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The Big F Awards 2018: It keeps getting bigger and better with each passing year
The fifth edition of Gurgaon's biggest and most popular food awards – The Big F Awards – was hosted with much flourish and fanfare at the Westin Hotel in Gurgaon on the 5th of September, 2018.

An ensemble of well-known names from the F&B industry descended at the venue to be part of "The Big F Awards" – perhaps one of India's most honest and unbiased food awards. Also present among the guests were celebrities from the entertainment world.

This scribe had the privilege of attending the awards for the third consecutive time, needless to mention that each occasion has been an experience worth remembering. It was a night filled with great food, fun and entertainment.

Pawan Soni, the founder & CEO of Indian Food Freak and the man behind The Big F Awards, played the perfect host by warmly welcoming his guests with a smile. It is heartening to see such a noble concept which decides the award winners through online voting on social media in a transparent manner, growing from strength to strength with each passing year.

The special guests of honour this year included noted Indian author and food critic Rashmi Uday Singh; celebrity chefs Vicky Ratnani, Ranveer Brar, Manish Bhasin, Vikrant Batra along with AD Singh and Zorawar Kalra.

The panel of judges comprised of acclaimed chefs Sabyasachi Gorai and Rakesh Sethi; food historian Osama Jalali; author and columnist Anoothi Vishal; famous food critic Rinku Madan; and of course, not to forget the man himself, Pawan Soni, the mentor and institutor of The Big F Awards.

The star-studded evening started with emcee Karan Arora's quirky tongue-in-cheek humour which was followed by the distribution of awards in various categories. For the first time this year, a special new award, Young Chef of the Year, was instituted under the patronage of Chef Ranveer Brar. The winner of the award shall be rewarded a cash price of Rs 50,000 along with the opportunity to get trained at a reputed culinary institute.

The Icon of Indian Restaurant Industry Award was given to AD Singh and Rahul Akerkar for their diligent and revolutionary services to the F&B industry.

While the Restaurateur of the Year Award (Popular Choice) went to Vikram Batra for Cafe Delhi Heights and Nueva, Manish Sharma won the Restaurateur of the Year Award (Jury) for Molecule and The Drunken Botanist.

The event also witnessed live performances by singer Shibani Kashyap and rapper AJ Singh.

Pawan Soni, founder of Indian Food Freak and The Big F awards, while speaking at the event said, "Over the years, The Big F Awards has become the benchmark in quality when it comes to the food and beverage industry in Gurgaon. From home chefs, to stand alone units to five star hotels, everyone gets a chance to shine. The awards themselves are reflective of the spirit of Gurgaon, buzzing, alive and full of excitement and innovation. This is a night when the industry comes to celebrate it's finest and also to let their hair down and enjoy a great evening as well. 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 1.25 lacs individual votes across the various categories which is 3 times more than the last year."

Here is the list of winners across all categories:

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