The award for Executive Chef of the Year at the 15th Hotelier Middle East Awards went to James Knight-Pacheco, Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman.
Knight-Pacheco impressed the judges with his outstanding food philosophy and using his innovative style to create a culinary experience. He is a role model to his team, teaching them to think of food as a human experience and carving a professional chef out of all his team members. He is committed to balancing the brand service standards and financial goals and is a leader in the food and beverage industry.
Unfortunately Knight-Pacheco could not be there to accept his award but Aaron McGrath from Six Senses Zighy Bay accepted it on his behalf.
Commenting on why Knight-Pacheco was deserving of the accolade, McGrath said: “A great executive chef is someone who is more than just a great cook. It’s someone who is a fantastic leader of people. The award tonight really goes home to the Six Senses Zighy Bay team who stood behind the chef and who made this happen.”
The award was presented by Sam Tucker, head of man power services at Transguard Hospitality
The highly commended nominee in the categoCedric Darthial, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai,The other nominees in the shortlist were:
• Daniel Hillier, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
• Dominic Petzold, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Dubai
• Gilles Arzur, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE
• Mohamed Husain Samara, InterContinental Regency Bahrain
• Steven Smalley,Hilton Dubai Jumeirah and Hilton Dubai The Walk
• Sudqi Naddaf, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
• Thony Renard, Crowne Plaza Muscat OCEC
• Winfried Helmetag, Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai