Birmingham wine expert shortlisted for prestigious UK hospitality award

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Be Inclusive Hospitality has announced that a Birmingham Wine Director is a finalist for their prestigious, nation-wide BIH Spotlight Awards

Be Inclusive Hospitality, (BIH) a not-for-profit organisation, have announced the finalists for 2nd year of the BIH Spotlight Awards. The awards are designed to shine a light on exceptional businesses and individuals from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds in hospitality.

The winners of the BIH Spotlight Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony, taking place on Monday 16th October at M Threadneedle Street, London.

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BIH received over 300 public nominations for 15 awards categories including Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Drinks Professional of the Year plus best in Caribbean Food, African Food, South Asian Food, East & Southeast Asian Food, Middle Eastern Food, Writer of the Year, Head Office Impact, Bar or Pub of the Year, Brand of the Year, Rising Star and The Peoples’ Choice Awards for Person of the Year and Restaurant of the Year.

Which Birmingham wine expert has been shortlisted for the BIH Spotlight Awards?

Sonal Clare, Wine Director at The Wilderness restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter has made the shortlist in the Drinks Professional of the Year Category sponsored by Moet Hennessy UK.

Sonal is no stranger to awards, having won GQ Sommelier of the Year in 2018. The Wilderness is renowned for its ‘rock and roll’ fine dining served in a restored factory against a backdrop of rock, punk and heavy metal.

The wine wonder faces stiff competition in the category with Stephanie Wangui, Senior Sommelier at Noble Rot - London; Jeri Kimber-Ndiaye, Head Sommelier at The NoMad Hotel - London; and Wine Educator, Shane Jones also finalists.

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Sonal Clare, wine director at The Wilderness in the Jewellery Quarter in BirminghamSonal Clare, wine director at The Wilderness in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham
Sonal Clare, wine director at The Wilderness in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham | The Relationship Co

Who are the judges at the BIH Spotlight Awards?

This year’s judging panel plays host to some of the hospitality industry’s most influential figures including Culinary Director of Rare Restaurants, Mike Reid and Co-founder of Tayer & Elementary, Monica Berg.

They will also be joined by Founder of Juma Kitchen Philip Juma; Writer, Food and Diversity Consultant Mallika Basu; Chief Executive Umbrella Training Adele C.Oxberry; Chef Consultant for Tiger & Rabbit and Bamboo Bowls Jay Morjaria; Chef, Author and Restaurateur Shelina Permalloo; Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrell; Founder & Director of Mum Craig Prentice; Owner, Presenter of Wood & Water April Jackson; Director of Susa Comms Piers Zangana; Owner of Happy Endings Terri Mercieca; Chef Director Dominic Taylor; Founder of Celestial Peach Jenny Lau; Founder and Executive Director of Peach 20/20 Peter Martin; Found of Home Hospitality & Actually Good Lauren Barnett.

What has Be Inclusive Hospitality said about his year’s awards?

Founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, Lorraine Copes, said: “Following the success of our very first BIH Spotlight Awards last year, we’re really looking forward to celebrating more of our industry’s unsung talent. We’re over the moon with the number of applications we’ve received this year and can’t wait to raise a glass to all our finalists, alongside our incredible judging panel, at our awards ceremony on the 16th October.”

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