi

Silver: Salvador Estanque, CDC, Caesars Bluewater Dubai


Hospitality Excellence :- Sous Chef of the Year

Gold: Yaseer Arafath Syed Sarbudeen, Sous Chef, Slices Catering Services Dubai

Silver: Arun Thiyagarajan, Sous Chef, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City


Hospitality Excellence :- Chef de Partie of the Year

Gold: Krishna Koirala, CDP, TIME Grand Plaza Hotel

Silver: Saurabh Ringola, CDP, Delta Hotels by Marriott, Jumeirah Beach


Hospitality Excellence :- Demi Chef of the Year

Gold: Dennis Habab Ragunton, Demi Chef, Dusit Thani Dubai

Silver: Indika Padmakumara, Demi Chef, Address Downtown Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Commi Chef of the Year

Gold: Gangadhar Battu, Commis Chef, Pai Thai, Jumeirah Al Qasr

Silver: Lyka Tuvera, Commis Chef, Paramount Hotel Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Kitchen Steward of the Year

Gold: Gobinda Goswani, Asst. Chief Steward, Radisson Blu Hotel DDC

Silver: Sooban Rasheed, Kitchen Steward, Address Sky View Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Kitchen helper of the Year

Gold: Henry Chima Nwaigwe, Steward, Dusit Thani Dubai

Silver: Sagar Ranivallu, Kitchen Steward, TIME Oak Hotel and Suites Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Hidden Gem of the Year (Kitchen)

Gold: Sony Maharjan, Commis Chef, The Duck Hook and Hillhouse Brasserie, Dubai Hills Golf Club

Silver: Marby Ladero, Ex. Admin to Chef, Caesars Bluewaters Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Entrepreneur Chef of the Year

Gold: Richard Cueva, Chef Artist, Caesars Bluewaters Dubai

Silver: Simone De Vivo, Executive Chef, Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers


Hospitality Excellence:- Rising Star Chef of the Year

Gold: Ashish Kumar, Head Chef, Ellora by Vikas Khanna Dubai

Silver: Reginald Odiegwu, DCDP, Delta Hotels by Marriott Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Lifetime Achievement Award

Gold: Christopher Lester, Executive Chef, Caesars Bluewaters Dubai

Silver: Muchie Masunungure, Executive Chef, Soul Hospitality Restaurant Dubai


Hospitality Excellence:- Food Blogger of the Year Award

Gold: Bader Najeeb, @chef.b

Silver: Fathima Abdulla, The_fatimablejournal


Judges'Choice Awards:

  • US Beef Export Federation - Culinary Partner of the Year- Company
  • Ronai - Non Food Supplier of the Year
  • Arla Pro - Food Supplier of the Year
  • UPFIELD - New food Supplier of the Year
  • Sudhakar Gupta, GM, IFFCO - Chef Supporter of the Year- Individual
  • US Poultry Egg Export Council - Industry Supporter of the Year
  • Picco Alapatt, Executive Chef, Gulf Court Hotel Business Bay - Executive Chef of the Year
  • Christophe Prud'homme, Executive Chef, Crowne Plaza Dubai - Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Mohamad Chabchoul, Executive Chef, Grand Millennium Business Bay - Young Achiever of the Year
  • Saneesh Varghese, Executive Chef, The Oberoi Dubai - Culinary Leader of the Year

Short video of the event: and



About the Hozpitality Group:

Hozpitality consists a database of over1 millionregistered hospitality professionalsin in its 2 websites, Dedicated hospitality website for Jobs in Middle East, Africa and Asia Dedicated hospitality networking group. Apart from the registered candidates Hozpitality we reach out toover 1 million professionalsthrough monthly email marketing from over186 countries.

Fromhospitality jobs in Dubaiand theUAE,retail jobs in Asia, andcruising jobsaround the world, millions of workers all around the globe are proud to call themselves hospitality employees. Whether you want to greet hotel guests in Dubai, Frankfurt, Davos; become an executive chef in Abu Dhabi or Tokyo; or serve up coffee in Qatar, there is a rewarding hospitality career designed to match your unique skills and interests. To find prospective global hospitality jobs, just search by industry, department, level, and/or location. You can also search by keyword(s), such as "Dubai hotel jobs" or "Qatar hotel jobs".

In addition to listing jobs in Dubai, UAE, Mumbai, Europe and around the world, offers professional CV designing, a community network for employers and job seekers, a directory of hospitality suppliers, Latest Hospitality News, Hotel News, Movements and Appointments and Hospitality announcements, hospitality travel bookings etc. We do more than just list jobs; we provide an effective platform where all hospitality professionals can unite. Advertise or findcruise ship jobs,catering jobs, travel jobs,sous chef jobs, and more with, a world of opportunities

The dedicated hospitality networking,publishes and shares Latest Hospitality News, Announcements, Hotel openings, Promotions, Events, Hospitality Movements and Appointments and Hospitality announcements, Reviews, Blogs etc. We provide an effective platform where all hospitality professionals can unite, network, benefit and share.

Hozpitality Consultingis a Global Executive Search consultancy based out of Toronto, Canada. Our success lies in building a long-term relationship and delivering results quickly and efficiently for a much lower cost. We are experts in locating the best possible suitable executive and management candidates for placements in all types of hospitality organizations around the world. Through our matchless database, communication and networking, over the world, we provide our clients with the most skillful candidates.

"Hozpitality Buzz- The inside scoop"is a TV show based on the hospitality industry in Dubai and UAE, is in English and telecast-ed on a premier TV channel in Middle East North Africa reaching out to approx. 10-12 million viewers. To know more about the TV show, Please log on

The Middle East Hospitality Excellence Awards is an award-giving body organized by Hozpitality Group. Its main goal is to recognize top industry organizations which have shown skill, creativity, ingenuity and success in the Middle East North Africas growing hospitality industry. This includes the unsung heroes in ones organization.

Basically, these are popular choice awards for the hospitality industry wherein selections are purely based on online voting.

For more details and pictures of the awards, please connect to: