Managing Director, Umami Communications
Colin Hutton has a career spanning fifteen years in the F&B and hospitality industry. Colin has held a wide range of key positions in F&B operations, commercial strategy, marketing and PR with some of the most recognized brands in the hospitality industry.
It was in Marbella, Spain, in 2002, where Colin started in the hospitality business when he ran a successful independent bar before returning to his native Dublin to work with Starwood Hotels. Colin’s first role at Starwood was as a bartender at the award-winning Mint Bar at the Westin Dublin. It was at the Westin where Colin earned his reputation as a leading mixologist in Ireland and where he also excelled with Starwood hotels achieving a diploma in F&B management from The Hague Hotel School. During his time at The Westin, Colin was one of the youngest colleagues in the Starwood EAME division to be a designated Six Sigma Green-belt. In 2006 Colin won the Westin Dublin employee of the year award and was awarded an Irish tourism board “Hospitality hero” accolade.
After a successful 4 years with The Westin Dublin, Colin moved in 2006 to work with the Diep group, a renowned independent restaurant group in Dublin city. At Diep, Colin was given freedom to showcase his creativity and management skills managing the beverage program for two restaurants and becoming AGM of their award-winning, flagship Diep Le Shaker restaurant. In 2007 Colin confirmed his status as Ireland’s top creative bartender by winning the Irish Cocktail Championship hosted at the Ketel One distillery in Holland.
In early 2009 Colin started a private events company in Dublin, hosting live music events and private catering for many of Ireland’s elite, including private dining events at home for the likes of U2.
In September of 2009, Colin was given the opportunity to travel to Dubai to work with the Jumeriah group and relished the chance for a new challenge in an exciting city. At Jumeirah, he was responsible for managing three of Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s bars and restaurants along with their executive club operations. It wasn’t long before he was selected for the Jumeirah “Aspiro” program which mentored outstanding talent from within the group for more influential roles in the future.
With his flair for creative bartending, business acumen, and knowledge of the F&B business, Colin was approached by African + Eastern to represent their Luxury Spirits category in 2011. Colin’s responsibilities included management of all strategic marketing and commercial activity for the Diageo Reserve portfolio© in the UAE. During his time at A+E, Colin worked closely with the leading F&B concepts in the market creating some of the city’s most innovative marketing and PR platforms for brands like Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Tanqueray gin and Ciroc vodka.
After 5 successful years at A+E, Colin left his role to start his own agency called Umami Communications, the UAE’s first hospitality focused PR and communications agency. Within days of Umami’s inception, Colin attracted some of the biggest names in the industry to sign up to as clients including the likes of Zuma restaurants and the Remy Cointreau group. Umami Communications’ vision for the industry is to craft meaningful conversations, about the art of hosting.