Mallins, who works across three outlets in the region (Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha), was noted by the judges to be an excellent manager, respected and loved by his team, customers and counterparts alike.

With a decade of experience working in the UK and the Middle East, the judging panel noted that Mallins excels in passing on his vast knowledge to his team and creating offers that generate additional revenue, while continually rolling out successful campaigns that comply with the global brand values of Hakkasan.

The trophy was collected on stage by Tamer Yacoub, manager, Hakkasan Dubai, as Mallins was unable to attend the event.

Luca Antonelli, area manager – Middle East, from category sponsor San Pellegrino, presented the trophy.

Yacoub told Caterer Middle East that Mallins passes his knowledge onto the team through training, noting he spends a lot of time on this.

“Drew knows it is most important to build a team with the same knowledge and experience [as him], and to keep delivering the best experience to the guest.”

Reflecting on Mallin’s career and what impressed the judges, Yacoub says: “He started in London then moved to Doha and now looks after the Middle East. He is very good at making connections with guests and working with suppliers.”

The judging panel awarded highly commended in this category to Raven Rudolph from Karma Kafé.

The other shortlisted nominees were Vanessa Estremos, Après; Vasco Edgar, Diademas; Shyam Krishnakumar, Mint Leaf of London; and Job Guiyab, Tortuga Mexican Kitchen and Bar.

The eight annual Caterer Middle East Awards took place on June 1 at Conrad Dubai and this year’s sponsors include: category sponsors Figjam, SIAL Middle East, TSSC, Ronai, MMI, Aramtec, Al Rawdah, Sample Me, Bragard, Tequila Patron; water sponsor Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino, and coffee sponsor Dallmayr.