THE IMPOSSIBLE TASK
You’re going to disagree with the list you’ll find on pages 18-38. You’re going to say “why did they put her there?” and “I can’t believe they don’t have him in it.” At one point you will snort derisively. It’s the nature of these lists. They provoke debate, they cause arguments, and they can’t ever please everyone.
At Caterer Middle East we think that’s what makes them interesting. It’s impossible to give an objective list of the 50 most ‘powerful’ people in the Middle East’s F&B industry, but we want to tell you who has impressed us over the last year with their new concepts, intriguing ideas, or star quality. We want to highlight the people that everyone listens to… and that everyone should be listening to.
And when you see a place where you know we are obviously wrong, don’t just shout at the magazine or iPad screen, tell us!
There’s no doubt that we would love to have more women on the list. Due to many factors, women don’t make as big a mark on the scene as men — but it’s certainly not for lack of talent. Hopefully we will see more in 2019 and we’d love it if you could draw our attention to any women you think deserve to make an appearance.
It’s also a very Dubai-centric list, despite great things happening all over the Middle East and North Africa. While we try to cast a wide net, it’s necessary for chefs and restaurateurs to shout about their achievements so we can find them. Is your brand doing well? Tell us about it. Opened a new restaurant? Tag us in your social media. Hired a chef you think will be the future? Let the world know.
The fluid nature of the industry means from year to year people can have restaurants shutting and opening, people coming and going. For many, success this year was simply maintaining what they had. For some, success was jettisoning what wasn’t working and beginning afresh. There’s no doubt it’s been a tough year for many and so those who moved forward will have found themselves moving up the list.
To do that they had to take a risk. Are you willing to do the same?
This month we got our first look onto the recently opened Bluewaters Island, which is set to be Dubai's next must-visit destination. The London Project is going to be among the first concepts to open and while there's no doubt that once it's fully open and the Dubai Eye wheel is in operation it will be an incredible place, there's always a risk in opening first in an area that doesn't have much else to draw the crowds in yet. Fortunately the team behind The London Project seem to be doing everything right in terms of bringing in a first rate team and curating a venue that offers a lot of value that can't be found elsewhere.
Simon Ritchie, Editor
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