It’s that time of the year again when we put together our thinking caps and analytical minds to find the leaders in India’s food and beverage and hospitality business. But before we look at 2024, let’s see what 2023 had in store.
In the first edition, Zee Zest Unlimit Awards 2023 recognised and awarded some of the movers and shakers of the food and beverage and hospitality industry from India. From neighbourhood cafes to upscale progressive Indian restaurants, the awards were chosen and handed over by a discerning panel of jury members.
The panelists included experts and veterans from the hospitality industry such as chef and restaurateur Anahita Dhondy, chef Ranveer Brar, chef Kunal Kapur, pastry chef Vinesh Johny, TV host, chef and author Maria Goretti, beverage expert Keshav Prakash, chef and food historian Rakesh Raghunathan, content creator and author Indrajit Lahiri, entrepreneur and podcaster Aneesh Bhasin, author and entrepreneur Rocky Mohan and distinguished hotelier Diwan Anand. From a list of changemakers, the jury had to in the most unbiased fashion find those who not only made a difference to the industry but also pushed boundaries that took them out of their comfort zone. Apart from brands, awards were also given to individuals who have been recognised for their approach to food, drinks, travel and even books.
The list of winners in the food and beverage categories for 2023 included Izumi, Goa (Best Japanese Restaurant), The Craftery by Subko, Mumbai (Best Café), Yogisattva, Mumbai (Best Vegan Restaurant), Avartana, ITC Royal Bengal, Kolkata (Best Progressive Indian Restaurant), Cavatina, Goa (Best Indian Regional Restaurant), Raeeth Goa (Best Nightclub), Sidecar, New Delhi (Best Cocktail Bar), Botticino, Trident Bandra Kurla - Mumbai (Best Italian Restaurant), Paradria Prezeres, Goa (Best Bakery), Yum Yum Cha, New Delhi (Best Pan-Asian Restaurant), Sula Rasa Cabernet Sauvignon (Best Indian Wine), White Rhino Brewing, Bhopal (Best Indian Craft Beer), Jaisalmer (Best Indian Craft Gin).
In the individuals’ categories, Anunay Sood won the Digital Travel Influencer Award whereas Uma Raghuraman won the award for Digital Food Influencer.
In travel, the awards went to Six Senses Vana, Dehradun (Best Wellness Resort), Barefoot at Havelock, Andaman Islands (Best Sustainable Resort), The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur (Best Luxury Resort) and ITC Grand Chola, Chennai (Best Luxury Hotel).
And last but not the least, Rohit Khattar, founder-chairman of Old World Hospitality Private Limited, was honoured with the 'Icon of the Year' award for his contribution to the hospitality industry.
Needless to say, the 2024-edition of the Unlimit Awards are going to take the whole experience a notch above. The upcoming edition has a few new faces on the jury panel and has also added interesting categories for the awards section.
The new categories include: Most Stunning Location + Experience, Best New Restaurant, Best Restaurant in a 5 Star Hotel, Best State Tourism Board, Best International Tourism Board, Best Boutique Hotel, Best Heritage Hotel, Best Indian Whisky, Best Food Brand of the Year, Best Celebrity Style Maverick of the Year, Best Sustainability Champion, Buzzing Lifestyle Brand Of The Year, Best Critic Of The Year, Best Foreign Chef, Best Book/ Author (Food/Travel), Best Designed Restaurant, Best Concept in the restaurant category, Best F&B Pop-Up, Mad About Provenance, Best Legacy, Best Cloud Kitchen, Best QSR, Best Indian Restaurant Outside India, Best Chef Of Indian Origin Outside India.
The jury members for the 2024-panel are travel and food writer Priya Ganapathy, pastry chef and educator Vinesh Johny, head of programming for Zee Zest Srikanth Malladi, Indian filmmaker Hansal Mehta, celebrity chef and TV presenter Shipra Khanna, chef and restaurateur Anahita Dhondy Bhandari, celebrity chef and MasterChef India judge Ranveer Brar, chef and food historian Rakesh Raghunathan, chefpreneur, F&B consultant and TV presenter Ajay Chopra, TV presenter, chef, author and actor Maria Goretti, blogger Nivedith Gajapathy, musician Anish Sood, photographer Ajay Sood, independent consultant/advisor for craft spirits Priyanka Blah, travel and food writer Anurag Mallick, entrepreneur and podcaster Aneesh Bhasin, and content creator, writer and speaker Ashwin Rajagopalan.
To register your brand/restaurant in the featured categories for the Zee Zest Unlimit Awards 2024, please follow this link.