Excellence in UK curry industry honoured at 10th anniversary British Curry Awards
British Curry Awards, in association with Just Eat
The UK’s favourite cuisine was celebrated at the milestone, tenth-anniversary British Curry Awards, in association with Just Eat on Monday 1st December. The industry at large, foodies, celebrities, MP’s and dignitaries paid homage to the nation’s finest curry restaurants amid the grandiose of Battersea Evolution, London.
Among the high profile guest list were: Chief Guest, Rt Hon Teresa May MP, Home Secretary; business figure, Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman, UB Group; MP’s Chris Grayling, Andrew Rosindell, Nicky Morgan, Keith Vaz; footballer David Seaman MBE; Paralympian David Weir CBE; broadcasters Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Maxine Mawhinney, Rageh Omaar; actors Adil Ray, Shobu Kapoor, Shobna Gulati; Sgt Johnson Beharry; TV presenters Lizzie Cundy and Pat Sharp; Nancy Dell’Olio; Neil and Christine Hamilton. The event hosts were broadcasters Kate Silverton and Hardeep Kohli.
A pioneer in the UK catering and hospitality sector, British Curry Awards has been lauded as a national institution in its own right – the first and landmark event to celebrate the £3.6 billion industry’s achievements. In a special video message played at the event, Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I’m delighted to pay tribute to all that you’ve achieved. These awards are a great night for this country. When I think of what makes me proud to be British, I think of the way we have built a multiracial democracy – a country that is a welcoming home for people of different histories and regions. The curry industry is a great example of the incredible contribution of different communities. It is a great example of our whole country coming together. You can see it from the ‘Balti Triangle’ in Birmingham’ to the Manchester’s ‘Curry Mile’ to London’s Brick Lane, recently crowned our Curry Capital. Curry is one of our country’s greatest achievements and one of our most exciting exports too.”
The nomination process invites members of the public to put forward their favourite Indian eatery for a deserving accolade. This year, a phenomenal 206,378 public nominations were received via post, app and online, from diners nominating their favourite curry restaurants, with 2,641 restaurants being nominated. It is stated that a curry remains the favoured choice of takeaway across the nation. Its value is reflected by the Best Delivery Restaurant / Takeaway Award, in association with Just Eat, the online takeaway ordering service.
British Curry Awards 2014 winners:
Best Spice Restaurant in London Central & City: The Cinnamon Club, Westminster
Best Spice Restaurant in London Outer & Suburbs: Shampan Welling, Kent
Best Spice Restaurant in South East: Maliks Restaurant, Maidenhead, Berkshire
Best Spice Restaurant in South West: Myristica, Bristol
Best Spice Restaurant in North East: Aagrah Midpoint, Thornbury, West Yorkshire
Best Spice Restaurant in North West: Blue Tiffin, Oldham
Best Spice Restaurant in Midlands: Mem Saab, Nottingham
Best Spice Restaurant in Wales: Rasoi Indian Kitchen, Swansea
Best Spice Restaurant in Scotland: Light of Bengal, Aberdeen
Best Casual Dining: Dishoom Covent Garden
Newcomer of the Year: Five Rivers A La Carte, Walsall
Best Delivery Restaurant/ Takeaway by Justeat.com: The Chilli Pickle, Brighton
This year’s Special Recognition Award was presented to one of the UK’s founding curry restaurateurs, Shams Uddin Khan of Maharani restaurant, Clapham.
Speaking at the event, Rt Hon Teresa May MP, Home Secretary said, “I’m excited to be here at the tenth annual British Curry Awards. I was here when you first started the awards in 2005 and it is tremendous to see how big it has become over the years. We have top restaurateurs, talented chefs, journalists, broadcasters and many well-known faces here tonight. It’s not hard to see why the Prime Minister and others have called these the Oscars of the curry industry. Enam, you’ve done a terrific job and I would like to congratulate you for bringing this to us for ten years now.
The first British curry house opened more than 200 years ago. How many people are aware of Queen Victoria repeatedly eating chicken curry and dhaal at Osborne House on the Isle of White? The British curry industry really is one of Britain’s greatest success stories. From that first curry house two hundred years ago has sprung a multi billion pound industry, which is modern, successful and thriving. Through hard work and innovation, you’ve built a vibrant industry, which generates wealth, promotes growth and employs tens of thousands of people. The British curry industry couldn’t be what it is today without one truly important ingredient, and that is you.”
The British Curry Awards was established by British entrepreneur and restaurateur Enam Ali MBE who founded the event in 2005. He has been tirelessly promoting the British curry industry globally for the past 30 years. Speaking at the event he said, “We are taken much more seriously today, which has been our ambition in the curry industry. We have achieved so much of what we had set out to do. The curry industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and I think I can take the credit of changing the public perception from Indian to British curry.
Today, the growing professionalism of our industry has raised quality, ambition and best practice. If you compare us with any other hospitality sector I can ensure you they are jealous of the style in which we are celebrating tonight. Today, no one would say that curry is second-class and I believe these awards have changed the public’s perception and we are getting the recognition for providing truly world class cuisine.”