The calibre of the Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologists judges has been unparalleled throughout its 45 years. Previous judges have included Raymond Blanc OBE, Heston Blumenthal OBE, Angela Hartnett MBE, Simon Girling, Fred Sirieix and many more celebrated names in the field of hospitality.

Our incredible 2024 judging panel is hand-picked based on the judge’s exceptional expertise and experience. Representing the very best professional chefs, waiters, and mixologist in the business, take an inspiring look at the panel below.

Please note: it is our policy that any judge who is connected to any entrant, is not permitted to judge that specific entry. This means anyone working directly with a judge at their current establishment or organisation.

Chef Judges Waiter Judges Mixologist Judges

Chef Judges

Adam Handling MBE


Adam Handling MBE is the Michelin-starred Chef Owner of the Adam Handling Restaurant Group, operating venues across the UK, and is fast becoming one of the best-known chefs in the country. read more Adam is passionate about British food, sustainability, and fighting food waste. Using produce from British suppliers, Adam’s beautifully presented dishes start with careful sourcing of top quality, seasonal ingredients, prepared in a number of different, creative ways to bring their true flavour to life. Adam has a number of impressive awards under his belt, having earnt his first Michelin star at his flagship restaurant, Frog by Adam Handling, in 2022 and a Michelin Bib Gourmand at his pub, The Loch & The Tyne in 2024. In 2022, Adam was announced as an Ambassador for the GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign and as part of his ambassadorship, was chosen to create one of five official recipes for HRH King Charles III’s Coronation, for which he presented his Strawberry and Ginger Trifle which was made at coronation celebrations across the UK. Adam has made numerous global television appearances including Saturday Kitchen Live, The One Show and judging on Top Chef, MasterChef and MasterChef: The Professionals and in 2023 was named BBC’s Great British Menu’s Champion of Champions. He has authored four books, the most recent of which is his boxset trilogy: ‘Frog by Adam Handling’; ‘Why Waste?’; and ‘Perfect, Three Cherries’.

Emily Roux, Chef Judge

Emily Roux


Emily Roux is the youngest to join the Roux family dynasty. Daughter of Michel and granddaughter to Albert, Emily is beginning to set her own mark in the culinary world. With Michelin starred training across France read more and Monaco, Emily came back to the UK in 2015 to begin working with the coveted Restaurant Associates. In 2017 she released her first cookbook ‘New French Table’ with her mother Giselle. A year later Emily and her husband Diego opened their first restaurant Caractère in Notting Hill. The restaurant encompasses what both Emily and Diego hold dearest – beautiful food, warm surroundings, expert and friendly service – all delivered with real character.

Jason Atherton

Jason Atherton

The Social Company

Jason Atherton launched his flagship London restaurant, Pollen Street Social in April 2011, which was awarded a coveted Michelin star within six read more months of opening. Since then, Jason's 'The Social Company' has grown into a globally renowned restaurant group, with 16 establishments worldwide including 4 that have been awarded Michelin stars.

Brian Turner - Chef Judge

Brian Turner CBE

Chef, restaurateur and consultant Brian Turner CBE is one of Britain's best known chefs, a familiar face on our TV screens read more over many years, and known throughout the industry for his tireless work as President of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts amongst a plethora of other initiatives all encouraging young people to come into our wonderful industry.

Jeff Galvin

Jeff Galvin

Galvin Restaurants

Inspired by his older brother Chris, Jeff started his career at the same small neighbourhood restaurant where Chris once washed the pots for Anthony Worrall-Thompson. After completing catering read more college, Jeff joined The Savoy hotel as a young Commis under the direction of Anton Edelman before progressing to the role of Junior Sous Chef at David Levin’s Michelin-starred Capital Hotel working for renowned Chef, Philip Britten. In 1994 he was appointed by Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico at 90 Park Lane as Sous Chef and was part of the kitchen brigade that achieved the elusive third Michelin star. He joined Chris for the opening of Orrery in Marylebone in 1997 before being reunited with David Levin as Head Chef at The Greenhouse restaurant in Mayfair. His Michelin-starred experience led to his appointment at Marco Pierre White’s three Michelin-starred Oak Room, where he was Head Chef under the direction of Robert Reid, and in May 2000 Marco appointed him as Executive Chef at L’Escargot which held a Michelin star for five years. In September 2005, he teamed up with Chris to launch their own venture, Galvin Bistrot de Luxe and so their partnership continues to this day. In 2013 Jeff was awarded the prestigious Master of Culinary Arts (MCA). Held every four years, the MCA is the UK hospitality industry’s most prestigious award.

Clare Smyth MBE

Clare Smyth MBE

CORE by Clare Smyth

Clare Smyth is the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK. Her restaurant, Core opened in 2017 and has received unprecedented awards in its first year read more including two stars in the 2019 Michelin Guide, 10/10 in the Good Food Guide and 5/5 AA Rosettes.

Tom Kerridge

Tom Kerridge

Tom’s career started as commis chef at Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire. He worked for Stephen Bull and Gary Rhodes before joining Odette’s, Primrose Hill, then Monsieur Max, read more Hampton and ran the Michelin-starred restaurant, Adlards, Norwich. In 2005, he opened his own place, The Hand & Flowers, Marlow. Tom’s career has grown with the support of his wife Beth and many members of key staff. In 2011 The Hand & Flowers became the first pub to receive two Michelin stars. In 2014, The Coach, Marlow opened and received three AA Rosettes in 2015 and a Michelin star in 2017. In 2017 Tom opened The Butcher’s Tap, a fully operational butchers and pub under one roof. In 2018, his first London restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, in Corinthia Hotel London opened. He has appeared in television programmes including Great British Menu, Great British Food Revival, Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food, hosting Saturday Kitchen and was the lead presenter of the first series of Bake Off: Crème de la Crème. His own television series include Lose Weight For Good, Top of the Shop, Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start. Tom is also the author of best-selling cookbooks.

Tom Aikens Chef Judge

Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens

Tom Aikens is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspirational British chefs. His father worked in the wine industry, Tom spent his childhood gardening and cooking with his mother which put food read more and using the finest ingredients at the centre of his life from a very early age. His remarkable career took him to David Cavalier’s in Battersea, Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire, Joel Robuchon in Paris, Gerard Boyere’s in Riems and Pied-à-Terre where Tom became the youngest British chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars, aged just 26. Tom currently has Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea which opened in 2006. He launched a new sharing concept, Pots, Pans & Boards, in Dubai in 2015 and in October 2018 in Abu Dhabi Tom successfully launched 3 restaurants in the New Edition Hotel, Ian Schrager’s ground-breaking hotel concept, in collaboration with Marriott International.

Ruth Hansom

Ruth Hansom

The Princess of Shoreditch in London

Yorkshire-born Hansom left home at 16 to embark on her culinary dream, bravely moving to London to take a place at Westminster Kingsway College. She spent a year at Boundary Restaurant read more then moved to The Ritz London. There she gained a Distinction in her Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Apprenticeship, and over 4 years progressed from commis to Chef de Partie. Hansom has won a plethora of awards including the Michael Bourdin Scholarship 2016, Craft Guild Diploma Award 2017 and 2017 Young National Chef of the Year. In 2018 she caught the eye of chef Atul Kochhar on Million Pound Menu and received an offer of investment. Ruth is now Head Chef at The Princess of Shoreditch in London.

Claude Bosi

Claude Bosi


Claude is the son of Italian parents who moved to France to open a restaurant. He was raised in Lyon, surrounded by food, where his passion for cooking and working in the kitchen began. In his early twenties, read more he moved to England as sous chef at Overton Grange, a small restaurant in Ludlow, Shropshire and was quickly promoted to head chef. In January 1999 the restaurant received its first Michelin star.In 2000 opened his own restaurant, named after his ‘favourite flower’ and in 2004 he received his second Michelin Star. In 2007 Claude relocated to London A trip to Japan in 2008 injected a new wave of passion into his approach to cooking. In 2017 he moved into South Kensington’s iconic Michelin building, Bibendum, where he was awarded two Michelin stars 6 months later. Claude is known for combining highly skilled classical techniques with the world’s best produce. His interests include hunting, shooting, skiing, travelling and spending time with his young family.

Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin

Galvin Restaurants

Chris Galvin’s career has spanned 30 years working in some of the finest restaurants and hotels on both sides of the Atlantic. Originally inspired by the cooking of his grandmother, Chris started read more in a small neighbourhood restaurant as a pot washer for Anthony Worrall-Thompson before joining the brigade at The Ritz hotel in London as a young Commis under the direction of Michael Quinn. His talent, enthusiasm and dedication was soon spotted by acclaimed Chef Paul Gayler, who first brought him into his kitchen brigade at Inigo Jones before recruiting him again many years later at The Lanesborough hotel as Executive Sous Chef. He also teamed up again with Worrall-Thompson in New York as Head Chef at Ménage à Trois. In 1997 Chris joined Conran Restaurants where he worked directly with Sir Terence Conran for 10 years; opening restaurants Mezzo, Bluebird and as co-founder of Almeida. The launch of Orrery, where he worked for many years, saw him achieve a coveted Michelin star in 2000. In 2003 Chris was appointed by Jeremy King and Chris Corbin to open the much-acclaimed Wolseley restaurant where he established, amongst other things, the now famous Wolseley breakfast. The restaurant went on to earn numerous accolades including Time Out Restaurant of the Year, AA London Restaurant of the Year and inclusion in Restaurant Magazine’s ‘50 Best Restaurants in the World’ for two consecutive years.

Sanjay Dwivedi

Sanjay Dwivedi


Playing a vital role in COYA’s success & menu development, Sanjay is the restaurant’s Culinary Director, overseeing COYA’s flagship venue in Mayfair, along with COYA in Monte Carlo, Dubái read more & Abu Dhabi. Sanjay has been instrumental in creating ground-breaking menus which don’t fall into just one category; instead the food served at COYA spans several cuisines, and highlights a melting pot of flavors, techniques and skills. Sanjay is a raconteur of the culinary world. A man who isn’t afraid of blending the abstract with the mundane, he is forever improving and researching, in order for him to stay ahead of the trends and translate them to a global audience.

Merlin Labron-Johnson

Merlin Labron-Johnson

Currently overseeing the food programme at The Conduit, Labron-Johnson is an award-winning chef, passionate about the future of food. Honing his skills at Michelin Starred read more restaurants across Europe before settling in London, Merlin gained his own Michelin Star for Portland in 2015 at the age of 24, just 9 months after opening.

Matthew Ryle

Matthew Ryle

Masterchef Finalist

Matthew Ryle cut his culinary teeth training in his first weekend job at Michelin starred L’Ortolan in Berkshire before rising through fine dining ranks to head chef of internationally read more revered kitchens. Matthew won the support of the MasterChef: The Professionals audience in late 2018 with inventive dishes which stunned the judges. Matthew is currently working towards his new restaurant which will launch in London later this year.

Richard Henderson

Chef Winner YCYW 2019

Rich learned his trade under the tutelage of Michelin-starred Chef Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park Hotel before moving to Austria where he worked at Ikarus, the acclaimed Michelin two-starred restaurant at Red Bull’s Hangar 7 in Salzburg. read more Back in UK, encouraged by Hywel Jones, he rejoined the team at Lucknam leading in 2019 to Rich achieving the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts prestigious Annual Award of Excellence and then winning the Chef category of Young Chef Young Waiter. Following the competition, renowned Chef Tom Aikens, a YCYW judge, invited Rich to join his brigade at Muse, his new flagship restaurant in London.

Francesco Mazzei

Calabrian born Francesco Mazzei has his first taste of the professional kitchen working in his uncle’s Gelateria. It was at the age of fourteen where his natural talent was recognised by renowned Italian chef, Angelo Sabetto, who encouraged Francesco’s journey into becoming a chef himself. read more After having attended catering college in Calabria, Francesco moved to Rome in 1992 where he worked in the Grand Hotel until 1996 as a Sous Chef. Then moving to The Dorchester in Mayfair, London. Following his time in London, Mazzei returned to Rome to work at the Michelin-starred Eden Terazza. He then moved on to open restaurants all over the world, between 2004 – 2007 including the Santini Restaurants in London, Edinburgh and Milan, Anda with Alan Yau on Baker Street, Hakkasan (Istanbul and Miami) and Yauatcha.

L’Anima, Francesco’s first restaurant opened in London in 2008 (until 2015) with a menu inspired by traditional cooking from Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia. Francesco went on to release his first cookbook Mezzogiorno: Francesco Mazzei Recipes from Southern Italy and became a regular feature on BBC shows including Saturday Kitchen, MasterChef, The James Martin Show and on the Italian edition of Hell’s Kitchen with Carlo Cracco.

In 2015, Francesco took up a position as Chef Patron at D&D’s Sartoria on Savile Rowe in Mayfair. His restaurant Radici opened in 2017, showcasing simple Calabrian cooking in a relaxed and rustic Islington site. Francesco’s most recent opening (also in 2017), Fiume in Battersea, is inspired by southern Italian flavours from the coastal regions and islands off Italy including the Amalfi coast, Sardinia and Sicily, the modern Italian restaurant overlooks the Thames.

Chris King


Chris King was born in Connecticut, USA but spent most of his life travelling extensively with his family, settling in Spain, Portugal, Argentina and England. Constantly surrounded and inspired by the various cuisines, King always knew he wanted to be a chef. read more In his teenage summers, King worked at restaurants in Cómpeta, Málaga, Spain where he developed an appreciation for market-fresh ingredients. Unlike most culinary hopefuls, King decided to pursue English at the University of Leeds, and on the side continued to develop and expand his love for food at The Pool Court, the only restaurant in the region to be awarded a Michelin Star at that time. Without any additional training but determined to pursue his passion further, King reached out to then rising Chef Michel Roux Jr. via his website and asked how he could get into cooking. Within days, Roux replied, offering King a few days work experience in renowned restaurant, Le Gavroche.

Upon graduating with a first class degree in English in 2004, King joined Michel Roux Jr at Le Gavroche full time as a Commis. Under the guidance and supervision of the experienced chef, King mastered classical cooking techniques and was named Sous Chef in just four years.

After completing his apprenticeship, King moved to New York City to work alongside American culinary icon, Thomas Keller. King remained at Per Se with Keller until July 2010, when he returned to the UK to assist with the opening of Roux at Parliament Square. The restaurant opened in September 2010 with King as Sous Chef.

When Michel Roux Jr. and his father Albert opened their first collaboration in 19 years, Roux at The Landau at The Langham, London, King was appointed Head Chef. Roux Jr says of his protégé, “Chris King is a rising star, and his menus reflect the Roux trademark style of classically-constructed French dishes, blended with today’s tastes for lighter choices. He has a modern approach to combining ingredient, and a contemporary style of presentation.”

Since 2015, Chris has been Executive Chef at The Langham, London overseeing the food and beverage in fine-dining Roux at The Landau, Palm Court – famed as the birthplace of the afternoon tea tradition, multi-award winning Artesian and the new modern British tavern, The Wigmore. Chris also oversees The Langham, London’s Private Dining (Banqueting) and Private Kitchen (In-Room Dining).

King’s menu at The Langham, London showcases his attention to detail and emphasizes the importance of quality ingredients and classical techniques. While the menus are changed seasonally, King’s simple pared-down style of cooking remains constant.

Chris King was awarded Hotel Chef of the Year at the prestigious industry awards, the Hotel Cateys 2017.

When not in the kitchen, Chef King can be found scouring Europe for the best and most authentic food markets, alongside his wife, Frances.

Mario Perera

Executive Chef at the Dorchester

Sri Lankan born Mario moved to London in 1995 to take up the role of commis chef at The Dorchester and progressing through the ranks, before moving on after 15 years to be part of the reopening team for Four Seasons Park Lane. He returned to The Dorchester in 2017 as executive sous chef. read more Before coming to London, Mario was part of the culinary team at the five-star Hotel Taj Samudra Colombo Sri Lanka where he developed his skill in banqueting, overseeing the menu planning and organization of events hosting up to 2,000 guests.

Mario’s culinary style demonstrates his commitment to quality, and a strong sense of responsibility towards local suppliers, farmers, seasonality and sustainability. He is highly regarded for his people skills, always ensuring the development and mentorship of his team is at the heart of his leadership style.

Theo Randall

Theo Randall

Theo Randall at the InterContinental

Theo Randall’s career began at London’s acclaimed Chez Max where Max Magarian invited him to complete an apprenticeship in classic French cuisine. In 1989, Theo joined the up-and-coming read more River Café working with legendary Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray MBE. After a year’s secondment with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, Theo returned to The River Café for 15 years as head chef, leading the restaurant to receive its first Michelin star in 1997. He left to open Theo Randall at the InterContinental in November 2006 where he delivers produce-driven Italian food from the prestigious address of No. 1 Park Lane.

Antonio Salvatore, Chef Judge

Antonio Salvatore


Antonio’s professional journey has included success in Europe’s Michelin-starred restaurants and experience as a private chef. He was born in Guardia Perticara, Southern Italy where deep-rooted gastronomic traditions still inform his cooking today. read more After studying at the Istituto Alberghiero di Potenza, working nights in restaurants refining his skills, he worked his way up the ladder in restaurants and hotels in Rome, Florence, Milan before his ambition took him to kitchens in Tenerife, Marbella and other famous destinations. Working with two highly influential chefs, Michelin-starred Juan Pablo Felipe, Madrid, and Nino Graziano, Moscow led him to enter into gourmet catering: being a part of the El Chaflán brigade for a year and directing the Semifreddo-Mulinazzo. In 2016 at the age of 29, Antonio was a finalist in the San Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition, one of his proudest accomplishments. His luxurious cuisine currently shines in Rampoldi, Monte Carlo.


Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester

Michael Kwan is a multiple award-winning pastry master and executive pastry chef at The Dorchester, London. read more Michael’s won the UK pastry team European Cup 2022, which qualifies him to take part in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2023 final in Lyon. Michael was also the winner of the 2020 UK Pastry Open and the 2019 UK Sugar Championships. His expertise has managed to push through the fierce competition and see Michael year on year excel in his highly extinguished field of work. Michael started his career by helping in his uncle’s restaurant in Hong Kong when he was just 14 years-old, this is where Michael’s inspiration and passion came to start studying hospitality and catering, since then he’s never looked back.


Chef Patron of Brassier MS

Born in the picturesque Kentish countryside, chef and restaurateur, Mark Sargeant, is a former protege of Gordon Ramsay and was his right-hand man for 13 years. read more Sargeant first joined Ramsay at Aubergine in 1997 before spending three years as Sous Chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea which was awarded three Michelin stars in 2001. He then opened Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's and was head chef when the restaurant was awarded its Michelin star in 2002, the same year Sargeant won the prestigious National Chef of the Year award. Sargent was instrumental in overseeing the opening of Ramsay’s three London pubs, including The Narrow, The Warrington, The Devonshire and The Foxtrot Oscar as well as co-writing Ramsay's 12 cook books and assisting with the production of his TV work.

Departing Ramsay’s restaurant empire in 2009, Sargeant joined the Swan Collection as Creative Director; released his own cookery book, ‘My Kind of Cooking’ and then in 2011 he decided to return to his Kentish roots, beginning an exciting solo career as chef and restaurateur with the energy, enthusiasm and ambition to transform Folkestone into the next Padstow.

Opening two restaurants, Rocksalt and Smokehouse, Sargeant’s respect and love for the best seasonal produce from local suppliers, farms and producers, combined

with his Michelin background, soon turned them into foodie destinations for locals and tourist alike, followed by Wife of Bath in Wye and The Duke William in Ickham in 2015.

Always believing in serving classic dishes that diners love, Rocksalt was soon winning awards and was listed in Restaurant Magazine’s Top 100 UK Restaurants 2013; Best Restaurant in Kent 2014, Top 5 Best Rest Restaurants By The Sea in The Times, two AA Rosettes and four AA stars.

Emanuele Del Signore

Executive Chef at Twiga Monte-Carlo

Born in Rome on November 14th 1977, embarked on his journey at the age of fourteen by attending Fiuggi's hotel school while simultaneously working in various restaurants including the Relais les Jardin, two Michelin Stars, under Maestro Antonio Sciullo's mentorship. read more He gained different opportunities such as working at Chateaux of Rochegoude and Hotellerie Les Frenes in Montfavet during summers, where he mastered foundational French culinary techniques.

After graduating, Emanuele decided to move abroad to broaden his culinary skills.

He spent six months in Malaysia, two and a half years in California and another six months in London.

Upon returning to Italy, he engaged with multiple culinary schools, imparting his expertise to train aspiring professionals in the industry. This educational pursuit remains an ongoing commitment in his career.

Six years ago, Emanuele moved to Monaco, where he currently serves as the Executive Chef of Twiga, overseeing not only its culinary operations, but also spearheading new global ventures for the company.

Throughout his professional journey, Emanuele has blended his work with his passion infusing each dish with his deep love for the craft.

He skilfully marries exotic elements with tradition placing a strong emphasis on sourcing exceptional raw ingredients.

Paul Walsh

Executive Chef at City Social

January 2022: Originally from Aldershot in Hampshire, Paul Walsh has spent the past two decades working alongside many of the UK’s most respected and well-known talents in some of London’s most demanding kitchens. read more Paul began his training with a catering course at Westminster Kingsway College. His first role, in 2000, was as a Commis Chef at the Savoy Hotel under Anton Edelmann, where he stayed for two and a half years and worked his way up to Chef de Partie. From there, Paul moved to the Savoy Grill when it reopened under the direction of Marcus Wareing, helping it to achieve its first Michelin star in its 100-year history. Here he was promoted to Junior Sous Chef.

In 2005, Paul moved to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road, where he was to spend five years and climb the ranks to Senior Sous Chef. During this time, he worked with some of the biggest names from the Ramsay stable, including Simone Zanoni, Mark Askew and Clare Smyth. Paul was one of the longest serving chefs in this challenging environment, and credits it with shaping the way he cooks today.

In June 2010, Paul left Gordon Ramsay Holdings to launch the first 28-50 Wine Workshop and Kitchen, a venture from Icelandic chef Agnar Sverrisson and French master sommelier Xavier Rousset. Paul launched two further 28-50 sites before leaving to work with Jason Atherton, taking the executive chef position at City Social in April 2014. Six months after opening, City Social was awarded a coveted Michelin star in the 2015 Michelin Guide.

In September 2019, Paul moved from City Social to head up Jason’s latest restaurant, The Betterment at The Biltmore Mayfair, LXR Hotels & Resorts, which relaunched as Café Biltmore Restaurant and Terrace in 2021. The once fine-dining restaurant pivoted to an elevated casual offering, with menus featuring seasonally driven dishes of wood-fired fish and meats, fresh seafood, signature salads and inventive side dishes. Paul and his team also oversee the food and beverage for the hotel’s other offerings – The Tea Lounge and The Pine Bar with Afternoon Tea and Brunch offerings.

In 2022, Paul returned to City Social as Executive Chef



Simon Ganache is the Head of Events at the Yacht Club De Monaco, since the spring of 2019. Prior to this Simon served his time at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, Monaco, with Executive Chef Philippe Joannes. read more His duties during this period included responsibility for banqueting and private dining, menu implementation, scheduling management and food safety system management.

To these positions Simon has brought a wealth of experience from other establishments including Maison LENOTRE - Côte d’Azur, 1* Le Fer Rouge, La Cuisine Bourgeoise in Versailles and at Brasserie de ‘Est Paul Bocuse in Lyon, to name but a few.

Simon understands the importance of culinary and hospitality competitions and specifically the Young Chef Young Waiter competition, for ongoing development.

He has many accolades himself including, in the early years, Finalist at the best apprentices of France, Winner of the 2008 Jean Delaveyne Trophy by achieving 1st prize for starter and dessert and best working method and organisation.
This year Simon was a semi-finalist in the competition ‘One of the best workers in France 2022, in Thonon les Bains.



It has been 35 years since Christian GARCIA entered the service of SAS Le Prince RAINIER III and the GRIMALDI Family.

Born in Bourges on May 23, 1963, this Frenchman by birth feels Monegasque at heart for his love of the Principality and the Princely Family.
read more His training at the Lycée Hôtelier de Monaco opened the doors to the most Grand Palaces in the Principality, such as the Monte-Carlo Beach and the Hôtel Hermitage.

In 1987, after five years spent at the Hôtel de Paris, he was asked to replace him by the Prince's Palace for a period of seven months. He never left it.

Christian GARCIA became in 2004, the Head of Kitchens of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Then in 2007, he was elected President of the Prestigious Club of Heads of Heads of State, founded by Gilles Bragard in 1977, in Collonges au Mont d'Or, at Paul Bocuse.

This association brings together all the Chefs de Cuisine of Heads of State from all over the world such as the Elysée in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London, the White House in Washington.

Christian GARCIA is Knight of the Order of Grimaldi, Knight of Arts and Letters, member of the Culinary Academy, of the Disciples of Escoffier and of the Grand Cordon d'Or de la Cuisine Française.

He is present and participates in many charity events throughout the year all over the planet supported by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Simon Hellier

Executive Head Chef for Amadeus at the ICC

Simon has built quite a career. From working in some of Birmingham’s top restaurants to travelling the world while working in the high-end kitchens for some of the world’s read more Simon’s has trail blazed and consistently pushed boundaries on the event culinary scene to ensure the ICC is recognised as an industry leader in conference and banqueting catering. He has pioneered restaurant quality food, served up in a large-scale event environment. Ensuring that no matter how big, or small your event is, guests will be wowed by the food.

top cruise liners. However, since 1991 the ICC has been his home.

As part of the opening team at the ICC, Simon started as Deputy Head Chef and in 2011 became Executive Head Chef. Since Simon has taken the reigns of the kitchen, he has been leading his brigade of chefs to be customer focussed and innovative to deliver beyond expectations and giving guests an experience to remember! Simons ensures he maintains close relationships with his suppliers and knows where his ingredients come from. Reducing food miles by buying locally when planning menus has always been a passion and in recent years has taken further action to ensure his kitchens have a minimal impact on the environment.

The Chefs food immersion plan has escalated into the introduction of food theatre! This means dishes are prepared and cooked in front of the guests, creating an additional air of anticipation and excitement to the event. As well as creating talking points, it gives guests a chance to learn more about the sourcing, quality, freshness of what they are eating. Of course, actually meeting the amazing talent that cooks up their meal is a highlight.



Initially educated at Durban University of Technology in South Africa, Nokuthula Majozi, or Nokx as she is known, began her culinary career at the 4-star Riverside Hotel in Durban. Shortly afterwards, she moved to London to take on the role of Demi Chef at the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane, where she stayed for 2 years. read more Nokx’s love for working in luxury hotels continued, as she joined The Landmark as Chef de Partie, and over the course of 5 years she honed her craft and worked her way up the ranks, departing as Senior Chef de Partie. After two years working as Senior Chef de Partie at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, she joined the team at Rosewood London in May 2014 where she currently works as Senior Sous Chef and Head Pie Maker.

Outside of kitchen parameters, Nokx works closely with Women in Hospitality, an organisation that supports and fosters the career development of women in the hospitality industry. She is particularly passionate about bringing women to the forefront of the chef industry, by encouraging and supporting those starting their careers by organising networking events and workshops. Within Holborn Dining Room, Nokx leads many training sessions for her fellow chefs, acting as a mentor for her colleagues in order to push them to strive for more.

Nokx hopes to continue using her position at Rosewood London as a force for change within the hospitality industry, encouraging other women to be ambitious in their goals as chefs and empowering them in the kitchen.

Roy Ner

Founder Jeru Mayfair

Australian chef Roy Ner has devoted his life to harnessing flavours and textures to create truly innovative, show-stopping dishes. read more Drawing inspiration from his Middle Eastern heritage, he marries traditional and modern recipes and cooking techniques and works tirelessly to

source the best local and seasonal produce and ensure his food is of unmatched quality.

It’s clear his learning’s accumulated from the very highest level; from 7 years leading the kitchen of Sydney’s ARIA (-2 hat), Then brunching on his own and partnering up with a Sydney local group to create Nour Restaurant.

This earned him his first hat; Roy led the kitchen in Nour for four years as managing partner.

Roy then left to the USA to collaborate with chefs like Tim Hollingsworth (-French Laundry) and Chard Robinson (-Tartine Bakery) to create a new venture in Los Angeles, California.

Coming back to Australia, Roy partnered up with Ovolo Hotel Group. The first project together was ZaZaTa in Brisbane, Australia.

Like Nour, the successes were immediate, and it was recently voted to be the top 20 restaurant to visit in Asia Pacific by CNN, and top 100 in the country by Delicious magazine in the first year of operation.

His latest venture is Jeru, a pan-Mediterranean restaurant nestled in the heart of Mayfair on Berkeley Street, which serves everything from vibrant brunches to open-kitchen dining and takes pride in surprising and delighting its diners.

Chef Jake Tyler Brodsky

Head Chef at Tillies

Jake Tyler Brodsky takes diners on a voyage through the Greater Antilles. Serving eclectic fare informed by regional cuisines, Jake has a clean and refined approach to classic Caribbean dishes, inspired by local produce, seafood, and farms. read more Jake brings a range of experience, from Eleven Madison Park to Union Square Events, personal training to entrepreneurship.

Chef Frederic Morineau

Executive Chef - The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Born and educated in France, Frederic Morineau is the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and has presided in the kitchens of some of Europe and the Caribbean’s finest four and five star dining establishments. read more He has overseen many Ritz-Carlton premium culinary divisions including those of The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in Atlanta, The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota in Florida and now in Grand Cayman, where he has won numerous service and leadership accolades. In 2011 he was invited into the ranks of one of the most prestigious associations of chefs in the world: the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. Chef Frederic is known for organizing Grand Cayman’s most revered culinary event, Cayman Cookout, for the past ten years alongside Chef Eric Ripert. In addition to organizing this annual event, Chef Frederic ensures each of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman’s restaurants run smoothly and continuously strives to keep the culinary capital of the Caribbean alive.

Chef Christian Reiter 

The Wharf Restaurant  

Chef Christian was born in Austria and raised on a large farm in the mountains with cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep’s and goats. Not to forget to mention the large vegetable garden and fruit trees, all grown organically. read more Our dinner table was always full of home-made produce and meats. At the age of 5 years he showed passion of cooking. He started helping his mother making homemade bread, cakes and other dishes. During school breaks he stayed with my aunt, she operated a farm to table inn, were he helped her in the kitchen. 
With age of 15 he started to work as Chef Apprentice in the best restaurant in state of Styria. After his hard three years of apprentice ship her moved around Austria working in Toque crowned Restaurants. Before he reached 20 years of age he mastered to achieve one Toque (by Gaullt-Millaut) in a small restaurant in Austria In 1992 he has joined ultra-deluxe cruise line and that’s were he got the flavor or the international word. In 1995 he went back to Austria to work in a Skiing resort area that’s where he masted two Toques. He worked in Australia, Sydney for 2 years and now resides in Cayman.  
His passion is brought out most when given fresh produce from land and sea and left alone to create the most consumptions compositions, which he has proven on countless opportunities while running his international kitchen at the Wharf for now over 20 years 

Vidyadhara Shetty

Executive Chef

Executive Chef Vidyadhara Shetty with 28 years of experience, orchestrates culinary feats, including superb banquets served in luxurious surroundings and with undeniable panache. read more Born in Mumbai, India his passion for cooking began as a child spending time in the kitchen of the famous Udupi restaurants, as typically Shetty’s in Mumbai are known for. He was always inspired by the way his father used to work in his restaurant in India. It was admirable to see that with all the hard work and effort put in by his father and his staff, they all still managed to enjoy themselves and laughter always filled the kitchen. His appreciation for the delicate art of blending spices, that is the hallmark of good Indian food, started young – observing and helping his mother cook the dishes.

In 1985 he joined the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Mumbai, India. In 1989 Shetty joined the luxury hotel group Ambassadors which includes many locations across India. He then traveled to the Middle East and was introduced to Eastern spices. But over time, a craving for travel consumed him and he cruised the Caribbean as Chef with the Cruise Ships of the Caribbean and spent 5 years gaining experience in Caribbean Cuisine.

He joined the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands in 1994. His dedication paid off in 1999 when he won the prestigious award of “Chef of the Year”.
Even with his challenging schedule, he finds time for the community and participates in various culinary presentations. He is president of the Cayman Culinary Society and he and his team have won numerous awards at various national and international venues each year including the “Best Main Course” in the Caribbean Culinary Competitions in Miami.
His goal as President of The Culinary Society is to offer the top chefs in the Cayman Islands the opportunity to shine in their art and excite the world by creating “authentic contemporary Caribbean” dishes.

‘It is essential, in this fast-paced environment, to be surrounded by a professional and dedicated team’ says Shetty. ‘I am fortunate here on this beautiful island paradise to be surrounded by people who share a genuine love of the kitchen and food.’

Chef Shetty firmly believes ‘quality begets quality,’ using only the best cuts of meat and fish, and freshest and most fragrant vegetables, herbs and spices to prepare his beloved delicacies, turning out succulent food bursting with flavor. Chef Shetty says, “A good chef should always have his heart in the art”. His secret ingredient remains his reliance on the usage of seasonal produce, which he claims inspires his style of cooking. “I can trust them to impart the best flavor and quality which are the basic requirements to prepare a delicious dish.” Chef Shetty looks forward to taking many more guests on an exciting and exotic culinary journey at Blue Cilantro.

Keith Griffin

Born and raised in London, England, Keith began his career at several prestigious London Hotels prior to moving to Bermuda and then settling in Grand Cayman. read more With 30 plus years in the Caribbean, Keith is a Past President of the Cayman Culinary Society and Director of the Caribbean Culinary Federation, he has been Manager of the Cayman Islands National Culinary Team for the past 10 years. Chef Griffin is a Certified Culinary Judge for International Competition. He has travelled extensively as a Culinary Ambassador for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and has won numerous awards in national culinary competitions. Keith is now focusing on teaching, cooking demonstrations and Personal Chef Services before opening his next Restaurant venture in the summer of 2023.

Adam Sobel

Partner of MINA Group and New Italian CO

Adam Sobel is the award-winning chef and partner of MINA Group and New Italian CO. Sobel earned acclaim and success after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. read more Chef Sobel has trained under some of the greatest Chefs in the world including Gunter Seeger, Charlie Trotter, Daniel Boulud and Guy Savoy. Adam moved to Las Vegas in 2003 to help create the James Beard Award winning restaurant Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace, before moving on to become the chef de cuisine at Guy Savoy. In 2011, Sobel moved to Washington, DC to serve as executive chef at Chef Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak, kickstarting a lifelong partnership with Chef Mina. At MINA Group, Sobel oversees culinary direction for the group’s 40+ restaurants across the US and Dubai, including the Michelin-starred flagship in San Francisco, MICHAEL MINA. Among many awards and television appearances, Sobel was crowned the “King of Porc” at the prestigious Grand Cochon at Aspen Food and Wine. Chef Sobel is an activist for sustainable farming, fishing and pasturing raising animals responsibly.

Roland Passot

Propriétaire and Chief Culinary Officer

Growing up in the culinary heart of France, it is no surprise that Roland Passot made his way into some of the best kitchens in the world. read more After working as a young man in such French gastronomic institutions, such as Léon de Lyon, Roland made his way to Dallas to The French Room at the legendary Adolphus hotel in Dallas, where he was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Rising Star Chef in 1980.

Tracey Shepos Cenami

Executive Chef and Cheese Specialist at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens

Tracey Shepos Cenami grew up in an Italian family that was always cooking. Her nana and mother put considerable thought into everyday meals, treating each as a special occasion. read more This foundation inspired her to attend the Culinary Institute of America in San Francisco as well as become a cheese specialist and award-winning cookbook author. After graduation, she worked at Union Square Café in New York City, then went on to cook in some of San Francisco’s best-known and loved restaurants. When she moved to wine country, she was Executive Chef for Stark Reality restaurants, an award-winning Sonoma County restaurant group. She joined Kendall-Jackson in 2012 and is currently the Executive Chef of Jackson Family Wines.

When she’s not at K-J she regularly competes on the Food Network against some of the country’s top chefs, including Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Christa Lutdke. Outside of work, Tracey enjoys running, spending time with her husband and son, and trying new things (like dancing in a hip-hop performance). Tracey is committed to supporting her community through volunteer work and is a founding board member of the Sonoma County chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international organization dedicated to inspiring, advancing, and supporting women in food, beverage, and hospitality.

Adam Busby, CMC CHE

General Manager - The Culinary Institute of America, St. Helena, CA

Chef Busby brings an international background in culinary arts and education to the CIA. After completing his culinary studies in Canada, Adam migrated to France where he worked for several years in top-rated Michelin starred restaurants in Dijon and Paris. read more He then moved to Johannesburg SA, where he oversaw the kitchens of a five diamond hotel for three more years before returning to Canada, this time in Vancouver, BC. After several years as chef of of the highly acclaimed Bishop’s restaurant in Vancouver, Adam opened his own fine dining restaurants as chef and proprietor of Star Anise and Cascabel; both garnering public favorite and critic’s choice awards for Vancouver’s best food and service for several years. Following on the heels of his restaurant ownership experience, Adam was hired to direct the culinary programs at the Dubrulle International Culinary and Hotel Institute of Canada, where he oversaw culinary operations, faculty, and development. Adam joined The Culinary Institute of America at their California campus in July of 2000 as a faculty member, and eventually as the Director of Education where he was tasked with oversight of degree and certificate programs in culinary, baking & pastry, professional wine studies, consulting and continuing education programs. In 2011 Adam joined Avenir, a startup sous-vide and precision-temperature cooking company in the SF Bay area as VP of culinary research where he focused on developing proprietary sous-vide culinary solutions for hotel foodservice. In 2014 Adam rejoined the CIA as Director of Special Projects where he designed and developed teaching kitchens in America and Europe. Currently, Busby is the General Manager of Greystone, responsible for operational oversight and management of Greystone, the Culinary Institute of America’s degree-program campus in the heart of the Napa Valley. Chef Busby is a Certified Master Chef with the American Culinary Federation and American Master Chefs Order. https://www.americanmasterchefsorder.org/the-master-chefs/



David Wong is the Executive Director of the Food and Beverage Academy at Wynn where he is responsible for both properties Wynn Palace and Wynn Macau for training and development in Food & Beverage for 4 restaurants with 7 Michelin Stars read more David is also the founder of the Macau Culinary Association and after completing his City & Guilds for the Hospitality industry in the UK has worked in France with Jean Bordier, London with Anton Mosimann, in Padstow with Rick Stein, the Mandarin Oriental in Macau, the Banyan Tree Bangkok and now with Wynn Resorts, Macau.
Before he joined Wynn, David was at the Institute for Tourism Studies Macao (IFTM), a hotel and culinary school where he achieves his MA Hospitality Management from Birmingham University, UK and was the EAM – Food & Beverage, he taught culinary studies and wines, he is a certified Wines of Portugal Educator and also an approved tutor for the Wine and Institution Trust, UK (WSET).



Perry Yuen is the Vice President of F&B at the City of Dream Macau and has been working in the industry over 40 years. he has participated in many competitions and won many prestige awards when he was a chef in Hong Kong. read more With his outstanding performance he was assigned as approved International Judge by World Association of Cook Society (WACS) since 1996, he has judge in Asia, Middle East and America for the past 26 years.



Hans Rasmussen graduated in 2003 from Copenhagen Hospitality College, Denmark. Shortly after, he landed a job at Restaurationen, owned by Bo and Lisbeth Jacobsen, where he learned classical Danish and French cuisine. read more In 2014 he moved back to his roots in Macao, China, and is currently the Executive Chef at the IFTM Educational restaurant. In 2021 he completed an MBA with distinction from the University of Aberdeen to further support his career in the hospitality industry.



Vishal is a Culinary Educator from Macau Institute for Tourism Studies for International cuisine. Vishal is experienced with the world-renowned hospitality institute Les Roches as a Culinary Instructor. read more Vishal has had comprehensive knowledge of the food industry for more than 14 years. He is Well-versed in numerous hotels such as Andaz By Hyatt London, Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, Hyatt Regency Gurugram, Oberoi Hotels Mumbai, and Saudi Airlines Jeddah as a professional chef.



Dr. Ng is an Assistant Professor and the coordinator for Culinary Arts Management at the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM). read more She spent more than ten years in the United States and received a B.S. in Business Administration, major in Marketing, M.S. in Hospitality Administration, and Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration at the Oklahoma State University.

She has taught courses in Food Safety and Sanitation, Introduction to Professional Food Preparation, Principals of Marketing, Research Methodology, and Integrated Marketing Communication at Oklahoma State University and Taylor’s University, Malaysia. Her research interests in relationship marketing, customer satisfaction, job satisfaction, and service quality.



Mary Ote is a Filipino pastry and western cuisine chef with 25 years of experience on the international stage. Her culinary journey includes working as the pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in the United States, and as a corporate pastry chef for Aalst Chocolate in Singapore. read more She returned to the Philippines to established herself in her home country with Nestle Philippines as a chef consultant, handling national key accounts and promoting culinary excellence at corporate level.

Hywel Griffith

Head Chef and Director – Beach House Oxwich

Acclaimed Chef and native Welshman Hywel Griffith is a fluent Welsh speaker, grew up in Bethesda in Gwynedd and honed his craft at Coleg Menai in Bangor, before graduating to the Lanesborough in London. read more His next role was as Sous Chef with Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor, before returning to Wales as Sous Chef at Ynyshir Hall, near Machynlleth. During his time at Ynyshir Hall the restaurant achieved three Rosettes and a Michelin star.

Tom Simmons

Head Chef and Owner – Thomas

Born and bred in Wales, Tom's respect and passion for nature, produce and cooking has been a major part of his life from a young age, and his earliest memories are of roaming farmers' markets in Pembrokeshire and harvesting his mother's vegetable garden. read more Beginning his hospitality career prepping vegetables on weekends at a local pub, Tom quickly realised he loved the industry and wanted to push himself. By 18 he’d moved to London to work at the Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s.

Gareth Ward

Head Chef and Co-Owner – Ynyshir Restaurant & Rooms

Gareth was born and raised in County Durham. He started his cooking career at age 16, working in kitchens in the North East before moving to Rutland to work under Aaron Patterson at Hambelton Hall. After 5 years spent in the Michelin-starred kitchen, Gareth rose from the position of commis chef up to junior sous. read more Shortly after leaving Hambleton, Gareth moved back North to work at Seaham Hall and eventually took his first head chef role at Hart’s Restaurant in Nottingham. Gareth’s next move was to Restaurant Sat Bains; while working there, Sat Bains was awarded a second Michelin star in 2011. 
In 2013, striving for more and wanting to create a unique concept, Gareth was named head chef at Ynyshir, then called Ynyshir Hall. In his first year, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, then gained 4 AA Rosettes shortly afterwards, making it the only restaurant in Wales to hold the accolade at the time. 
Now co-owner, Ynyshir has since been awarded 5 AA Rosettes, 2 Michelin stars, and Best Restaurant in the UK 2022 by the National Restaurant Awards. Using only the finest ingredients and working closely with innovative craftsman, Gareth strives to create a unique experience that you cannot get anywhere else. His philosophy is “Ingredient Led, Flavour Driven, Fat Fuelled, Meat Obsessed”, and the restaurant is all about punchy flavours, funky music and incredible drinks.


Head Chef

Martyn’s experience, commitment and passion for his culinary work spans more than two decades.

Hailing from Shropshire, Martyn’s passion for food started at the young age of just 16 years old when he joined his first kitchen team. He quickly progressed and competed in his first competition at Hotelympia.
read more Since then, he has worked in numerous Rosette restaurants, and at the age of 22 he had his first Head Chef experience at the Raven Hotel, Much Wenlock where under his leadership they achieved 2 AA Rosettes.

In 2012, Martyn moved into high volume event catering where he worked alongside the Roux Brothers. Martyn has a wealth of experience in catering at large scale prestigious venues such as Royal Ascot, Wimbledon and Cheltenham Racecourse.

Combining his love for catering and football, Martyn became Executive Head Chef at Wolverhampton Football Club. This was followed by a move to South Wales joining Swansea City Football Club as Head Chef, where he continues to excel and delight guests on a daily basis.

Stephen Terry

Chef-proprietor – The Hardwick, Abergavenny

Stephen grew up in Dunstable and trained at Barnfield College, Luton. His career took off in the 1990s when he moved to London and worked at Harvey’s under Marco Pierre White, Le Gavroche under Michel Roux Jr, befriending fellow chef and contemporary Gordon Ramsey along the way. read more After a stint as a Sous Chef in Scotland, Stephen became Head Chef of The Canteen in Chelsea for Marco Pierre White, earning the restaurant a Michelin Star at age 25 before moving to France to work at Alain Passard’s Arpege.

Jean-Laurent Basile

Chef at l’Hirondelle; Luc Gamel, sous chef at the Hôtel Hermitage

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Joël Garault

Executive chef at the Hôtel Hermitage

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Luc Gamel


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Atul Kochhar

Chef and Restaurateur

Atul Kochhar has been at the forefront of Indian fine dining in the UK for the past thirty years, becoming the recognisable and popular face of modern Indian cuisine as a celebrated restaurateur and chef, television personality and cookery book author.  read more Atul was the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star for innovative fine dining cuisine in 2001, being awarded with a second star in 2007. Atul today is Chef/Patron of a portfolio of restaurants and AMOD events specialising in innovative Indian cuisine which invites diners on a gastronomic journey. Kanishka in London’s Mayfair for example demonstrates Pan-Indian cuisine of the highest calibre showcasing each regional variety from India’s very different and distinct regions, served with Atul’s inimitable contemporary touch.  
Continually expanding on his repertoire of regional Indian cuisine with regular trips back home, Atul continues to promote the best of Indian gastronomic fare combining modern techniques to traditional recipes and ingredients.
While continuing as a restaurateur and balancing other commitments, it’s important to Atul that his time outside of the kitchen is dedicated to a further range of positive endeavours and for The Prince’s Trust, The British Asian Trust and in May 23 Atul became Patron for Hospitality Action. 

Cyrus Todiwala

Chef Owner of Café Spice Namaste

Cyrus Todiwala is a chef, restaurateur, educationist, author, and entrepreneur. Genuine and down-to-earth, his accessible persona masks an encyclopedic knowledge of food history and cuisine, and many sophisticated turns in the kitchen. read more Together with his wife Pervin, Cyrus over sees the running of four restaurants. Café Spice Namaste at the edge of the City of London is a 25-year old institution, and the world’s longest running Michelin BIB Gourmand restaurant (‘good food, good value’). Two hotel restaurants bear his name: Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen at the deluxe Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen at the Lincoln Plaza London, part of the Hilton Curio Collection. Mr Todiwala’s Petiscos in Buckhurst Hill is a small neighbourhood restaurant located in the London-Essex border specialising on Heritage Portuguese influenced Goan cuisine.

Following a traditional boarding school education in Maharashtra, India, Cyrus decided on a road less travelled, completing four years of classical chef training in Bombay. He began his career as a hotel chef with the Taj Group, rising to Executive Chef of the sprawling Fort Aguada Beach Resort & Taj Holiday Village in Goa.

In the early 1990’s, he immigrated to London taking with him his young family. Almost immediately, his culinary gifts and boundless energy impressed the food cognoscenti and, helped to reshape Britain’s then limited expectations of Indian cuisine. He has since inspired a generation of Asian chefs, many of whom have gone on to open their own restaurants.

Cyrus is a staunch advocate of education and training; Café Spice Namaste was the first ever restaurant in the UK to win a National Training Award & an Investors in People Gold Champion. Today, he personally mentors, chef apprentices and provides work experience training for a number of student chefs. Other issues close to his heart include social responsibility, sustainability, buying British, food, waste minimisation, and healthy eating. As an environmental pioneer, he has won several awards including the Sustainability Champion award from the London Chamber of Commerce and Corporation of London.

Cyrus has written seven cookbooks, including the best-selling ‘Simple Spice Vegetarian’ published in March 2020. His line of hand-crafted, limited-edition condiments, oils, spice blends and sauces under the Mr Todiwala’s brand are increasingly coveted by professional and home cooks alike.

He appears regularly on Talk FM, BBC Radio London, BBC Saturday Kitchen and the BBC 4 Food Programme, which awarded him the Food Personality of the Year at its 2014 Food & Farming Awards. In 2015, he formed one half of the ‘Incredible Spicemen’, appearing on a BBC TV series of the same name alongside Tony Singh MBE.

Together with his wife Pervin, Cyrus oversees the running of four restaurants. Café Spice Namaste in London is a 25-year-old institution, and the world’s longest-running Michelin BIB Gourmand restaurant ('good food, good value'). Two hotel restaurants bear his name: Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen at the deluxe Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen at the Lincoln Plaza London, part of the Hilton Curio Collection. Mr Todiwala’s Petiscos in Buckhurst Hill is a small neighbourhood restaurant located on the London-Essex border specializing in Heritage Portuguese-influenced Goan cuisine.

Following a traditional boarding school education in Maharashtra, India, Cyrus decided on a road less travelled, completing four years of classical chef training in Bombay. He began his career as a hotel chef with the Taj Group, rising to Executive Chef of the sprawling Fort Aguada Beach Resort & Taj Holiday Village in Goa.

In the early 1990s, he immigrated to London, taking with him his young family. Almost immediately, his culinary gifts and boundless energy impressed the food cognoscenti and helped reshape Britain’s then-limited expectations of Indian cuisine. He has since inspired a generation of Asian chefs, many of whom have gone on to open their restaurants.

Cyrus is a staunch advocate of education and training; Café Spice Namaste was the first-ever restaurant in the UK to win a National Training Award & an Investors in People Gold Champion. Today, he personally mentors chef apprentices and provides work experience training for a number of student chefs. Other issues close to his heart include social responsibility, sustainability, buying British, food waste minimization, and healthy eating. As an environmental pioneer, he has won several awards, including the Sustainability Champion award from the London Chamber of Commerce and Corporation of London.

Cyrus has written seven cookbooks, including the best-selling ‘Simple Spice Vegetarian’ published in March 2020. His line of hand-crafted, limited-edition condiments, oils, spice blends, and sauces under the Mr Todiwala’s brand are increasingly coveted by professionals and home cooks alike.

He appears regularly on Talk FM, BBC Radio London, BBC Saturday Kitchen, and the BBC 4 Food Programme, which awarded him the Food Personality of the Year at its 2014 Food & Farming Awards. In 2015, he formed one-half of the ‘Incredible Spicemen’, appearing on a BBC TV series of the same name alongside Tony Singh MBE.

Cyrus is an Ambassador of The Clink Charity, Patron of the British Lop Society, Ambassador of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Chef Ambassador of The Shellfish Association of Great Britain, Ambassador for The British Asian Trust, and Oceans Ambassador of the Marine Conservation Society. He is also a Founding Member of the Company of Entrepreneurs, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, A Fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain, a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, An Honorary Professor of The University of West London, An Honorary Doctor of the London Metropolitan University, and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Cooks.

In line with the Parsee ethos of philanthropy (‘Good fortune is for him who makes others happy’), Cyrus has devoted much of his time and energy to missions he believes in. One of these is Zest Quest Asia, the student chef competition he founded with Pervin in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain. Now in its twelfth year, Zest Quest Asia aims to develop students’ skills, knowledge, and understanding of classical Asian cuisine and raise its profile as a future career. It is widely considered the most prestigious culinary competition of its kind in the UK.

Cyrus has an MBE for his services to education and training and an OBE for services to the catering and hospitality industry. As a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London, he assists the Lord Lieutenant in the fulfilment of social and civic duties carried out on behalf of HM The King.

Justinas Kapkovicius

Executive chef at Kempinski hotel Vilnius

Over 18 years I have been enjoying working in a professional kitchen. It's enough time to understand what inspires me and what I like the most in the kitchen. So I'm not going to stop, get tired, or end up working in the kitchen in any other way. read more A chef is like an artist, often surprising the audience with his work, and food is a field of creativity. It's nice to see happy eyes, not only because a person is full, but also because they receive the message of my creation in the form of food on a plate.

At the moment I'm working as Executive chef at Kempinski hotel Vilnius. As well I'm the blog writer and a mentor of Sustainable Food Academy

Culinary achievements:

Participation in various organized culinary competitions and other events, so a little about them.
- President of chefs and pastry chefs association in Lithuania
- St. Petersburg competition - Baltic culinary star, won the Silver medal.
- Silver and Bronze medals of the Culinary World Cup 2014 held in Luxembourg.
- The only "Wine and dessert pairing contest" of its kind in the world. Winner of the golden fork.
- Winner of the Oyster Shelling Championship.
- During his leadership, the restaurants always boasted the highest places among Lithuanian restaurants (in 2017 – 9th, in 2018 – 6th place in Lithuania).
- 2019 St. Pellegrino competition held in Moscow, representing Lithuania as a mentor.


"Ching He Huang, known as ‘Ching’, is an Emmy-nominated, Award winning TV Chef and Cookery Book Author, who has been championing, popularising and de-mystifying Chinese cuisine read more in the media, since 2003. Ching’s approach to cookery stems from the traditional farming community of her grandparents in Southern Taiwan. Ching’s ethos is to use fresh organic produce, making cooking fun, accessible and nutritious to all, appealing to both the East and West. 

Ching has fronted 11 TV shows, authored 9 cookery books and is published in several languages around the world. Her recent books “STIR CRAZY” and ‘WOK ON’ consistently reach bestseller status in the Amazon charts for Chinese Cookery. Ching has consulted on many levels, from family owned restaurants to international corporations in hospitality, often working with brands to execute successful media campaigns. Despite Ching’s achievements, her message remains humble. She believes that cooking can be an empowering opportunity to transform and self-realise - “to cook for others is to share joy, to cook for yourself is self-love, to consume consciously is to be compassionate”.

Ching supports numerous charities - Buddhist Charity TZU CHI whose aims are to show Compassion in Action, and the charity Centrepoint, whose goal is to end youth homelessness – both causes close to Ching’s heart. Ching is a food entrepreneur and founding creator of the “Lotus Wok” whose aim is to transform impoverished lives through food.

Her food journey will lead her to publish her 10th book, ‘Asian Green’ – a plant based recipe book, in Jan 2021, published by Kyle Books. 

Ching enjoys Films, QiGong, Yoga, Swimming, Painting and Gardening."


Ken Hom OBE is the man who showed the British how to cook Asian food. A leading authority on Chinese cuisine, he is one of the most respected and celebrated TV chefs of all time. read more His phenomenal success is easily measured. He is the author of almost 40 books, which have inspired millions of home cooks around the world. In Britain alone, the Ken Hom wok is found in one in seven kitchens. Ken Hom, who resides in France and in Thailand but travels tirelessly all over the world, continues to appear regularly as celebrity chef, write new books and keep an involvement with restaurants worldwide. He has presented seven UK television series launching his career over 35 years ago with Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery. His most recent book is his autobiography ‘My Stir Fried Life’ – published in English and Chinese and available from Amazon, a high-spirited, life-enriching feast where the chopsticks never stock clattering, the platters are always abundant, and dreams – no matter how ridiculously unbelievable – can and do come true.

He is a founding patron of the Oxford Cultural Collective, an independent cultural Institute that promotes better understanding of food and drink. The Collective has links to Oxford Brookes University through its foundation, formed to provide students with outstanding learning experience. https://oxfordculturalcollective.com/
A great charity supporter, his two main charities are Action Against Hunger and Prostate Cancer UK.

Emmanuel Benardos

General Manager of Food & Beverage

A seasoned hospitality professional currently based in Singapore, with extensive experience in the general management of all aspects of hotels, food & beverage, leisure and entertainment operations achieving positive commercial outcomes. Under my leadership, restaurants have achieved multiple Michelin stars / Worlds 50 Best and Asia’s 50 Best awards plus complete operational, financial and brand management. read more Developing a reputation for transforming business operations to achieve sustainable growth, driving a culture of exceptional service delivery matched only by innovative and relevant menu design has been a key driver in my career.

As a strong and approachable leader who thrives on making a difference, to both the talent and financial success of a business, I have proudly developed and led many high-performing teams, within culturally diverse environments mentoring many to leadership positions and take pride in training and internal career progression of all colleagues.


BYGB Hospitality Consulting Founder of That's Proper Restaurant Group

Gibran Baydoun is an established hospitality guru in the region who began his career with Hillstone Restaurant Group before major stints at Ralph Lauren and Momofuku where he worked as the Chief of Staff and Director of Restaurant Operations. read more Gibran created a splash in Singapore first at Adrift by David Myers at the iconic Marina Bay Sands before founding BYGB Hospitality Consulting where he was instrumental in the growth and soul of 1880, a private member's club.

Throughout his career, Gibran has been involved with major hotel operators, restaurant groups and independent operations and has been instrumental in many restaurant openings and significant revamps in the hospitality space, before taking the leap to found his own restaurant group: That’s Proper. Lucali BYGB launched in Singapore in the middle of a pandemic in July 2020 to tremendous success and lead to Corduroy Palace: Wine Hall and Dining Room and Proper Slice BYGB to open the following year.

An architecture, art, fashion and music enthusiast, his eye for design and obsession into ambiance has made him a unique force in intentional hospitality.


President, Sommelier Association General Manager Praelum Wine Bistro

Having his professional journey entrenched in the food and beverage industry in Singapore for over a decade, Gerald Lu has been at the forefront of the Singapore’s beverage scene for the past 15 years. read more A graduate from Business Hospitality in the University of Wales, Gerald kicked off his career with the IndoChine Group, gaining a diverse portfolio and technical skills from bartending to wine pairing as the Group’s sommelier before rising to management level to handle purchasing, marketing training, operations and management of wine-related activities.
Since 2021, Gerald helmed the Liquidity Group’s Praelum Wine Bistro Director and Head Sommelier. Fueled by his personal passion for wine and equipped with his niche expertise, he is pursuing the Court of Master Sommeliers (UK) Advanced Sommelier certification, Certified Specialist of Wine (US) as a High Scorer and was awarded Distinction by Wine, Spirits and Education Trust in the United States at the advanced level. Gerald is also a Certified Sake Sommelier with the Japanese Sake Sommelier Association and an Italian Wine Scholar (IWS).

Shilpee Mishra

Stands as a seasoned luminary not only in F&B, but also in hospitality and events, showcasing a remarkable history of spearheading premier establishments within the industry. read more With a vibrant and commanding presence, she has masterfully revitalized esteemed brands such as The Dandy Collective's California Republic and Neon Pigeon, infusing new life into their legacies. She first began to distinguish herself when she became the youngest and most prominent Restaurant Manager at Spago by Wolfgang Puck. Her breadth of experience has further refined Shilpee's expertise, solidifying her proficiency in adeptly overseeing both front-of-house and back-of-house teams. Her prowess extends to curating impactful events and orchestrating compelling marketing campaigns that resonate with the right demographics.

Shane Osborn

Founder of The Arcane Collective & Netflix's The Final Table

From Perth to London, and now Hong Kong, Shane Osborn’s culinary career and talents span the globe. He became the first Australian chef to lead a restaurant to attain Michelin star status with Pied à Terre, London – all at the tender age of 29. Later earning a second star, Pied à Terre was internationally recognised for being one of Europe’s and the world’s best restaurants including Decanter Restaurant of the Year, San Pellegrino Readers’ Choice Restaurant of the Year, 29/30 in the Zagat guide, and 8/10 in the Good Food Guide. read more Shane relocated to Hong Kong in 2012 and in 2014, he opened his first solo venture in the city, Arcane. A modern European refined dining restaurant that focuses on the finest quality cuisine, service, and wine, Arcane was awarded its first Michelin star in 2017 and has retained it ever since.

Richard Ekkebus

Culinary Director of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental

Richard Ekkebus is the Culinary Director at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, overseeing all cuisine at one of the city’s most luxurious and distinctive five-star hotels. Under Richard’s supervision and guidance, Amber, the hotel’s contemporary, fine dining restaurant, was listed as No. 31 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 and rewarded as Sustainable Restaurant Award; and for the 15th consecutive year, awarded two Michelin stars by the Michelin Guide for Hong Kong and Macau, and its Michelin Green star award in 2022 and 2023, recognising Amber’s sustainability efforts. read more Richard began his illustrious career via an apprenticeship in his native Holland under Michelin-starred chefs Hans Snijders and Robert Kranenborg. In Holland, he won the prestigious Golden Chef’s Hat for “Young Chef of the Year”, an honour that encouraged him to further perfect his art under the tutelage of some of the greatest three-star chefs in France, including Pierre Gagnaire, Alain Passard and Guy Savoy.

With a strong desire to explore world cuisines and an innate curiosity, Richard then embarked on a journey that saw him hold Executive Chef positions at the Royal Palm in Mauritius and The Sandy Lane in Barbados. In 2005, he was appointed Executive Chef for The Landmark Mandarin Oriental.

Committed to driving culinary exploration and creativity, Richard is admired for his fresh ideas and innovative spirit. In December 2018, the hotel’s signature restaurant, Amber, closed temporarily for renovations. During the four-month closure, Richard and his team spent time exploring new ingredients, contemplating the needs of diners and crafting a bold new culinary philosophy. The restaurant’s contemporary menu is founded on French culinary techniques with an innovative approach. Amber invites diners to indulge in a pleasurable and mindful dining experience of the clean flavours of the natural ingredients.

Richard takes particular pride in the superb quality of his ingredients. “There is no compromise regarding quality. At Amber, we are committed to using the finest and freshest ingredients sourced sustainably and ethically from the region. Great emphasis is also placed on beautiful, creative presentations employing varying food textures and colours.”

In a city renowned for its quality and variety of cuisine, Amber offers a nuanced menu that highlights pure flavours, masterful techniques and a creative vision.

Caleb Ng

Co-founder of Twins Kitchen

Caleb Ng is a successful food and beverage entrepreneur and co-founder of Twins Kitchen, a restaurant group that has gained popularity for its innovative recipes and warm hospitality. Along with his twin brother, Josh, Caleb has established several restaurant brands across the world, such as INTERVAL, Vivant, dolos, Common Ground, Cafe Leitz, INT (Shanghai), and Gao Dumpling Bar (Copenhagen). read more Born and raised in Hong Kong, Caleb moved to the USA to study business and investment banking at the University of California, Los Angeles. However, his passion for wines, home cooking, and hospitality drew him back to Hong Kong over a decade ago. There, he teamed up with his brother, Josh, to establish a restaurant group that focuses on serving heartwarming, yet innovative recipes and providing friendly service.

The Twins’ contributions to the culinary industry have been recognized through numerous awards, including the Hong Kong Tastemakers 2021 Award by Hong Kong Tatler, the 2019 Local Champion Award by T. Dining Hong Kong Awards, and the Top 50 Gen-T Talents 2018 Award by Hong Kong Tatler. Additionally, their achievements have been acknowledged with the Grand Award at the DFA Design for Asia Awards.

Yenn Wong

CEO & Founder of JIA Group

Yenn Wong is the brain behind a string of successful, highly acclaimed restaurants and bars.

Although she’s behind a string of successful, highly acclaimed restaurants and bars under the JIA Group she founded,
read more Singapore-born hospitality entrepreneur Yenn Wong ended up in the business by accident. She was asked by her father, Malaysian tycoon Danny Wong, to come to Hong Kong aged just 23 and revamp a struggling mid-range hotel in Causeway Bay he’d bought. The result, Jia Hotel (later renamed J Plus), became Hong Kong’s first boutique hotel and won her numerous accolades; she followed it up with another branch in Shanghai. These days, JIA Group is best known for its range of successful high end restaurants, which continues to expand: in 2022 it opened the rustic Italian Ramato with chef Antimo Maria Merone of Estro; and the Spanish fine dining Agora, located inside Tai Kwun, with chef Antonio Oviedo from 22 Ships. In the same year, two of its restaurants, Latin American Mono and Japanese-Argentinian Ando, were awarded their first Michelin stars. Other acclaimed JIA Group outlets include Duddell’s, Chachawan, 208 Duecento Otto, Louise, Potato Head and Aberdeen Street Social. Named Tatler Hong Kong’s Restaurateur of the Year in 2016 and Entrepreneur of the Year by Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability in 2017, she is married to fellow F&B innovator Alan Lo, with whom she has three sons.

Ben Duston

Ben is a highly experienced and passionate chef with extensive knowledge of high-end events including the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Ascot, the Open Championship, The 2012 Olympics and Rugby World Cup 2015. read more As the Food innovation Director for Sodexo Live! Ben heads up the culinary team and is responsible for the food strategy development, including pioneering our inspirational “food philosophy”.
Ben’s role is to support the Sodexo Live! team in developing, deploying, and continually improving the offer to clients and customers and to drive innovation. The benefit of having Ben in place is that he will ensure that there is a development plan in place for our chefs; he will foster strong relationships with suppliers within the local area and set-up our local trend tours to showcase some of the latest thinking on the high street, thus ensuring we are always at the forefront of food development and design.

Waiter Judges

Simon King

Igniting Hospitality

Simon’s career started at Amberley Castle, a Small Luxury House hotel. After completing his HND in Hospitality Management, he moved to London. While working at The Ritz he won 'Young Waiter of the Year’ 2000'. read more In 2001 Simon joined Gordon Ramsay, managing his flagship restaurant at Royal Hospital Road and opened the Savoy Grill with Marcus Wareing. He worked with Heston Blumenthal as Operations Manager for the Fat Duck Group on projects including the launch of Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental. In October 2014 moved to New York, working for Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, managing the Modern. March 2018 saw Simon return to London as Operations Director for JKS, overseeing their 16 sites. In 2020 Simon launched Igniting Hospitality which supported established and launching new business through the pandemic and beyond. Simon has now returned to London as The Operations Director for iconic The Wolseley Hospitality Group.

Johanna Wimmer

L&D Consultant

Hospitality runs through Johanna’s veins, selling cakes and coffees from a young age at her uncle’s coffee shop in Austria. In 2000, she established her love for London at Anton Mosimann’s private dining club. read more Whilst there, Johanna won the Young Waiter award in 2002, before joining Jason Atherton for the opening of Maze in 2005. Johanna’s passion for development and training fully evolved when she joined Westminster Kingsway College as a lecturer in 2007 training students on the art of service and hospitality. From 2015 to 2023 Johanna led the L&D team at The Ivy Collection, overseeing staff training, pre-opening restaurant training, and fostering career progression and development for team members.

Andrew McKenzie

The Vineyard

Andrew has been in the hospitality industry for over 40 years, since staring as a hall porter at the tender age of 13 and first became a general manager 30 years ago. read more He has worked throughout the UK for companies such as Stakis, Prince of Wales,Intercontinental and Shire Hotels. He has been Managing Director of The Vineyard Group since 1998 and overseas The Vineyard at Stockcross, Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa, The Barns Hotel, two golf clubs and the wine wholesaler The Vineyard Cellars.

Andrew is a former Hotelier of the Year, a past chairman of Master Innholders, a multiple Catey winner and sits on the Court of Worshipful Company of Innholders. He is chairman of The Watermill Theatre in Newbury and chairs the SE region of UK Hospitality, and is a trustee of various charities including, Lord Forte Foundation and Swings and Smiles children’s charity.

Anne Lomas, The Savoy

Anne Lomas

The London Edition

Anne Lomas, Director of Food and Beverage at The London Edition, oversees all aspects and operations of the hotel’s food & beverage programme. Lomas has a wealth of experience having previously held the position of Director of Restaurants at The Savoy, overseeing several outlets and departments including the relaunch of the prestigious Simpson’s on the Strand. read more Anne began working in hospitality by chance aged eighteen; whilst travelling in New Zealand. Following this, Anne moved to London where her work experience includes Roast, 45 Park Lane, Shangri-La, and Simpson’s in the Strand. During her role as General Manager at Simpson’s in the Strand, Anne saw this rich-in-history establishment through a full refurbishment, and drove the restaurant to be the successful and well-loved culinary landmark it is today.

Andy Downton

Burnt Chocolate Consultancy

Andy Downton is the Owner & Founder of Burnt Chocolate Consultancy. In 2003 Andy moved to London, progressing to Head Waiter for Marcus Waring at the Savoy Grill. In November 2006, read more he became assistant restaurant manager for the launch of Theo Randall at the Intercontinental before moving to Gordon Ramsay at Claridges where Andy spent 5 years, 2 as General Manager. In 2012, Andy joined D&D London as General Manager at The Old Bengal Warehouse. He then spent 3 years at the Social Company with Jason Atherton managing City Social. Andy returned to D&D in 2017 as Senior General Manager for 3 venues before becoming Operations Manager at Park Chinois. In 2022 he launched his own restaurant consultancy business using his expertise & knowledge to help restaurants grow & develop to their full potential.

Jennifer Santner, Waiter Judge

Jennifer Santner

South Place Hotel

Jennifer moved from Switzerland to London in 2011, starting out at the Fenchurch Restaurant within Sky Garden she also spent time at the three Michelin starred Waterside Inn. She then crossed town read more to Sketch where she oversaw the Two-Michelin starred Lecture Room and Library. Now at South Place Hotel as Restaurant Manager, Jennifer is an expert in all things fine-dining at the Michelin-starred Angler Restaurant. Her accolades include winning the Gold Service Scholarship in 2016 (awarded her prize by HM Queen Elizabeth II) and runner-up in the 2018 Restaurant Manager of the Year competition.

Beatrice Bessi

67 Pall Mall

Italian-born Beatrice Bessi has been working in hospitality for 20 years. In Italy she rose to the position of Restaurant Manager, working with the Alajmo family, one of the 50 best chefs in the world. read more Thirsty to gain knowledge about wine, she left Italy to join Ronan Sayburn Master Sommelier and his team at 67 Pall Mall , starting as Junior Sommelier. She spent three and a half years studying to prepare herself for the Court of Master Sommelier, recently passing the Advanced Exam, one of the hardest in the world, in preparation for the Master Sommelier exam and her hard work paid off. Eighteen months ago, Beatrice was promoted to become Assistant Head Sommelier to Terry Kandylis at 67 Pall Mall.

James Fleming

James Fleming

The Stafford

James Fleming started his hospitality career in a less than traditional fashion; he completed a degree in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management at University in Bristol but quickly read more assessed this was not the right career for him. Whilst studying, he worked at Brasserie Blanc in event operations and when he changed paths, he was offered a position at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons as a commis de rang. Le Manoir introduced him to the fine dining in hospitality. Next he joined The Berkeley, Knightsbridge, as a guest relations executive, then moved to The Beaumont in Mayfair as Duty Manager. He is currently Reception Manager at The Stafford,St James. James won the Gold Service Scholarship (2014) and achieved the qualification of the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma. In 2018, James won the prestigious Acorn Award, which celebrates the Top 30 under 30 in the hospitality sector.

Dimi Leivadas

Dimi Leivadas

Delta Lambda Hospitality

Dimitris ‘Dimi’ Leivadas is an internationally respected hospitality expert, with extensive achievements and accolades in the premium Restaurant and Hotel market (The Fat Duck, read more Matsuhisa Mykonos, Nobu@Badrutt’s Palace St Moritz, Derby Hotels Collection in Barcelona). Dimi is the Founder & CEO of Delta Lambda Hospitality, a boutique global hospitality consultancy with a portfolio of leading restaurant and hotel brands. He is Curator of BBVA Bilbao Food Capital, advisor and partner to startups, and visiting lecturer at Hospitality Schools across UK & Europe. He judges service skills competitions and develops projects related to premium customer service in collaboration with elite clients in Hospitality, Education, Luxury Brands, Private Banking and Health Care.

Alessandra Calzavacca


Alessandro fell in love with the hospitality industry working alongside his parent’s in their restaurant at 14 years old. read more After hospitality school and few years of experience in Italy, he moved to London 3 years ago, where humble beginnings began as a commis waiter at Fera at Claridge’s (Michelin star), where he first learnt about international hospitality and built the bases for his career. For one year he worked at Jean-George at the Connaught and he decided to improve his knowledge with a university degree in hotel management at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. After winning 2019 YCYW competition, Waiter category, he now works at the newly open Grill at the Dorchester as headwaiter.

Adam Harwood

D&D London

Adam has been a People Development professional for more than 10 years, most notably as Head of Learning and Development for the fine dining Hospitality group, D&D London. read more The aim of his current role is to ensure that employees working in D&D London’s 43 restaurants are performing at their best at each part of their journey, from onboarding to management development. Adam is renowned for his views on learning and is a prominent keynote speaker on topics around modern and digital L&D.

Salvatore Broccu

General Manager of the Italian Restaurant Novikov oversees the day to day as well as the Private Room Dining offering.

Salvatore began working in hospitality as the parents owned a restaurant in Germany.
read more As soon as he turned 14 he joined the hotel and catering school, and the day it finished he started travelling and working in

Italy,Switzerland,Germany,France and Spain until he moved to London where his work experience includes:

The Savoy, The Four Season, The Regent (now The Landmark) and many other 5 Star Hotels and Michelin starred restaurants.

Salvatore speaks 5 languages.

During his role as General Manager at Novikov Italian, Salvatore saw this uniques establishment through a full opening, and drove the Restaurant to be the successful and well-loved culinary landmark it is today.

Salvatore also overlooks any of the international openings for the Novikov group Italian concept.

As an F&B and Hospitality Consultant, Salvatore also creates concepts and internationalises them.


University Wales Trintiy Saint

Jayne has over 30 years of senior management experience within private enterprise, corporate, third sector and Government organisations, and her current role is Programme Manager for several courses at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. read more Possessing a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Jayne has worked successfully as a Chef patron and restaurateur. She continues off-campus activity within the wine and champagne industry, including consultation, project management and support to Food & Beverage operators, as well as working with interesting and biodiverse producers to offer tailor-made tasting experiences.

As an experienced Chartered Marketer, she assists producers in gaining excellent exposure for their products, and holds qualifications in wine tourism that help achieve the best experiences at the cave or cuverie.

As chair of judges and organiser of World Young Chef Young Waiter Wales on behalf of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Jayne is instrumental in the competition’s organisation and support. She does this whilst working with industry colleagues to help young people develop and progress in their careers and share their talent with the help of industry leaders.


Restaurant Director of Adam Handlings Restaurant Group

George joined the Adam Handling Restaurant Group as Restaurant Manager for the opening of The Frog Hoxton in 2018 and was soon promoted to General Manager of the restaurant. He was then appointed Group General Manager in 2020, with responsibility across the Group’s restaurants and bars, and F&B services. In 2021, George was appointed Restaurant Director for the Group. read more As part of his role, George was instrumental in the opening of Adam’s first venues outside of London, leading the opening teams at Ugly Butterfly in St Ives and the Group’s first pub and restaurant with rooms, The Loch & the Tyne in Old Windsor. He is a driving force behind the Group’s sustainability mission and was key in helping Frog, the Group’s flagship restaurant, gain its Michelin star in 2022 and retaining it to date. George played a significant role in securing The Loch & The Tyne at number 27 (and Highest New Entry) in the Top 50 Gastropubs in its second year of operating and has continued to make the Top 50 list ever since. In 2024, The Loch & The Tyne was also awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

George is at the forefront of Adam’s sustainable efforts within the group and is a strong advocate for sustainability across the industry as a whole. Alongside promoting a cross-industry focus on sustainability and zero-waste, often inviting other bar and restaurant teams in to learn the Group’s methods and initiatives as well as constantly networking, George is passionate about sustainability in terms of staff. With that in mind, he spearheaded the launch of the Adam Handling Future Food Stars Programme at Ugly Butterfly, a stagiaire programme for students at local Truro & Penwith College. The Programme is aimed at getting young students into hospitality by including it as part of their curriculum. The students spend two weeks working front of house, two weeks in the kitchen, and two weeks learning about the sustainable practices undertaken in the bar; all of which counts towards their college course. The Ugly Butterfly team also go into the college to provide a full day of training that covers the full spectrum of hospitality, which culminates in the students cooking a dinner for local heroes, who have done good deeds for the community.

Before joining AHRG, George worked at venues from Cornwall to Warwickshire from the age of fifteen, building an impressive CV and reputation. His first full-time job in hospitality was as General Manager at The Boot Inn, Lapworth, aged 21, where he managed a team of 30 in a multi-million-pound business.

As a fantastic public speaker, George is a regular contributor and speaker at various industry shows and panels, and has a regular monthly column in Chef & Restaurant Magazine.



Daniele Giovinazzo was born in Genoa on November 15th 1978. His journey in hospitality began as a university student working as a waiter. 
Progressing from waiter to bartender, he honed his skills in AIBES, Flair, and mixology.
read more In 2004, he co-founded Galeria Gastronomica in Barcelona, a unique fusion of restaurant, bar, and art gallery. 
Driven by wanderlust, he embarked on seasonal work in Spain and Greece. 

In 2010, he joined Costa Allegra as Assistant Bar Manager, later becoming Bar Manager. 
He pursued a Master's in Restaurant Management at ALMA, followed by a role as Food and Beverage Manager at a prestigious Florence hotel. 

Returning to Costa Cruises, he became Assistant Food and Beverage Director, showcased bartending on National Geographic's "Artists of Taste," and assumed the role of Corporate Traveling Beverage Manager. 

In 2020, he transitioned to MSC Cruises as Corporate Traveling Beverage Manager, overseeing 23 ships. 
From March 1st 2023, he has been the Beverage Director at Twiga, expanding to the Majestas Group in September, covering Twiga, Billionaire, and Crazy Pizza. 

His career thrives on a passion for hospitality, travel, and connecting with people worldwide.


Co-Founder of Wine&Earth and CFO of WorldYCYW

Rob started work at 16 in the finance industry and spent 10 years working in various finance and banking roles in London, and a short stint in Malaysia working for a ‘Big 4’ consultancy firm. After becoming a Chartered Accountant, read more he began to support SME’s on a consultancy basis from a business operations and finance perspective. During this time Robfell in love with the hospitality industry while working in a senior finance role for Goedhuis & Co, a fine wine specialist and duly decided to start his own wine project, and began importing wines from independent family estates across the world with a focus on sustainable wine making and Wine & Earth was born in 2018. Alongside Wine & Earth, he also operates a pub/restaurant in London, is Global Wine Ambassador and CFO for World Young Chef Young Waiter and is Chairman of a professional football club. Having joined the hospitality industry later in his career, he loves being a part of this programme and seeing the passion from the contestants to go to the highest levels.

Anne Lomas, The Savoy

Anne Lomas

The London Edition

Anne Lomas, Director of Food and Beverage at The London Edition, oversees all aspects and operations of the hotel’s food & beverage programme. Lomas has a wealth of experience having previously held the position of Director of Restaurants at The Savoy, overseeing several outlets and departments including the relaunch of the prestigious Simpson’s on the Strand. read more Anne began working in hospitality by chance aged eighteen; whilst travelling in New Zealand. Following this, Anne moved to London where her work experience includes Roast, 45 Park Lane, Shangri-La, and Simpson’s in the Strand. During her role as General Manager at Simpson’s in the Strand, Anne saw this rich-in-history establishment through a full refurbishment, and drove the restaurant to be the successful and well-loved culinary landmark it is today.

Craig Hancox

General Manager for Amadeus at the ICC Birmingham.

At one of Europe’s leading conference venues the ICC Birmingham, Craig leads his busy team, providing award winning catering to more read more than 350 events each year. From high profile events such as the Conservative Party Conference and international conferences to small meetings for just a few people and many banqueting events, it is fair to say that Craig has to cater for a variation of guests is passionate that whatever takes you to the ICC food will be the one thing you remember!


Co - Founder and Managing Director At Temper Restaurants

Sam has been with the business from the beginning, building the brand from scratch and overseeing its development. Previously, she worked for leading operators such as Searcy’s, Vinopolis, Inn and Out Events here in the UK. read more Overseas, Sam owned and managed her own events business in Asia Pacific, with a portfolio of global clients and high-net-worth individuals. Sam is used to working with quality brands such as Moët & Chandon, leading fashion brands, Sun Alliance, Barclay’s, HSBC, Financial Times. She has vast experience in delivering exceptional projects to tight time-frames and specific profit margins

Luciano De Riso

Grand old House and the wharf Restaurant

Luciano De Riso, Head of Operations and Wine Director for Grand old House and the wharf has started his career in hospitality at the age of 14, after working in many great places worldwide including the Savoy in London has set roots in Cayman where has been since 2005, read more trained and certified sommelier, runs the second largest wine program in the Caribbean and manages two of the top restaurants in the Cayman

Markus Mueri

Restaurant Owner

Born in Switzerland with a culinary education I arrived on the Cayman Island in 1989. My first Job was at the Hyatt Regency Hotel as a line Cook. In 1994 I had the opportunity to open up my first Restaurant, Smugglers Cove in GT. read more Since then we added some restaurants, DECKERS, ABACUS and KARoo. I survived global recessions, Hurricanes and tough times. I never looked back and I believe in the Cayman Islands and its future, that’s why we keep on investing in the Island

Walter Fajette

Co-Owner and Director of Agua Hospitality Group

was born in Genoa, Italy, and graduated from catering school in Italy before beginning his career as a bartender. He went on to travel abroad to work for Disney in Orlando, Florida, before he made his way to the Cayman Islands where he joined the international culinary scene. He has continued to work with both of his passions - food and people- for the last 25 years. read more In 2009, he opened Agua Restaurant, which has become one of the most decorated and recognized restaurants on the island. In 2021, he opened Next Door cocktail bar, and in 2022 he plans to open 3 new venues under Agua Restaurant Group.

Fausto Pietropaoli

Director of Food & Beverage at Palm Heights

Born in Avezzano, a little town in the heart of the Italian Apennines not far from Rome, Fausto has more than 15 years of experience in the industry. read more His passion for hospitality started in London in 2008, when he first started as a bartender and short after became Bar Manager.
In the following years, he mastered his management skills at The Ritz first, where he spent almost two years as an Assistant Manager, then with the new opening of Aquavit, which achieved its first Michelin star soon after opening.
In 2017, he moved back to Italy, and in the following years, he became part of the pre-opening team as a Director of Food & Beverage, for the opening of three hotels across Florence and Rome.
Fausto moved to Grand Cayman almost a year ago and has been leading the F&B department at Palm Heights, with its well known and widely recognized Tillie's.

Barnabas Bako

Manager/Owner Bacaro Restaurant Cayman Islands Yacht Club

Barnabas Bako was born in Budapest, Hungary where he studied in a Hospitality School to become a professional waiter. read more In order to travel and gain further experience in fine dining Barney joined a cruise line in 1996.
After spending 4 years at sea he decided dry land was looking more appealing so in 2000 he moved to Grand Cayman and started at The Wharf where he worked for 2 years. In 2002 joined Ragazzi, after 5 years he was promoted to manager and joined the new sister restaurant, Luca. In 2009 he moved to Bermuda and then on to Switzerland in 2010 continuing in a management role as well as completing a professional qualification in Restaurant Management.
After 6 years, Barney returned to Cayman to team up again with his good friend Federico to open their first restaurant together, Bacaro.

Christian Esser

Learning & Development Manager for WINESCHOOL3

Christian Esser is a visionary entrepreneur and industry expert with over 11 years of experience at the helm of Wineschool3. His journey in the world of wines and spirits began with a deep-rooted passion for beverages, which evolved into a mission to educate and inspire others. Christian's unwavering commitment to fostering knowledge and appreciation for wines, spirits, and sake has been the driving force behind Wineschool3's global success. read more Alongside his leadership at Wineschool3, Christian manages a thriving Wine and Cocktail Bar situated in the picturesque Cayman Islands. This establishment has earned prestigious recognition, including the sought-after Wine Spectator award, attesting to the outstanding quality of their wine selection and service. The bar has also been distinguished by The Times as one of the premier wine destinations, further cementing Christian's reputation as a connoisseur in the field.

Christian's charismatic and approachable demeanor makes learning about wines and spirits a delightful and enriching experience for students at Wineschool3. His expertise extends beyond the theoretical aspects, allowing him to impart practical insights that resonate with enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Tony Marcell

Partner & Operations Manager of LUNA and Wayfare Tavern

Tony Marcell is a renowned San Francisco restaurant veteran with over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry. He is widely recognized for the role he played in opening Wayfare Tavern and has been credited for much of the restaurant’s initial and ongoing success. read more A Washington native, Marcell grew up in the restaurant industry. His earliest memories include assisting his father in selling high-end meats to chefs in the Seattle area. He found beauty in the aroma and ingredients these chefs worked with and enjoyed the high energy intensity of the culinary teams he met. He recognized the creativity involved in curating a beautiful, delicious meal and eventually found pleasure and “an exhilarating and rewarding feeling” from learning to create them himself.

Throughout Marcell’s childhood, his mother and father worked in restaurants. His mother was a talented chef who took her skill home and taught Marcell professional cooking techniques in the home kitchen. Experiencing superior family meals and fabulous dinner parties, coupled with those early outings in various kitchens with his father, sparked Marcell’s passion for the industry.

In high school, Marcell began his own career in the restaurant business working at Triples, a downtown Seattle hotspot owned by Restaurants Unlimited, a food and beverage firm that operated 35 restaurants in six states. He stayed with the company through college, working his way through school by bartending and waiting tables.

After graduating from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, Marcell continued his career with Restaurants Unlimited for another two years, moving to Hawaii and honing his skills in the kitchen as a sous chef. In 1995, he relocated to San Francisco and took his first job with The Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group on their front-of-house team learning operational and managerial skills and engaging with restaurant guests.

After five years with Kimpton, Marcell accepted a position as floor manager at famed restaurateur and Michelin-starred chef Laurent Manrique’s groundbreaking restaurant, Aqua. Under the mentorship of Jean Claude Persais at Aqua, Marcell learned the “art of fine dining” and worked as general manager of the establishment within two years where he achieved a Michelin Two Star rating in 2006.

In 2007, Marcell began consulting for San Francisco design firm, Puccini Group where he opened newly designed restaurants within hotels throughout the city of San Francisco and across the US. Three years later, in 2010, he opened Wayfare Tavern with celebrity chef Tyler Florence, which is now on it’s 13th year.

Marcell opened LUNA, in the Mission in 2021 to create a modern and timeless gathering place for good “Kitchen and Cocktails” with a casual and comfortable setting that is welcoming to a diverse clientele for all occasions

In his free time, Marcell enjoys spending time with his 9 yr old daughter, Que. Swimming and playing Golf.

Roger Huldi

General Manager at The St. Regis San Francisco

Roger Huldi, a highly accomplished hospitality operations leader known for developing progressive programming and initiatives, Roger is a seasoned industry veteran with nearly 30 years of experience working with Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. read more In 1991, Roger began his career in the Food and Beverage Department at the Sheraton Mirage Resort in Port Douglas, Australia. Since that time, Roger has excelled and demonstrated his expertise with increasing responsibility as Director of Food and Beverage at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Lahaina and the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, Director of Outlets at the Westin Maui Kaanapali and as Food and Beverage Manager at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

During his tenure as General Manager of W San Francisco, in 20 l 5, Roger led the property to LEED Platinum Certification and introduced dynamic and now globally adapted practices. In recognition of his leadership, the American Hotel and Lodging Association named W San Francisco the 20 l 6 Hotel of the Year. W San Francisco was also one of the first hotels in the city to install rooftop beehives. Roger believes that green hospitality is about achieving the highest sustainable standards without sacrificing the guest experience.

Roger is an active board member of the San Francisco Travel Association, the California Hotel and Lodging Association's Hospitality Foundation, and the Hotel Council of San Francisco. In 2022, Roger assumed the position of General Manager at The St. Regis San Francisco. Under his leadership, the hotel has attained the highest Guest Satisfaction scores globally within the Marriott luxury brand portfolio. This year, The St. Regis San Francisco achieved the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating; the only Forbes Five-Star hotel in San Francisco. Less than four hundred hotels globally have earned this designation.

A thoughtful and innovative thinker, Roger fully immerses himself in the planning for all initiatives at The St. Regis San Francisco. To say that Roger is an asset to The St. Regis San Francisco would be an understatement. He is the consummate embodiment of hospitality and innovation, and the true definition of what a leader is.

Steven Lande

Steven Lande comes from Chicago, where meals were the time to share love, quarrels, and commiseration around the dinner table with family and friends. In other words, those experiences made him a natural for food and wine. read more He began his career at Charlie Trotter’s famed Relais & Chateau restaurant in Chicago, and for six years Steven grew under Trotter’s mentorship. Next, he managed The Dining Room at The Ritz Carlton, Chicago for five years (operated by Four Seasons Hotels at the time). Where he worked alongside James Beard winner, Chef Sarah Stegner and was responsible for their Grand Award-winning wine list, as well as, serving on the North American wine buying committee for Four Seasons.

Steven headed west for San Francisco, where he was the manager/maître’ d for more than 16 years at Restaurant Gary Danko. Steven considers this his most rewarding experience as it enabled him to become part of the San Francisco community.

During the pandemic, Steven transitioned to Lasseter Family Vineyards in Sonoma to hone new skills in wine production. It was during this time that he took the next step of working for himself and launched Lande Hospitality; where he advises local restaurateurs, guides wine collectors curating their cellars and consults on high-end event planning.

Steven and his wife, Jennifer, have been living in their adopted Bay Area home for more than 20 years.



Edwyn is working as the Co-ordinator for Food and Beverage Courses at the Macau Institute for Tourism Studies since 2005. Responsible to plan and arrange the departments’ F&B related courses, also teaching F&B service operation and management theory courses. read more Tutor and leading assessor of IFTM – MORS [Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System], in the areas of Western Waiter/Waitress and Bartender. In recent years, had been invited numerous times, as jury for various Western table service and Bartender competitions in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.



Mathieu Gaignon has over 20 years of experience as head sommelier / restaurant manager at some of the world’s most famous restaurants, including the 3-Michelin-Star Joël Robuchon au Dôme in Macau and Gordon Ramsay’s 3-Michelin Star restaurant Hospital Road in London. read more He completed the prestigious Mention Complémentaire de Sommellerie in France in 1999 and was selected as Assistant Head Sommelier for Gordon Ramsay’s Hospital Road, where he was mentored by world-renowned Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn MS.



Benny Vu started his food and beverage career at the first five stars hotel in Macau, Hyatt Regency Macau. With his wonderful talent, he represented Macau to participate the 28th WorldSkills Competition at Osaka, Japan, in 1985. read more Starting from 1998, he joined the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) as the Educational Restaurant Manager. The Educational restaurant has maintained its Michelin BIB Gourmand status since 2013 and received Macao’s first Michelin Green star in 2020
With his abundant food and beverage experience, he moved his career to an educator, by providing professional food and beverage service related courses and trainings to Bachelor Degree students of Hotel Management and Tourism Event Management. Today many of the hospitality top talents has been trained by Benny Vu.



Born in Lisbon, Portugal, holds Bachelor Degrees in Tourism Business Management and Hotel Management taken in Porto, Estoril and Macau. Worked 16 years in the Hotel Business in Portugal, Belgium, UK and Macau, namely with Sheraton, Copthorne Hotels, Hyatt and St Regis Hotels. read more From 1991 to 2000, Director of the Hotel and Tourism Training School at the Institute for Tourism Studies in Macau. From 1993 to 1995 was a member of the Installing Committee of the Tourism College of Macau, the institution that created IFTM (Institute for Tourism Studies of Macau) in September 1995. Luis lecturers Wine Studies since 1995 at the Macao Institute For Tourism Studies (IFTM).

From September 2002 to October 2011 worked as Director’s Advisor at the Macau Government Tourist Office where among other projects, planned, organized and executed extensive works for the Macau Wine Museum. In 2010, established UVA – Vinho e Sabores Sociedade Unipessoal Limitada, and founded VINOMAC Limited, imports and distributes wines in Macau and Hong Kong.

Since 2011 works as Consultant at LCCH Hospitality and Tourism Consultancy, mainly providing services to Crowne Plaza Macau and Pousada de Coloane Hotel – Licensing, F & B and Project Management.



Miguel Gassmann de Oliveira has over 30 years’ experience in the hotel and hotel education industry with a focus on Food and Beverage. He has been teaching Hotel and Food and Beverage related courses at the Institute for Tourism Studies of Macau for the past 17 years. read more He is also very experienced in judging Restaurant Service competitions where he has been the Expert for the World Skills Restaurant competition for Macau. At present he is lecturing on Theory and Practice of Restaurant and Bar, as well teaching Kitchen related courses as part of the Culinary Arts program.

Huw Morgan

Catering and Hospitality Lecturer – Coleg Ceredigion

Experienced in cheffing and food service from Event catering and residential centres, Huw worked as Head Chef and Events Coordinator at Urdd Gobaith Cymru, planning, delivering and maintaining numerous Eisteddfods, as well as for Compass Catering covering major racing events in the UK. read more Huw has been a Lecturer for the past 8 years at Coleg Ceredigion, where he has developed a skills-based ethos for their Hospitality and Catering Courses, with competitions being an integral part of delivery. Over the past 6 years he has successfully trained learners to achieve 4 gold medals at national level for Skills Competition Wales, and to achieve UK Squad places to represent the United Kingdom in the World Skills Competition globally at Shanghai and Lyon respectively.

Huw runs the training College at Coleg Ceredigion where fine dining is an integral part of his Training Restaurant, which hosts guests three days per week and specialises in Silver Service, Gueridon work, Flambé and Cocktails.

Mourad Ben Tefka

Director of Restaurants – Seren Collection

Hailing from sunny Cannes in the Côte D’Azur, Mourad got his first taste for hospitality at age 12, helping in a family-owned coastal restaurant where he worked as a chef on weekends and school holidays for over 10 years. read more While studying a Masters in Applied Foreign Languages at Nice University, Mourad worked Front of House roles at luxury hotels in Monaco during events like the Formula 1 Grand Prix. His first full-time role was as a commis waiter, working for the prestigious Société des Bains de Mer hotel group in Monaco. He then moved to the UK, spending several years at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons before expanding his experience at other iconic British venues such as l’Ortolan and Hambleton Hall.

He returned to Le Manoir as Restaurant Manager, spending the next 18 years helping Raymond Blanc perfect his astonishing vision for the hotel and restaurant, latterly in the role of Restaurant Director. During his time at Le Manoir, Mourad became a Master of Culinary Arts in 2013.

Mourad joined the Seren Collection as Director of Restaurants in 2020, trading Oxfordshire for the beautiful coast of Pembrokeshire. Mourad is a proud family man and when not at work, he enjoys gardening, keeping fit, cooking for the family, and exploring this beautiful part of the world.

Alessandro Calzavacca

Assistant Manager – The Barn Restaurant at Coworth Park

Alessandro fell in love with the Hospitality industry working alongside his parents in their family restaurant at 14 years old. After attending hospitality school and gaining a few years of experience in Italy, he moved to London. read more Here, he began working as a commis waiter at Michelin-starred Fera at Claridge’s, where he first learned about international hospitality and built the basis of his career.
For one year he worked at Jean-George at the Connaught, then decided to improve his knowledge and skillset with a degree in Hotel Management from University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
After winning the 2019 World Young Chef Young Waiter competition, Alessandro briefly worked as Headwaiter at the newly opened Grill at the Dorchester before becoming Assistant Manager at The Barn restaurant at Coworth Park.

James Hayward

Hotel Manager – Coldra Court Hotel, Celtic Manor Collection

Canadian-born James moved to Wales at the age of 11. At 15 he took his first job in hospitality, working his way up from Kitchen Porter to Hotel Manager within the prestigious Celtic Manor Collection. read more James has also worked stints with De-Vere Hotels, and was front of House Manager of the award-winning White Hart Village Inn in 2011, the year in which they were awarded AA Pub of the year for Wales and introduced into the Michelin pub Guide – one of only a handful of properties in Wales.

James was also part of the team that opened The Twenty Ten Clubhouse, the first purpose build clubhouse to stage the Ryder Cup Matches. James currently sits on the committee as secretary of the Institute of Hospitality Cymru and is committed to giving back and developing the future talent in hospitality.

Chris Rogers

UK Ambassador for Champagne Cattier

Chris Rogers was born in the market town of Shrewsbury on the Welsh Borders and has spent the majority of his adult life living and working in Wales. After graduating from University of Wales Lampeter, Chris discovered his passion for the Wine trade and has found a home there for the past 24 years. read more Earning his WSET Diploma and winning one of the top prizes for that year, Chris moved from Off- to On-Trade and has spent the last two decades working with some of the biggest names in the business, developing the wine trade across the whole of Wales and celebrating as the food and wine scene expanded and developed.

In 2015 Chris was the 59th person in history to win the coveted Champagne Academy in Reims and was also accepted as a Chevalier in L’Order des Coteaux de Champagne. Since then, Champagne has dominated his life, making frequent trips to the Region and giving talks and tastings across the UK and France.

Chris is now the UK Ambassador for Champagne Cattier, one of the most respected and historic Houses in Champagne, and hosts tastings and events across Wales and beyond as well as consulting with the wider wine business in the UK.

El Kadri Salah

Restaurant eirecteur at Em Sherif, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

read more

Anne-Sophie Kordzinski

Restaurant manager at Louis XV-Alain Ducasse Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo

read more

Lindsay Jang

Co-Founder of Yardbird & RONIN

Lindsay Jang is a respected entrepreneur known for co-founding Yardbird Hong Kong; a Michelin-starred restaurant that has been recognized on San Pellegrino's Asia's 50 Best List. In addition to Yardbird, she is also the co-founder of RONIN, a renowned restaurant that has also been recognized on the prestigious Asia's 50 Best List. Lindsay also co-founded HECHO, a creative communications agency, and FAMILY FORM, a mat-based sculpting method currently in residency at The Upper House. read more With her expertise in brand and brand marketing, she provides consultation services in the dynamic fields of F&B and health and wellness. As a devoted mother of two, Lindsay has made Hong Kong her cherished home since relocating from New York in 2009.

Chili Ma

Restaurant Manager of LPM

Chili Ma is a highly experienced Restaurant Manager with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Currently, she serves as the restaurant manager at LPM, where she ensures that guests receive exceptional service and a memorable experience. read more Throughout her career, Chili has emphasized the importance of teamwork in the restaurant industry. She understands that collaborative effort is essential to providing excellent service and creating a welcoming atmosphere for guests. Additionally, Chili maintains a positive attitude in all aspects of her work, knowing that her attitude will be recognized by both her team and her guests.

With Chili's extensive experience and dedication to teamwork and positivity, she has become a respected figure in the restaurant industry.

Kristina Snaith-Lense

General Manager of The Upper House and Pacific Place Apartments

Kristina Snaith-Lense began her career with Swire Hotels as Assistant Director of Guest Experience of The Upper House Hong Kong in 2012 and was promoted to Director of Guest Experience in 2014. read more Passionate and dedicated to delivering exceptional services to discerning guests, Kristina led the Guest Experience team with tremendous success.

She was appointed as Hotel Manager of The Middle House Shanghai in 2017 to spearhead the pre-opening operations. Kristina returned to Hong Kong in 2019 as Hotel Manager of The Upper House and Pacific Place Apartments and rose to the position of General Manager in 2021.

Prior to joining Swire Hotels, she held various positions with The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.

Kristina graduated from University of Bristol and Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian.

Jonathan Parker

Director of Food & Beverage, Ascot Racecourse

After graduating from Ealing College’s Catering School in 1990, Jonathan Parker began his hospitality career when he joined Town and County Catering as a Junior Events Manager. While working The Championships at Wimbledon, The British Open and many other prestigious events every summer in the UK, Jonathan also travelled the world working in various fine dining establishments - from a Bar Manager role in Aspen, Colorado to Assistant Maître d’ of an exclusive waterside restaurant in Darling Harbour, Sydney. read more Returning to England to hang up his travelling boots in 1995, Jonathan took the Restaurant Manager role at the newly opened Lupo in Soho at the height of the West End’s food and beverage revival with similar openings at The Atlantic and Soho House.

Jonathan was then offered his dream job at Chelsea Football Club just as the stadium was undergoing a major redevelopment. As General Manager he oversaw the business as the stadium increased its total hospitality covers from 250 per match to 4,500. The Chelsea Village model included all of the stadium catering, 2 hotels and 3 day to day restaurants as well as a highly successful events business.

After the completion of the final West Stand in 2002, Jonathan joined the team at newly-formed catering company FMC Ltd. The company had won the iconic Wimbledon Championships contract and were in the process of rolling out a number of new UK stadium joint venture contracts to provide catering to Southampton FC, Swansea City FC, Leicester City, Hull City and Surrey Cricket Club. Innovative at the time, the contracts oversaw the Event Sales function as well as the entire Stadium Food and Beverage operation.

In 2008 following the purchase of FMC Ltd by Compass Group, Jonathan was appointed as Operations Director of their global contract at The All England Lawn Tennis Club.

In his first year he introduced the new Centre Court retail and fine dining facilities for The Championships, adding an additional 3,000 covers to the offering taking fine dining to 10,000 covers each day.

During his tenure Jonathan oversaw all food and beverage operations with the introduction of a new Club House, 2 new players’ facilities, various debenture hospitality restaurants and the new Media Centre in 2015.

Jonathan left the world of tennis to join Ascot Racecourse in 2016, after the business identified the F&B function as an integral element of a customer’s raceday experience, alongside sport, fashion and social occasion. Since joining the Ascot Board, Jonathan has seen the racecourse’s Sodexo catering partnership rebrand to become 1711 by Ascot. The 60 strong F&B team are boosted by nearly 4,000 event staff to serve more than 300,000 customers during the five days of Royal Ascot where they deliver more than 35,000 fine dining covers alone.

Mixologist Judges


Founder of Anna Sebastian Hospitality & Celebrate Her

Specialising in the beverage sector in the luxury hospitality world, Anna works with hotels, bars and restaurants on creating and executing bar programs from branding, concept, menu development, recruitment and PR and Marketing, read more Celebrate Her is a global community that brings women and non-binary hospitality people together.  It is a community platform that bases itself on four pillars including community, education, recruitment and events. 


Rosewood London’s Head of Mixology and Bar Development for Scarfs Bar

Yann Bouvignies has been Rosewood London’s Head of Mixology for Scarfes Bar since July 2022. Bouvignies has over 10 years’ experience in the luxury hospitality and Food & Drinks industry. read more Born and raised near Montpellier in France, Bouvignies spent the first few years in the hospitality industry working at the then newly-opened Hotel Le Kaïla in Meribel. He then moved on to La Résidence de la Pinède Hotel in St Tropez. In 2014 he joined The Savoy Hotel in Meribel as assistant bar manager before moving to London to take up a post at cocktail bar Purl in Marylebone. Later that year Bouvignies joined Scarfes as a Bartender and started working under Area Director of Bars Martin Siska’s mentorship.

Under Siska’s tutelage, Bouvignies developed meticulous attention to detail and creative originality, resulting in innovative cocktails that demonstrate exquisite flavour and flair. His passion and hard work paid off and saw Bouvignies promoted to Head Bartender in 2018. Throughout his tenure at Scarfes he has shown great leadership qualities and contributed to lead the bar team to great heights.

Bouvignies is responsible for leading Rosewood London’s cocktail creativity and beverage list development. As well as being a master of mixology Bouvignies also advocates hands-on training and development of the team’s creativity and cocktail making skills.

Bouvignies has played an instrumental part in putting Scarfes Bar on the map within the international bar scene. Throughout his career Bouvignies’ talents have not gone unnoticed, winning industry awards and accolades for both the bar and himself including Best International Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail 2020 Spirited Awards, placing on The World’s 50 Best Bars, Emerging Bartender of the Year and many more. Most recently, Yann Bouvignies was included in The Caterer’s Acorn Awards 2023, 30 under 30.

Within the Rosewood London family and the wider hotel group, Bouvignies is known for his warmth, passion and willingness to support not just his direct team but his colleagues internationally. As a trusted figurehead, Bouvignies has assisted in the reopening of Rosewood Le Guanahani in St Barths. He has also assisted Siska with staff training and seminars, plus guest shifts at other Rosewood properties such as Hotel de Crillon in Paris, Rosewood Baha Mar in Nassau and The Carlyle in New York.

Bouvignies’ career progression is a testament to his ambition, having collaborated in the creation and launch of 6 cocktail menus in six-years. Inspired by his extensive travels, Bouvignies and Siska are passionate about sustainability and works tirelessly to ensure the Scarfes’ signature cocktails have minimum or zero waste.

Bouvignies is also dedicated to supporting new, upcoming bars and brands in the UK and internationally, giving them the platform and visibility at Scarfes Bar to grow and show their talents. He is always looking for ways to bring the bar industry together to build a community amongst bartenders, brands and media. As a result, Bouvignies is often invited around the world to showcase his knowledge at award-winning bars and host creative workshops and seminars on modern techniques and methodology for local teams and industry leaders to take inspiration from.


Assistant Bar Manager of the Bar at the Metropole hôtel in Monaco

My Journey began at the Illkirch hotel / catering school in the north east France where i studied and where I was under the guidance of an amazing teacher, Jacques Wirman. It was here that I learnt my skills alongside Maxime Hoerth & Alexis Taoufiq both recipients of the MOF Bar which is the most important award in France. read more In 2005, I started my career in the Hotel Carlton in Cannes and in the Hilton in Strasbourg. In 2006 a significant turning point came as I started working in the American Bar at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. After that I decided to try my first experience out of France at L’atelier of Joel Robuchon in London for two years as assistant Bar Manager (2008-2009).

In 2010, I returned to France and started a long journey of seven years of summer/winter seasons. During the summer, I took my first bar Manager position in the Residence de la Pinede (Cheval Blanc St Tropez now) until 2015. During winter, I spent two seasons (2010-2012) in Les Airelles Courchevel as assistant Bar Manager.

Furthermore, I did the opening of the first five-star Hotel in Méribel in the Kaila Hotel as bar Manager (2013-2015) and (2016-2017). In 2015, I did a mission of 6 month is the Royal Mansour in Marrakech as director of the Bars. For the past seven years and until now I’m assistant Bar Manager of the Bar at the Metropole hôtel in Monaco.

Tyler Zielinski

Drinks Journalist for Punch, Food & Wine and Evening Standard Reveller

Tyler Zielinski is a London-based drinks professional who has spent the last decade working in the bar and beverage industries through a balance of journalism, consulting, content creation and bartending. read more He’s best known for his work in drinks journalism, writing for Punch, Class, Evening Standard, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler about a range of topics from bartending technique and cocktail trends, to drinks history and more. And in 2022, he was shortlisted for the IWSC’s Emerging Talent in Spirits Communication award.

He’s been featured as a drinks expert in Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Guardian, Metro, and Fast Company, and also judges on an array of panels for bar industry awards, and spirits and cocktail competitions alike.

While he’s not actively bartending after switching gears as a result of the pandemic, he was previously a U.S regional finalist at Woodford Reserve’s Manhattan Experience bartending competition in 2019, as well as an East Coast finalist for Nikka Whisky’s Perfect Serve in the same year. Also in 2019, he helped open natural wine and cocktail bar, Lawrence Park, in Hudson, NY where he served as the creative director, overseeing the cocktail program. In 2021, Tyler was also recognized as a top 4 national U.S finalist in Jack Daniel’s “Try Rye” cocktail competition. In a nutshell, Tyler wears many hats in the bar industry, and can be found sharing his ever-evolving work on his Instagram @bon_vivantito.

Sandrae Lawrence

Editor at The Cocktail Lovers Magazine

Currently positioned at number 11 in the Bar World 100, Sandrae is one half of The Cocktail Lovers, the eponymous magazine, website, podcast, events and consumer workshops company she runs with her husband Gary Sharpen. read more Noted for knowing who’s moving and shaking in the cocktail world,
The Cocktail Lovers Magazine was voted Best Spirits & Cocktail Publications in the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards 2016 and Sandrae was shortlisted for Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in the same year. The Cocktail Lovers podcast has picked up two awards since launching in 2021: Best Broadcast, Podcast or Online Video Series: Tales of the Cocktail 2022 and Best Food & Drink Podcast: The Publisher Podcast Awards 2022.

As born and bred Londoners Sandrae and Gary are proud to have been listed on the London Evening Standard The Progress 1000 –
London’s Most Influential People in both 2015 and 2017 and more recently, Sandrae was inducted into the Spirited Awards Dame Hall of Fame.

As well as publishing The Cocktail Lovers Magazine, their work, opinions, and recipes appears in The Daily Telegraph, London Evening Standard, Time Out, Christie’s International, Ocado and Delicious magazines and together and separately, they are regularly asked to judge cocktail competitions around the world.

Xavier Landais

Director of Bars for Caprice Holdings

Born in France, Xavier Landais moved to London in 1999 and joined the Caprice Group in 2001 as Bartender at J Sheekey. He rapidly climbed the ranks and was promoted to Executive Bar Manager for Caprice Holdings and the Birley Group (Annabel’s Clubs) in 2009, a position that was created specially to meet the growing demands of the marketplace. Xavier’s knowledge of product, premium wines and Champagnes is second to none. read more In 2017, Xavier was appointed Director of Bars at Caprice Holdings, overseeing all bars, cocktail and wine listings within the portfolio including for the coveted Sexy Fish London, 34 Mayfair and Daphne’s. In 2021, Xavier oversaw the launch of Sexy Fish in Miami, the brand’s first American outpost, before overseeing the opening of Bacchanalia in Mayfair in 2022.

Arathorn Grey

Tippling Club

Homegrown talent Arathorn Grey is Head Bartender at local dining and drinks institution Tippling Club. read more Under the guidance of Owner-Chef Ryan Clift and the leadership team at Tippling Club, Grey has blossomed as a bartender, earning his title as head bartender in two years. He has a talent for bringing forth peoples’ best traits to create a warm and enjoyable space for those on both sides of the bar.
Grey, together with Chef Ryan Clift, have since launched a brand new cocktail menu, A Guide To Modern Drinking Vol. III - 6 Decades Of Music. This menu explores music from the 40’s to the 90’s, each drink inspired by songs from various artists. The musical menu has been extremely well received so far, and has been featured in various drinks magazines and blogs, leaving guests spoiled for choice between the songs and the cocktails. Well-thought out cocktails paired with nostalgic songs creates conversations and overall an unforgettable experience.

Robin Bowles

South Africa born: Robin Bowles has lived most of his life in Australia's sporting capital Melbourne. Robin has recently taken the steps to relocate his life to live and work on the Southeast Asian shores of the island of Singapore. read more Hailing from a design and advertising background, Robin worked on some of the most famous brands in Australia; Crown Casino, Telstra, Aust. Grand Prix, Mercedes Benz, ANZ, National Australia Bank, L'Oreal, and has worked in equally large global advertising agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather, TBWA, M&C Saatchi, DDB & Clemenger BBDO to name just a few.

After a successful career of 20+ years as an Advertising Project Manager he turned his interest into his newfound passion of hospitality. Robin joined the Tadcaster Australia team back in 2014.

Unknowingly Robin has always had hospitality running throughout his DNA, always the life and soul of any event, gathering or party, he loves catering for people and putting a smile on people's faces.

As Director of Communications, his role in championing internal and outbound communications is vital in obtaining the highest of cultures amongst staff and projecting memorable experiences for all patrons in all venues.

Robin is a fun guy, and he loves others having fun as well. Robin's love for sports has always made him a team player and loves leading his team. His passion for people, his family and his friends is evidently shown through his dedication to his craft within Tadcaster

Christian “Suzu” Suzuki-Orellana

Creator of the Kagano Bar Pop-Up and Head Bird at Wildhawk SF

Christian "Suzu" Suzuki-Orellana is from the San Francisco Bay Area but grew up in Tokyo. Born into the restaurant industry-his grandparents owned and operated a small restaurant company that consisted of four restaurants, read more a cocktail bar, and a ranch that sourced all of the business' produce-Suzu traveled to Japan twice a year starting at the age of 12 to learn about hospitality, food, and management. Whether behind the bar (most notably at 15 Romolo, Tradition, Benjamin Cooper, and Wildhawk) or at cocktail competitions, he strives to take the lessons learned from his grandparents and adapt them to his everyday work, and his creations are heavily inspired by memories, flavors, and dreams of Tokyo. Suzu's career highlights include becoming a National Finalist for Bacardi Legacy (2018), Bombay Sapphire's Most Imaginative Bartender (2020), and one of Punch's Bartenders in Residence (2021); being featured on Imbibe magazine's Imbibe 75 list (2022), received the Rising Star Community Award from StarChefs, and nominated for Tales of the Cocktail Foundation's Bartender of the Year (Top 10, 2022 & 2023); and most recently, competing on Netflix's hit tv show, Drink Masters (2022).

Joshua Weed


Josh Weed runs the bar program at Morimoto Napa while leaning into management after first joining the Morimoto restaurant group in 2016 as bar tender. read more Josh got his start behind the bar almost eighteen years ago in Santa Barbara, California after graduating from UC Santa Barbara in 2005. After graduating with a Culinary Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon, Josh joined the team at Masa’s, in San Francisco, where he became a chef de partie at the Michelin starred Bay Area mainstay before departing for Napa in 2012. While working in the wine industry, Josh once again returned to the shaker and jigger for the opening of The Thomas by AvroKO Hospitality Group where he was able to learn from some of the titans of the industry. Since becoming bar manager at Morimoto Napa in 2019, Josh has released seasonal cocktail menus that push the boundaries of creativity and flavor by seeking inspiration from classic culinary dishes from around the world. Shortly after launching the opening cocktail menu with the Morimoto team at the Fairmont in Taghazout Bay, in Morocco Josh left to build two new bar programs from the ground up; The Bitter Bar and, what is known locally, as The Gin Bar. While creating and managing two bar programs with strong and unique identities side by side, Josh learned to expand knowledge of spirits and flavors while delivering two separate experiences on the same block. Josh returned last month to the Morimoto team to take on new challenges. With his culinary experience and travel to nearly fifty countries around the world, Josh brings a wide breadth of knowledge and experience to his bar programs.

Scott Taylor

My name is Scott Taylor, I currently am the Beverage Director of Harris' Restaurant in San Francisco. read more I moved to San Francisco in 2003 while attending the California Culinary Academy up on graduation I worked in a handful of restaurants as a chef in all aspects of the kitchen. After a few years I transferred to the front of the house where I ran programs in high end restaurants, bars and nightclubs. I have been featured in many articles from Uproxx, Forbes, Food and Wine to Tasting Panel. Judged many bar and wine competitions such as Mendocino Wine Competition and SF International Wine Competition etc...

Andi Ichim

Half russian half gypsy born in Transylvania, adopted by The States read more - in the industry for the last 14 years
- decorated competitor @ multiple mixology & flair bartending competitions
- guest show bartender @ multiple TV shows

Eleonora Biason

Deputy Restaurant Manager at abc Kitchens within The Emory

Meet Eleonora, with over 12 years of hospitality expertise across restaurants and luxury hotels. For the past 8 years, she's been a key player at Rosewood London. Starting as a Bartender at Scarfe's Bar, renowned among The World 50 Best Bars, and then later led as Bar Manager The Gin Bar at Holborn Dining Room. read more Her boundless energy and passion define her approach to hospitality. She shares her mixology skills as a guest on Sunday Brunch TV and serves as a Spirits Guide for Drinks Distilled e-commerce. Eleonora's success includes winning the Four Pillars Gin competition, earning her the chance to craft her own gin in Australia.

William Campbell-Rowntree

Head Bartender at Raffles London at The OWO

William Campbell-Rowntree currently sits as Head Bartender in Raffles London at The OWO. Being part of the pre-opening and opening team. He has developed and over seen the drinks development across the two bars and four restaurants within the building. read more Mainly based at the Guards Bar & Lounge, a splendid new watering hole for London, on the ground floor, this is the hotel's main bar for guests and visitors looking to enjoy the majestic pomp and circumstance of Whitehall. The bar champions a fantastic cocktail menu “The Flavours of Raffles” as well as having a signature Slings list including the Raffles classic and the modern take in The London Sling.

William has always been in creative environments having studied Music and the arts. However, his love of Hospitality became the perfect outlet for this creativity and has worked in cities all across the country along side his studies, including Liverpool, Manchester & Newcastle.

In 2018 he made the move to London where he joined Artesian at The Langham. Working alongside industry powerhouses Anna Sebastian and Remy Savage he focused his skills and ability, moving up to Bar Supervisor. While art Artesian he worked with the team that regained into Worlds 50 Best Bars, Best Team and Best Menu. While also competing and winning competitions personally.

In the past few years William has focused and specialised in opening bars, this ranges from Corporate Offices, Small independents and culminating in Raffles London at The OWO. William champions his breadth of knowledge and understanding of many different areas within Hospitality. From 5* hotels, independents and events work across the board means his understanding of the industry goes far. William knows these environments are crucial in career development and hopes he can offer some of his knowledge to the future of Hospitality.

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