A TOP chef from York has been named Best Chef of the Year.

Be Inclusive Hospitality, (BIH) a not-for-profit organisation, has crowned Ahmed Abdalla, head chef at Legacy at The Grand, their Chef of the Year Award.

They say their awards shine a light on exceptional businesses and individuals from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds in hospitality.

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Ahmed's category, sponsored by caterer.com, meant he was up against Dixie Fingal-Rock Innes, chef at Sohaila Restaurant - London; Eric Allangba, founder/ chef patron of Funky Feast - London and Lalit Kumar, executive chef at IHG.

And he was presented with his award at a ceremony, last night (October 16) at award-winning restaurant M Threadneedle Street in London.

York Press: Ahmed pictured with the winners on the nightAhmed pictured with the winners on the night (Image: Supplied)

This year’s judging panel played host to some of the hospitality industry’s most influential figures, including Culinary Director of Rare Restaurants, Mike Reid and Chief Executive of Umbrella Training, Adele C.Oxberry, who shared a few words during the ceremony about this year’s difficult judging process, due to the high quality of submissions.  

Founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, Lorraine Copes, said: “Last night marked an extraordinary celebration of outstanding talent in the hospitality industry.

"The ambience was unparalleled, and I express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who contributed to this event.

"Whether it was our esteemed judging panel, our sponsors, and the hospitality community who nominated their favourites. It was a privilege to be surrounded by so many passionate and dedicated individuals, and I offer my hearty congratulations to all our deserving winners.”

York Press: Ahmed in his day jobAhmed in his day job (Image: Supplied)

“‘I’m truly honoured to have won Chef of the Year at the Be Inclusive Hospitality Spotlight awards," said Ahmed.

"Working in such a diverse team at The Grand and as part of the wider hospitality landscape, I understand the importance of embracing each of our differences and celebrating what each person brings to the team.

"Naturally, this contributes to innovation and creativity in the kitchen, further elevating our guest experience which is evident from our recent 3 AA-Rosette awards."

York Press: Inside Legacy at The GrandInside Legacy at The Grand (Image: Supplied)

BIH received over 300 public nominations for 15 awards categories including Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Drinks Professional of the Year plus best in Caribbean Food, African Food, South Asian Food, East & Southeast Asian Food, Middle Eastern Food, Writer of the Year, Head Office Impact, Bar or Pub of the Year, Brand of the Year, Rising Star and The Peoples’ Choice Awards for Person of the Year and Restaurant of the Year.

This year's judging panel played host to some of the hospitality industry's most influential figures including Culinary Director of Rare Restaurants, Mike Reid and Co-founder of Tayer & Elementary, Monica Berg.York Press: Fine dining at Legacy at The GrandFine dining at Legacy at The Grand (Image: Newsquest)