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‘The Big F Awards 2016’

~Gurgaon’s Biggest Food Awards successfully concludes with a lot of fanfare ~

August 4th 2016, Westin: It was the best of nights, it was the most spectacular entertainment and it was the delight of foodies across Gurgaon-NCR, as the popular The Big F Awards 2016, announced the winners for this year.  The glittering evening witnessed many a well known name not just from the F&B industry, but from the entertainment industry as well. The panel of judges, gracing the occasion consisting of acclaimed chefs, Kunal Kapoor,  Manjit Gill, and Saby Gorai; while the critics include food historian, Osama Jalali, well known critic Rinku Madan and the founder of The Big F Awards, Indian Food Freak and Gurgaon Food Freak, Pawan Soni. Also present were luminaries like Chef Manish Mehrotra, Chef Ajay Chopra, ex MasterChef India judge, Chef Bikramjit Roy, Chef Aditya Bal, Rocky and Mayur, Chef Manisha Bhasin as well as the effervescent Shibani Kashyap, who even regaled the audiences with a scintillating live performance. 

The Big F Awards 2016, announced the winners for this year.  The glittering evening witnessed many a well known name not just from the F&B industry, but from the entertainment industry as well.
 L-R Kanchan, Chef Kunal Kapur, Shibani Kashyap, Pawan Soni and Rajan Sethi

The Big F Awards 2016, announced the winners for this year.  The glittering evening witnessed many a well known name not just from the F&B industry, but from the entertainment industry as well.
 L-R Mayur Sharma, Pawan Soni, Rocky Singh-

The Big F Awards 2016, announced the winners for this year.  The glittering evening witnessed many a well known name not just from the F&B industry, but from the entertainment industry as well.
 L-R Pawan Soni, Chef Saby Gorai, Rinku Madan, Chef Manjit Gill, Osama Jalali, Chef Kunal Kapur, Chef Manisha Bhasin-

The Big F Awards 2016, announced the winners for this year.  The glittering evening witnessed many a well known name not just from the F&B industry, but from the entertainment industry as well.
L-R Shibani Kahsyap and Rocky Singh-

The evening started off with a bang with live stand-up comedy by Jeeveshu Ahluwalia (who was also the emencee for the award ceremony), post which the award ceremony was held among a lot of good will and friendly banter. The lively award presentation kicked off with a fitting tribute with the release of the special theme anthem, which has been entirely composed, written, directed, choreographed and performed by members of Gurgaon Food Freak as a special thanks to the restaurateurs. The level of goodwill garnered by the awards was amply showcased by the enthusiastic and overwhelming response that the public choice awards received in terms of votes with over 37,000 individual votes across the various categories.

Shibani Kashyap showed her delight on the awards by saying, “Music is the food of love, but the love of food, truly dictates everything. These awards are amazing because they showcase so much creative talent in Gurgaon. It is a great tribute and encouragement to those hard working restaurateurs, marketers and home entrepreneurs who need the encouragement and support to keep innovating and raising the benchmark.”

Pawan Soni, Founder Indian Food Freak and The Big F Awards commented on the event, “The success of The Big F Awards may be celebrated in awards to the restaurants, but each and every person who is a part of these awards is a winner! Over the years Gurgaon has witnessed a vibrant F&B scenario and this is possible not only because of the inventive and talented restaurateurs and chefs but also the very vibrant foodie community. The Big F awards have become a benchmark for food innovation, dedication and talent in Gurgaon and have received great support from the entire industry and community.”

The Big F Awards were graciously hosted by venue partner, Westin Hotel, Gurgaon on 4th August, 2016. The event sponsors on board were Unilever Food Solutions, Cociao, Villars, Fork N Spoon, Whiskies of The World, Grover Zampa and Radio One.

The Methodology :
The Big F Awards followed a stringent short listing process that went through various stages. Winners were declared across five contenders in each category.

The Jury’s Choice awards where the jury selected their own winners in each category with each jury member having one vote. 

The Popular Choice awards where the nominated contenders were awarded through a public voting system.

The Chefs :

Chef Manjit Gill, quite frankly, needs no introduction. Surely everyone knows that he is the Corporate Chef of ITC Hotels overseeing more than 100 restaurants of this hotel group ? That apart, he is also the President of the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA). However the greatest quality of Chef Manjit Gill lies in the fact that, in spite of his iconic status, he remains down to earth as is evident from these words of his: “Though I am learning still, I would love to see myself as a teacher someday. I cannot think of becoming an entrepreneur as I cannot be anything apart from a chef even in the future.” 

Need we say more about this food titan?

Chef Kunal Kapur is a familiar face to all having been a host and judge of the TV series MasterChef India Season 1, 2 and 3 on Star Plus, Junior MasterChef India Season 1 and MasterChef USA. He has recently opened a new restaurant in Dubai – Patiala by Kunal Kapur. Chef Kunal Kapur has won many accolades. As mere examples, he has been recognised as amongst the Best Chefs in India by the National Weekly Magazine of India Today and the Indian Culinary maestro, Jiggs Kalra, titled him as "the next big guy in kebabs and curries in India”.

Chef Saby Gorai can display almost as many awards on his lapels as generals - best Chef of India as awarded by the President of India (youngest chef in India to receive this award), Silver Hat presented by the Indian Culinary Forum, marked as “5 people to watch out for” in Fortune India 2013, etc.  Having been instrumental in building up numerous success stories in the restaurant line such as Kitchens for Ai – The Japanese Restaurant, The Love Hotel, Lap – The Club, Olive Beach, Olive Qutub and the Moving Kitchen by Olive and Lavaash, he also runs a boutique consultancy company called “Fabrica by Chef Saby”.       

The Critics : 

Osama Jalali is a seasoned food critic and consultant who contributes mainly for The Hindu apart from other publications. Osama is a rare species amongst food critics/journalists in as much as he has not just restricted himself to  writing about food but has also wielded his hands in the kitchen whether by way of cooking or curating community/khandaan (Awadhi, Rampuri, Shahjahani, Nizami) based menus with his mother Nazish Jalali for hotels and private dawats. Born and brought up in the by lanes of Old Delhi, his parental roots are drawn from the erstwhile princely state of Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. 

Pawan Soni is the founder - member and CEO of Indian Food Freak, a blog that he started to appreciate the art of cooking and connect with like-minded foodies. That apart, he also does restaurant reviews for various publications and food blogs and administers various food and wine related groups on Facebook which have a huge fan following. 

Rinku Madan is an acclaimed Gourmand, ex Editor of ‘Times Nightlife Guide’, writer with The Economic Times. The Sunday Times and The BBC Food Guide. She recently completed her studies in Global Journalism at the Harvard University studied apart from studying ‘Sparkling wine making’ with one of India’s leading Winery. She had earlier studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York to certify in the arena of Food Writing.

About Indian Food Freak

Indian Food Freak is known for its credibility in the food blogosphere. Founded by Pawan Soni as a platform to appreciate the art of cooking and connecting with likeminded foodies, the website is currently one of the biggest food blogs in India with a monthly readership of almost a 100,000 pages every month and an Alexa ranking of nearly 25000. Offshoots of this website are Facebook groups related to food and wine namely, Indian Food Freak with a followership of 27,000 plus dedicated foodie members (a forum where amateur chefs and food lovers share their experiences and post their recipes as a result of which, it has turned into a veritable F&B Encyclopedia), Gurgaon Food Freak with 16,000+ members (a platform for debates and discussions on the food scene in Gurgaon coupled with monthly not-for-profit events in hand-picked restaurants which have become the talk of the town and are booked within hours of uploading the event invitations in the group) and Indian Food Bloggers Network (with 23,000+ members) apart from the Gurgaon Wine Club, Mumbai Food Freak , Ranchi Food Freak, UAE Food Freak, Bangalore Food Freak, Kolkata Food Freak and Gurgaon Helpline.

Joint (Jury)
Indian Cuisines
North Indian
Dhaba by Claridges
Made in Punjab
Indian Regional Cuisine
Coastal Reef
World Cuisine
All Day Dining in a 5 Star Hotel
Spectra (The Leela Ambience)
Seasonal Tastes (The Westin, Gurgaon)
American Cuisine
Hard Rock Cafe
 Smokey’s BBQ and Grill, Cyber Hub
Café (Without Alcohol)
Di Ghent Cafe
Chinese Cuisine
Big Wong
European Cuisine
The Wine Company
Italian Cuisine
Prego (The Westin)
Pasta Bowl Company
Korean/ Japanese Cuisine
Eest (The Westin)
Mediterranean Cuisine
Olive Bistro
The California Boulevard
The California Boulevard
Pan Asian Cuisine
Eest (The Westin)
Gurgaon Special
Angels in my Kitchen
Baker Street
The Kebab Factory
Pirates of Grill
Food Truck /Delivery Outlets
Street Foods by Punjab Grill
Monty’s Chicken Wings
Home Baker
Dessert Art (Deepali Modi)
De Cakery (Divya Sreeji)
Home Chefs
Gul’s Kitchen (Gul Ali)
Marwadi Khana (Abhilasha Jain)
Mrs. Ahmed’s Kitchen (Shaista Iqbal)
Online Food Delivery Model
World in a Box
Mealability – The Flavour of Kashmir
Sushi Junction
Tossin (Crusty Gourmet Pizza & More)
Best Stocked Wine Bar
The Wine Company
Rubicon Bar & Cigar Lounge (The Leela)
Micro Brewery
Soi 7 – Pub & Brewery
Pub /Bar
Soi 7 – Pub & Brewery
The Big F Awards Special
Best Chef (Standalone Outlet)
Ravi Saxena (Dhaba by Claridges)
Danny Elsoury (Zizo)
Best Inhouse PR
Prerna Grover (Café Delhi Heights)
Kanchan (The California Boulevard)
Nidhi Verma (The Leela)
Best Mixologist
Aman Dua (Farzi)
Sandeep Verma (Sandy’s Cocktail & Kitchen)
Best Restaurant Manager
Sushant Vyatsyan (Dhaba by Claridges)
Amit Rana (made in Punjab)
Debut of the year
Molecule Air Bar
Molecule Air Bar
Restaurant of the year 2016
Café Delhi Heights
The California Boulevard
Restaurateur of the year 2016
Vikrant Batra (Café Delhi Heights)
Zorawar Kalra (Massive Restaurant)

The Jury : 

The hard working jury had some of the most stellar names n the culinary world come together to cast their votes and make the choice.

The Critics
Chef Kunal Kapoor
Rinku Madan
Chef Manjit Gill
Pawan Soni
Chef Saby Gorai
Osama Jalali