Two unique awards programs that aim to catapult Kenya’s culinary and beverage service industries to globally recognized and competitive levels have been launched in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi yesterday.
In the spirit of re-branding Nairobi, the County Executive of Trade Industrialization, Cooperative Development & Tourism, Ms. Anna Othoro, touched on the need to differentiate “Nairobi as a Brand” and explore the “Live-Love Nairobi” campaign through culinary tourism. It was mentioned at the launch that Nairobi has so much to explore and so much to discover in terms of food and beverage experiences through world-class cuisines and the unique Kenyan hospitality.
After an hugely successful first chapter of the Chefs Delight™ Awards program in 2012/2013, International Quality Awards Ltd. and Go Places™, the country’s authoritative hospitality and tourism marketing brand, yesterday officially announced the commencement of the long-awaited and highly-anticipated 2nd chapter of the awards program, at the Louis Leakey auditorium at the Kenya National Museum, Nairobi.
The start of this year’s awards programs was formally announced by Group CEO of International Quality Awards Ltd. Mr. Mansoor Jiwani – a former Kenya Utalii College chef – who trained under the auspices of the erstwhile Swiss hotel school back in the early 70s and who also brought back a silver medal for Kenya in 1978 from the prestigious International Hotel Schools Competition held at the Hotelympia, London, UK.
This year’s International Quality Awards have added an exciting new element to the awards program, where another corresponding industry awards program will be run side-by-side complimenting the Chefs Delight Awards™, and this will be the Bar & Mixology Awards™ 2015. The next 3 1/2 months will see the country’s leading restaurant and bar teams battle it out for ultimate supremacy of the top-most accolades as the best in their categories and voted by their own paying customers.
The Kenya Tourist Board endorses Chefs Delight as an avenue to achieving global recognition of Kenya as an outstanding global tourism destination.
Kenya Tourism Board’s representative, Orumoi Tajeu Jonah, in his speech said there was a need to drive and support the effective marketing of Kenya’s tourism products professionally and transparently while enriching the lives of Kenyans, recognizing food and beverage as an important player in displaying Kenya’s diversity, culture, and creativity.
This year’s consumer voting process, which will be carried out via the IQAL mobile application, will begin after the launch which will be held on September 25, 2015. The launch will be a Culinary & Beverage Service Extravaganza where the country’s leading restaurants and bar establishments will showcase their experiences directly to Kenya’s largest foodie and beverage fraternity. After the voting process has begun, there will be a monthly prize-giving ceremony for consumers who have participated in the quality-enhancing process. Both awards programs will then culminate in a black-tie, red-carpet Gala Awards Ceremony, where Kenya’s best will be feted by local, regional, and international stakeholders and invited VIP guests.
In his speech, Mr. Mansoor Jiwani, said: “When International Quality Awards first began its journey, we had a noble goal in mind and set out to do what no other awards program has EVER been done before. Having worked as a chef myself in the industry very many years ago, I asked our IQAL awards teams to create an unbiased industry awards program that would continually help build and enhance our culinary and beverage service sector to internationally-acclaimed levels – one where participating establishments and their service teams could fairly compete to be the best in their categories, not judged by a panel of judges, nor judged by individuals on the Internet who have never visited and experienced what these establishments have to offer, but more importantly based on their own clients’ true opinions. And let’s face it, who better to judge these experiences participating establishments have to offer, other than their own paying customers. So what we can categorically say to all nominated establishments and their teams is welcome to Kenya’s winners’ circle, where winners of these awards will be the BEST as judged by their own paying customers.”
The press conference and media launch was attended by the leading members of the culinary and beverage service sector fraternity including owners and managers of participating establishments, executive hotel and individual restaurant chefs, expert barmen and mixologists, major hospitality and tourism stakeholders, besides the Kenya Tourism Board and Nairobi County. Also present were representatives of quality food manufacturing companies which goes hand in hand with these prestigious quality awards programs.