[dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap] strong turnout of more than 1, 200 F&B industry players showed at One Farrer Hotel and Spa yesterday night for the 2016 Awards of Excellence (AOE) awards ceremony, held concurrently with the opening reception of the 20th World Gourmet Summit (WGS).

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The recipients of the industry-focused Awards of Excellence.

The AOE platform differs from the more common customer-oriented rankings as the judging panels comprise mostly industry veterans – think restaurateurs, chefs and hoteliers. A good half of the categories are dedicated to recognising typically unsung members of the industry such as managers, suppliers and culinary institutions. A few names recur from previous years, but there’s some new blood on the block.

Kirk Westaway, head chef of Jaan succeeding Julien Royer, and last year’s SanPellegrino Young Chef of the Year for SouthEast Asia, was named Rising Chef of the Year. “The first (award) and a sign of great things to come,” the jovial 30-year-old quipped. The Peak then fired off 5 questions in quick succession to the young Brit, hoping to catch him off guard.

(RELATED: Westaway and the global SanPellegrino Young Chef of the Year, Mark Moriarty, will be jointly serving up dinner at Jaan in a week.)

Corner House by Jason Tan snagged the New Restaurant of the Year award, edging out four other finalists, while Loh Lik Peng, prolific hotelier and chief of the Unlisted Collection, took one of two Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Of interest: Principal and organiser of the World Gourmet Summit Peter A. Knipp dismissed rumours that the WGS would be ending its 20-year run, and jokingly added: “(We’ll) see you at the 40th (year), why not?”

Full Awards List

Chef Awards

KitchenAid Chef of the Year
André Chiang, Restaurant Andre

Halton Group Executive Chef of the Year
David Senia, Knolls, Capella Singapore

Meat & Livestock Australia Rising Chef of the Year
Kirk Westaway, JAAN

Majestic Restaurant Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year
Leong Chee Yeng, Jade, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia Pastry Chef of the Year
Frederic Deshayes, Do.Main Bakery

KitchenAid Pastry Chef of the Year (Regional)
Gunther Wolfsgruber, MGM Macau – Macau, Hong Kong

KitchenAid Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year (Regional)
Ip Chi Cheung, Summer Palace, Hong Kong

PestBusters Chef’s Choice Award (Asian Cuisine)
Siu Kong Cheung, Chinese Chef of Summer Pavillion, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore

Sia Huat Chef’s Choice Award (Western Cuisine)
Lino Sauro, Gattopardo

At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy Apprentice Chef of the Year
Wong Chee Yee Aaron

RESTAURANT & SERVICE AWARDS

Indoguna Restaurant of the Year
Joël Robuchon Restaurant

Sanpellegrino New Restaurant of the Year
Corner House

Chope Asian Restaurant of the Year
Waku Ghin

Hennessy Bar of the Year
5 on Emerald Hill

Meiko Restaurant Manager of the Year
Kori Millar, Bar-Roque Grill

Luzerne Food & Beverage Manager of the Year
Christian Carminati, Fairmont Hotel

Sico Asia MICE & Banquet Manager of the Year
Bernard Lim, Shangri-La, Singapore

Winterhalter Outstanding Caterer of the Year
Grand Hyatt Singapore

TungLok Asian Restaurant of the Year (Regional)
Lung King Heen – Hong Kong

Manitowoc Restaurateur of the Year (Regional)
Will Meyrick, Sarong – Bali, Indonesia

WINE AWARDS

Unique Food and Wine Sommelier of the Year
Alan Au, Iggy’s

Culina Old World Wine List of the Year
CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Marina Bay Sands

Culina New World Wine List of the Year
Tippling Club

INDUSTRY AWARDS

Kühlbarra Asia Gourmet Retailer of the Year
NTUC Finest

Gourmet Distributor of the Year
Indoguna

Epicure Wine Distributor of the Year
Crystal Wines & Spirits Pte Ltd

Wine Retailer of the Year
1855 The Bottle Shop

Marrone Culinary Institution of the Year
Temasek Polytechnic

Electrolux Culinary Institution of the Year (Regional)
Sunway Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts – Malaysia

LIFESTYLE AWARDS

The Macallan Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Loh Lik Peng: Unlisted Collection
Lee Man Tat, Lee Kum Kee

Top Wines Sommelier Mentor Award
Ignatius Chan, Iggy’s