Awards 2019
Judges

Call for entries -

This year's judges

Industry leading figures working across design, architecture, hospitality and lifestyle media

Past judges have included the Editor in Chief of Wallpaper*, Marcus Wareing and Thomas Heatherwick.

Akira Back

Akira Back

Founder and CEO (Canada & Korea)

Bio

Born in Korea and raised in Aspen, Colorado, Chef Akira Back brings a sense of adventure and boundless creativity to his culinary creations. From extreme sports athlete to award-winning chef, Akira Back’s journey to culinary success has been anything but dull. For over 24 years, Chef Back has enticed the culinary world with his bold interpretations of Asian fare with American influence. Using only the high-quality ingredients and creating a culture of world-class service in a welcoming environment, Chef Back’s restaurants embody classic cuisine continuously featuring innovative dishes that use the finest ingredients from the world’s top purveyors.

Website
https://www.akiraback.com
Bruno Marti

Bruno Marti

Chief Brand Officer - 25hours Hotel Company (Germany)

Design excellence

Design excellence is achieved when extraordinary looks support the overall story of a place and – in hospitality – support the positive experience.

Bio

Bruno Marti is member of the 25hours strategic board and responsible for the branding and tonality of the currently twelve Hotels in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. He coordinates product and guest communication on all channels has been with the company since 2006. Marti obtained a Master in English linguistics at the University of Zurich and is a graduate of the Luzern Hotel School. His former employers include service providers in the fields of hospitality, air travel and medicine. In the course of his daily work he combines academic thoroughness with the tongue-in-cheek humor 25hours is known for.

Website
www.25hours-hotels.com
Chantelle Nicholson

Chantelle Nicholson

Group Operations Director / Chef Patron - Marcus Wareing Restaurants / Tredwells (UK)

Design excellence

Design excellence is functional and efficient. It must align with its surroundings whilst being attractive to the eye.

Bio

Chantelle Nicholson is the multi-award winning chef owner at Tredwells, as well as Group Operations Director for Marcus Wareing Restaurants. As one of the UK’s leading female names in the hospitality industry, Chantelle’s impressive ascent on the culinary career ladder and achievements to date set her apart as a remarkable talent and a source of inspiration to hospitality professionals across the UK.

Website
https://www.marcuswareing.com https://www.tredwells.com
Charles Khabouth

Charles Khabouth

CEO and Founder - INK Entertainment (Canada)

Design excellence

Design excellence is the ability to understand a client’s project concept and their target audience. It is the ability to pay exceptional attention to detail of who will experience the space and how they are tended to. I often find the best design experiences are layered, allowing for exploration and something new at each encounter.

Bio

Charles has been a recognized entrepreneur in the Canadian nightlife scene since the early 1980's. His risky ideas and determined point of view have set the foundation and fueled the aspiration for a thriving hospitality industry in Toronto. While his list of partners has included Loews Hotel & Resorts and Lifetime Developments for Bisha Hotel, Charles has brought a strategic and trailblazing philosophy to an otherwise stereotyped industry. This has earned him a spot amongst Canada's elite as a transformer that has changed the face of entertainment. In 2018, Khabouth was named The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, entertainment and hospitality.

Website
www.inkentertainment.com
David Yeo

David Yeo

Founder and CEO - Aqua Restaurant Group (Hong Kong)

Design excellence

I strongly believe excellence in design must start from functionality first and then form. Something that is beautiful but not practical or functional will simply be an art form? The other key element in excellent design is to ensure it is appropriate for the price point, concept and ambiance of what you are creating

Bio

David Yeo opened his first aqua restaurant in Hong Kong’s Soho district in August 2000. Today Aqua Restaurant Group has grown to 22 restaurants and bars in Hong Kong, Beijing and London (including traditional Chinese junk boats aqua luna and aqua luna II), embracing six different cuisines and delighting more than a million customers every year. David is the creative force of the Group, conceptualising its projects and carefully ensuring the balance of excellent food with stunning design and attentive service.

Website
https://aqua.com.hk
Emily Lloyd-Tait

Emily Lloyd-Tait

National Food and Drink Editor - Time Out (Australia)

Design excellence

Design excellence is like a perfect game of Tetris. It's managing to fit everything you need to run a successful hospitality business into a space and then ensuring it tessellates with the elements that make a venue inviting, attractive, and comfortable. If you haven't had to sacrifice form or function you've achieved design excellence.

Bio

Emily Lloyd-Tait is the editor of Time Out Australia's food and drink coverage, from new openings, to fresh reviews and features on the latest trends in dining. She chairs the annual Time Out Food Awards and Time Out Bar Awards in Sydney and Melbourne. She is an experienced bar and restaurant critic with a curiosity about everything edible in the wide world.

Website
https://www.timeout.com
Gemma Bell

Gemma Bell

Founder - Gemma Bell and Company (UK)

Design excellence

Design excellence is about being inspired by simplicity and craft. Good design is about understanding the guest and their journey through a space, it’s about making people feel special and welcome, no matter the style or decadence.

Bio

Having worked in restaurants to pay the rent while at music college, Gemma fell in love with the hospitality industry. The highs and lows became addictive and before long she was working full time for London’s latest and most exciting hotels and restaurants. Now, after setting up her own company, Gemma runs one of London’s leading hospitality PR agencies, Gemma Bell and Company Ltd, working with top chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers across the city, the country and around the world. Gemma’s sites Tom Kerridge, Yotam Ottolenghi, Angela Hartnett, Zetter Townhouses, The Curtain, The Pilgrm and more amongst her clients.

Website
http://www.gemmabellandcompany.com
Glenn Edwards

Glenn Edwards

Managing Director - LEON USA Inc. (USA)

Design excellence

Design excellence is about making a positive impact, changing how people feel and behave, physically and emotionally. Solving problems in a practical, sustainable and beautiful way. Inspiring a new way of being.

Bio

Glenn was responsible for launching LEON in North America as the Managing Director. His passion and experience lie in helping great brands reach their potential. Before joining LEON, Glenn worked for over 11 years building the UK-based sushi business, ITSU from one through to thirty shops. During this time, he was responsible for Operations, Training & Recruitment, Food, and Brand & Marketing.Glenn loved and admired LEON as a customer, so was a natural progression. He spent seven years as the LEON Operations Director, growing the restaurant count from 10 to over 50 locations in the UK and Europe.

Website
www.leon.co
Jason Strauss

Jason Strauss

Founding Partner - TAO Group (USA)

Design excellence

Design excellence is creating an environment that can captivate consumers within a unique space that also offers the most efficient and effective operational functionality.

Bio

A native New Yorker, Jason Strauss has found success through numerous endeavors and his mark on the hospitality world spans the United States and beyond. Strauss is a partner in TAO Group, a leading restaurant and nightlife company that develops, owns and operates many of the most successful food, beverage and nightlife entertainment venues in the world. Currently TAO Group boasts operations in New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Singapore and Sydney, Australia. An award-winning executive, his success with Marquee Nightclub was highlighted in a published study by Harvard Business School.

Website
taogroup.com
Justine Baker

Justine Baker

CEO - Solotel (Australia)

Design excellence

Design Excellence is … effortless, honest, intriguing, innovative, but it is the emotions it elicits that makes it unforgettable.

Bio

Justine has 15 years’ experience leading strategic opportunities at Solotel. These include the merger of Matt Moran's Morsul business into the Solotel group and the launch of our events business, Together with Solotel. Justine’s focus is on sustainable business growth, culture, authentic leadership and innovation. She leads an experienced and professional Executive Team who are driving investment in our existing properties, leveraging the latest in technology and ensuring the customer's experience is at the forefront of everything we do. Justine holds a Bachelor of Management, Tourism Management, London Business School Executive program and GAICD.

Website
https://solotel.com.au
Leigh Robertson

Leigh Robertson

Editor in Chief - ELLE Decoration Magazine (South Africa)

Design excellence

Design excellence is...an acute attention to detail but in a completely holistic sense. It entails mastering the conceptual and technical aspects of a design project with the softer, emotion-driven elements: How does it feel? How will the user experience it? What will be the lasting impression?

Bio

Leigh Robertson is a seasoned editor and journalist who has worked across the fields of design, decor, fashion, art, food, wine, luxury brands and travel for more than 20 years. Now Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration South Africa, she was previously the Editor of Condé Nast House & Garden. While she loves nothing better than exploring other parts of the world, she’s perfectly content being based in Cape Town with her husband and two cats, and spends her free time enjoying the city’s vibrant design, culture and dining scene.

Website
www.elledecoration.co.za
Levent Veziroglu

Levent Veziroglu

Founder & CEO - D.Ream (Turkey)

Design excellence

Design excellence is the perfect combination of creative and practical solutions.\nAn excellent design in restaurant business should fulfill the needs of that particular space and stimulate the senses. The design of the venue reflects the culinary and entertainment experience that it offers for its customers. So, it’s crucial that the design balances pragmatic and emotional needs of the brand.

Bio

Levent Veziroglu, born in 1967, graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences in 1989. He completed his post-graduate education in Economics at the American University, Washington DC, USA.\nIn addition to his teaching experience, he assumed various positions in public and international institutions throughout the years 1990-2007, such as Auditor at the Supreme Audit Court of Turkey, Head at the IMF Affairs and Balance of Payments Department for Undersecretary of Treasury and Senior Advisor for the IMF Executive Board.\nIn 2008, he joined Doğuş Group as the Executive Vice President at Doğuş Holding. Levent Veziroğlu is the Chief Executive Officer of D.ream, the leading food & beverage and entertainment company, since its foundation in April 2012.

Website
www.d-ream.com.tr
Lydia Forte

Lydia Forte

Group Director of Food and Beverage - Rocco Forte Hotels (UK)

Design excellence

Design excellence must work for the guests and staff, be innovative, comfortable, eclectic and surprising. The food and service come first, but the design is a close second that should complement the food and add some interest and drama.

Bio

Lydia Forte is Group Director of Food & Beverage at Rocco Forte Hotels. She is the daughter of Sir Rocco Forte and the niece of Olga Polizzi. Lydia is responsible for the group’s development of new restaurant and bar concepts. Under her leadership, Rocco Forte Hotels has seen a 15% year on year revenue growth. Since joining Rocco Forte Hotels in 2014, Lydia has opened Irene, at Hotel Savoy in Florence, Sophia’s Restaurant and Bar, at The Charles Hotel, Munich, Beck at Brown’s by Heinz Beck and Brasserie Prince at The Balmoral Hotel with Michel and Alain Roux.

Website
https://www.roccofortehotels.com
Christian Talpo

Christian Talpo

Co-Founder - Pirata Group (Hong Kong)

Design excellence

To me, Design Excellence is about combining style and beauty with comfort, whilst remaining pragmatic in the approach and functionality

Bio

From a small town in the North of Italy, Christian Talpo stepped into the hospitality business working in a hotel with foreign guests that sparked a new-found love of travel, service and languages. With passion and determination, he has garnered over 25 years of experience in the F&B industry, successfully heading up project operations for Restaurant Groups in Hong Kong. Christian’s adventurous spirit has taken him further than the boundaries of the ordinary businessman, with his morals and virtues evident in everything he is involved with. Christian loves food above all else and has an intrinsic understanding of diverse cultures and their cuisines.

Website
http://piratagroup.hk
Marie Kalt

Marie Kalt

Editor-in-Chief - AD Magazine (France)

Website
https://www.admagazine.fr
Maurice Terzini

Maurice Terzini

Restaurateur - Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, The Dolphin Hotel, Bondi Beach Public Bar, Ten Pieces and Goldy (Australia)

Design excellence

Design excellence is the ability to tell a silent story and translate a feeling through aesthetic. Design excellence is elegance regardless of the medium . A tee shirt, stool or a 5 star hotel. Design excellence is a beautiful adjective and everyone should embrace it... Design excellence is something I have not achieved but what drives me every day !!!

Bio

Restaurateur Maurice Terzini is one of the Australia’s most highly regarded creative entrepreneurs, best known for establishing several truly iconic Australian dining venues. With spectacular dining destinations, such as Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Caffe e Cucina, The Dolphin Hotel and the influential Melbourne Wine Room, Terzini has set a high benchmark for impeccable dining and is now turning his eye to establishing successful dining destinations in Asia. Terzini’s gift for dreaming the big picture and executing it, often ahead of his time and breaking ground in ideas, style and locations, have cemented his reputation as one of Australia’s most pioneering identities.

Website
www.idrb.com
Melinda Nettelbeck

Melinda Nettelbeck

Design Director - Nando's PERi-PERi (USA)

Design excellence

Design excellence is the art of creating an elevated experience, object, or space that evokes an emotional response and serves a consumer need-- a key driver in development success. When utilized correctly, design can be a conceptual tool that solves functional problems with aesthetic solutions. It should be deeply rooted in research and the understanding of consumer behaviors to, ultimately, create a visceral, interactive experience that sparks a connection.

Bio

Melinda is responsible for leading the development and design of new build and renovation projects in North America. Each and every Nando’s restaurant is uniquely designed and feature original art, earthy textures, and bright colors that reflect Nando’s sunny African-Portuguese heritage. She drives her designers to be both collaborators and curators by showcasing the creativity of South African makers and artists in each location. Melinda also works closely with the real estate development team throughout the site selection process and with the construction team on the execution of details, schedule, budget, and procurement. Prior to joining Nando’s Melinda was Director of Design for a boutique hospitality focused Architecture and Design Studio, HapstakDemetriou based in Washington, DC.

Website
https://www.nandosperiperi.com
Mel Marriot

Mel Marriot

Founder - Darwin & Wallace (UK)

Design excellence

Design excellence is a thoughtfully considered, beautifully executed interpretation of a space or building or need that results in a conversation and leaves a legacy.

Bio

Mel Marriott has had a career in hospitality spanning over twenty years. Working on large brands, including All Bar One, for Mitchells and Butlers, as well as smaller independent projects both in London and overseas. She founded Darwin and Wallace in 2012 with the support of The Imbiba Partnership and is passionate about the importance of great design and its role within her business. Since launching the independent bar group only six years ago and now home to No 11 Pimlico Road, No 32 The Old Town, No 1a Duke Street, No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, No 29 Power Station West, 601 Queen’s Rd and No 17 Dickens Yard, Mel’s vision has been to create a modern interpretation of a 21st century pub, innovative in design, local and independent and indicative of the area, serving drinks and seasonal food all day. “Redefining a formulaic Gastro Pub model with a modern, all day, creatively designed interpretation of what a pub should be. Our mantra is to look beyond the obvious, work harder than the rest, surround yourself with things you love.”

Website
http://darwinandwallace.co.uk/bars
Michael Spinks

Michael Spinks

Property & Development Director - Nando's (South Africa)

Design excellence

Design excellence is the ability to create an inspiring space that stimulates an emotional response in an individual adding to the experience. In a world where the experiential economy is a sought after, designers own the intellectual property that unlocks a brands potential.

Bio

Michael is a dynamic business leader with 13 years’ experience in the industries of property, design and construction. Michael is dedicated to helping and growing people and their businesses to facilitate organic growth of the South African design and craft industry. Michael is currently involved with the development of young South African designers through the work being done on the Nando’s Portal to Africa, creating an industry network to foster growth and transformation in this sector. He has a passion for South African design and is excited by the opportunity to take South African design to the world.

Website
https://www.nandos.co.za
Nick McCabe

Nick McCabe

CEO - Hakkasan Group (USA)

Design excellence

Design excellence is the perfect amalgamation of form and function. Not design for design’s sake, but design with a deep level of rationale.

Bio

CEO of Hakkasan Group, overseeing the international growth of the company's portfolio of dining, nightlife and hotel brands, including Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Omnia, Sake No Hana, Wet Republic and Herringbone.

Website
hakkasangroup.com
Olivia Westrom

Olivia Westrom

Design Director - Fortnum & Mason (UK)

Design excellence

Design excellence is a well-considered concept executed to perfection both in form, function and service. A space harmoniously combining details, proportions, lighting, flow and materials to give a memorable experience and a sense of well-being.

Bio

Olivia is the Design Director - Architecture for Fortnum & Mason. She oversees all new retail and hospitality projects, national and international with renown designers like Universal Design Studios, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and Speirs+Major. Previous to Fortnums she worked for Roman and Williams in NYC and as Head of Design for Faye Toogood in the UK.

Website
www.fortnumandmason.co.uk
Rebecca Caratti

Rebecca Caratti

Editor-in-Chief - Vogue Living (Australia)

Bio

Rebecca Caratti is the editor of prestige design and lifestyle brand Vogue Living. Appointed to the role in March 2018, she is responsible for the editorial direction and growth of the Vogue Living brand. With over 14 years’ experience in media, Caratti has a strong editorial and commercial approach to publishing with a sophisticated eye and modern take on lifestyle, fashion and culture. Caratti joined News in February 2015 as launch editor of lifestyle and culture brand Buro247.com.au. Here she was responsible for the editorial direction and growth of the digital platform in Australia. Before that she spent 15 months in London and Paris working as a freelance stylist and writer. Prior to her time overseas Caratti was the style editor at Vogue Australia. She was also market editor for Harper’s Bazaar Australia.

Website
www.vogue.com.au/vogue-living
Sadbir Sharma

Sadbir Sharma

Director of Food & Beverage - Mondrian Doha (UAE)

Design excellence

Design excellence is a vision realized taking elements of trend and local influence and combining it perfectly to create wonder. Mondrian Doha has executed on this vision by working alongside design extraordinaire Marcel Wanders to bring sbe’s Mondrian Doha to life staying true to its commitment to exclusive partnerships thereby ensuring design excellence. This year’s theme of The Great Build is synonymous with the design work behind our wonderlands

Bio

Sadbir Sharma joined sbe, the leading global lifestyle hospitality company, in 2013 as part of the pre-opening executive management team at Mondrian Doha. In his role as Director of F&B, Sadbir has been instrumental in developing the new brands and concepts for Mondrian Doha’s eight F&B outlets including Wolfgang Puck with CUT Restaurant and Chef Morimoto, bringing the first Morimoto restaurant to the region. He has spent more than 14 years in the region, previously working with The Ritz-Carlton hotels in Lake Tahoe, California and Doha, Qatar as the EAM i/c Food and Beverage and Assistant Director of Food and Beverage, respectively.

Website
https://www.morganshotelgroup.com/mondrian/mondrian-doha
Sam Christie

Sam Christie

Director - Longrain Sydney, Longrain Tokyo, The Apollo, The Apollo Ginza & Cho Cho San (Australia)

Design excellence

Design excellence is design that reflects your brand and offering, that is timeless, shows restraint in defining the space, co-exists with the existing building but also comfortable for guests and functional for staff.

Bio

Sam Christie is a restaurateur born and raised in Sydney. In 1999 Sam opened the ground breaking Longrain Restaurant & Bar in Sydney's Surry Hills. Longrain Melbourne followed in 2005. The Apollo opened in February 2012, in partnership with Jonathan Barthelmess and in 2014 they opened Cho Cho San together, a contemporary interpretation of the Japanese izakaya. Sam’s latest ventures have taken him to Tokyo Japan where he opened The Apollo, Ginza in April 2016 and where he opened Longrain, Ebisu in August 2017. Sam has been recognised by Australian Gourmet Traveller as one of the 50 most influential people in Australian food and wine and by Time Out who awarded him the Sydney Legend Award.

Website
www.longrain.com http://longrain.im-transit.co.jp www.theapollo.com.au www.chochosan.com.au http://theapollo.jp
Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

Chef Restaurateur (Australia & New Zealand)

Design excellence

Design to disarm' is my mantra

Bio

Sean Connolly is an English-born Australian chef, who has six restaurants in three corners of the globe: Dubai New Zealand and Australia. His latest venture is Dubai Opera, a contemporary New York brasserie His other venues The Morrison in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and The Balcony Byron Bay,In Adelaide, Sean’s Kitchen, while across the ditch, Auckland plays host to the two-hatted The Grill by Sean Connolly and the single-toqued Gusto at The Grand. Sean is a much-sought after consultant chef, working closely with global hotels, international airlines and restaurant groups to introduce his much-awarded style of ‘less is more’ approach to cooking.

Website
https://www.seanconnolly.com.au
Steve Cox

Steve Cox

Founder - Faucet Inn (UK)

Sophie Grove

Sophie Grove

Senior Editor - Monocle (UK)

Design excellence

Design excellence is the ability to create environments and objects that make us feel happy, secure and grounded. I think a good designers are humane ones: they value tactility, warmth, light and fresh air over creative statement.

Bio

Sophie started out as a writer at Newsweek magazine before joining Monocle as senior editor. Since then she has written about art, design and foreign policy (and everything in-between) with a focus on modernism. She has travelled widely in the Middle East and Africa and lived in Turkey for two years where she set up Monocle's Istanbul bureau. She now lives in Paris.

Website
monocle.com
Tim Petrillo

Tim Petrillo

Co-Founder / CEO - The Restaurant People (USA)

Design excellence

“Design excellence is critical in the hospitality industry, from dynamic aesthetics that reflect and complement a concept with astute attention to detail, to a wow-factor that enhances the overall customer experience. Next to concept and market demand, quality of service and offerings, the atmosphere and ambiance of an establishment – culinary, nightlife, or otherwise – is what helps define a brand or space and can make or break it.”

Bio

An industry leader and pure innovator, Tim Petrillo of The Restaurant People (TRP) has helped breathed life back in to Fort Lauderdale culinary and nightlife scene for over 20 years, delivering groundbreaking hospitality experiences that engage and continuously exceed expectation. Under Petrillo’s direction, the premier South Florida-based hospitality group has conceptualized and brought to life some of the most in-demand restaurants and nightlife venues in the market for over two decades, including YOLO and O Lounge, S3 on Fort Lauderdale beach, the reimagined Boatyard, Rooftop @1WLO, TRP Taste, and Township Fort Lauderdale, with plans for new concepts continuously in the works.

Website
www.therestaurantpeople.com
Vicky Hwang

Vicky Hwang

Managing Director - Parkview Group (Singapore)

Design excellence

Design Excellence speaks to all the senses and keeps the desires and needs of the end user at the heart. It should have a sense of place and respond to the context and respect its surrounds. Most importantly, it should evoke an emotional response – that of awe, warmth, and a general sense of well-being and comfort.

Bio

Vicky Hwang is the Chief Executive Officer for the Parkview Group in Singapore. Apart from looking into new regional opportunities, Vicky manages the company’s two key projects – Parkview Square and Parkview Eclat. She recently spearheaded the multimillion-dollar upgrade of Parkview Square to include the global award-winning ATLAS Grand Lobby and Bar, and the Parkview Museum Singapore. Prior to moving to Singapore, Vicky oversaw the redevelopment of a 93 acre 12th century French estate 144km from Paris. She is also Vice President of Parkview International London supporting the company’s operations worldwide including top-end residential and hotel developments. As Leasing Director of the Battersea Power Station, she was instrumental in the sale of the iconic project in 2006.

Website
http://www.parkview.world