Shibu John picks up Chef of the Year Shibu John picks up Chef of the Year

Citymax Hotel, Al Barsha executive chef Shibu John was heralded as the 2018 Chef of the Year at the Hotelier Express Awards.

Fighting off tough competition, including highly commended nominee Spencer Lee Black from Rove Hotels, John received his award from ITP Media Group sales director, hospitality & supply chain Sandra Spencer.

The judges were impressed by John implementing a number of effective food and beverage promotions and menu offerings that resulted in a substantial increase in footfall and incremental revenues.

He told Hotelier: "Two years ago, we introduced a chicken wings promotion and that got very good feedback, so we decided to grow that into a chicken wings menu. That has been very popular with our guests. We have introduced other promotions including a burger promotions, like the donut burger, and then a couple of Indian style promotions, so one on biryani and one on curry."

A team player, he also works closely with the procurement team and suppliers to ensure quality food products within the hotel but with reduced food costs resulting in a higher profit margin and lower cost.

"I know all the suppliers very well and I know the quality of their products and I work closely with our procurement [department]. We arrange for suppliers to bring their products in, and we have tasting sessions to see the quality. But I also see about price, because we are a budget hotel and we have to communicate that very clearly to the suppliers," added John.

The Hotelier Express Awards 2018 took place at the Grosvenor House Dubai on February 28, 2018, and was supported by a range of industry partners including: A. Ronai, Duni, Diversey, Guest Supply, MMI, OSN For Business, and Tint.

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