Revealed: The expert judges panel supporting the inaugural JLT Restaurant Awards
JLT Restaurant Awards 2017: Meet the Judges!
Online voting for the inaugural JLT Restaurant Awards kicked off last week and over 2,800 JLT residents, office dwellers, and visitors have already voted for their favourite Jumeirah Lakes Towers restaurants, cafes, and bars. The awards feature 16 publicly voted categories, plus three categories, which are decided by four judges: Best Overall, Best Newcomer, and Most Unique Concept.
Three Dubai-based restaurant-industry insiders are joined by a JLT resident, who we selected from a large number of applications following a social media “recruitment campaign”.
Meet this year’s #JLTdiningAwards2017 judges:
From top left to bottom right: Martin Kubler is the CEO of sps:affinity and the inventor of the JLT Restaurant Awards. He’s a seasoned hotelier, marketer, and hospitality, leisure, and tourism consultant, who has lived in Dubai since 2004 and worked in and around JLT since 2007. Martin is joined by Andreas Mensch, the Executive Chef of the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach. Andreas’ culinary artistry consistently draws crowds to the hotel’s restaurants and the hotel’s Friday Brunch, “Le Grande. Brunch by Sofitel JBR” has a loyal following. Over the years, Andreas has worked in kitchens in the UAE, Hungary, Russia, USA, Latvia, and Austria.
Samantha Wood, better known as the “Foodiva”, is the publisher of the impartial, multi-award-winning restaurant review website FooDiva (www.foodiva.net) and the curator of the popular mystery #DineAroundDubai experiences (www.foodiva.net/events). Samantha has lived in Dubai for over 18 years and is also a writer, F&B / digital consultant and speaker.
The public search across the JLT Dining Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for a JLT resident to join the rank of JLT Restaurant Awards judges yielded a large number of applications. In the end, we selected Richard Stratton, who’s perhaps better known to many as the voice of “Remix 92 with Rich”. Mind you, that’s not why we picked him (honestly!) – it just so happens that Richard is a long-time JLT resident and – unbeknown to many – used to be a professional chef with a string of successful restaurant launches under his belt.
The four judges will play a crucial role in the final stages of the 2017 JLT Restaurant Awards. Sure, they’ll decide the winners of the Best Overall, Best Newcomer, and Most Unique Concept categories, but they’ll also scrutinize the shortlist of the 16 publicly voted categories after public online voting has ended on 31st October 2017. The judges will look at guest satisfaction scores, overall concept, menus, and a number of other factors for the top three outlets in each category to decide the winners and runner-ups, which will then be announced at the awards ceremony in November.
Interested in attending the awards ceremony? Contact us!
The 2017 JLT Restaurant Awards are sponsored by:
Public Café, Aroma Basmati Rice / Ankur Trading, Pitfire Pizza Dubai, Blossom Tree Flower Shop, Localyser, Foodiva, Liquid of Life, Betawi Café, Indo Indo, Wolf & Friends Lounge, Servicexcellence, and DNA1 Films.