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Scotland amongst winners at the ‘Curry Oscars’

24/11/2023
Sadiq Khan at the Awards Ceremony

MORE THAN 1200 VIP guests attended the Asian hospitality sector’s most prestigious event of the year, the Asian Curry Awards, otherwise known as the ‘Curry Oscars’.

Held at the Grosvenor House in London’s Mayfair on Sunday 19th November, the evening was hosted by the BBC news anchor Samantha Simmonds, with guest of honour London Mayor Sadiq Khan leading the plaudits. The Awards are sponsored by Just Eat.

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In an Inspiring speech London Mayor Sadiq Khan, spoke of the important contribution that the Asian catering industry has made to the economy and the cultural significance Asian cuisine has made to our lives for the better.

Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London, said:  “Asian cuisine has a very special place in British society. I was delighted to be back to support The Asian Curry Awards and meet so many inspiring business owners and chefs who have shown incredible resilience and ingenuity in the face of many challenges, from the pandemic to the cost-of-living crisis.

“On behalf of Londoners, I want to commend all the restaurants, chefs and service staff that took part and congratulate the winners.

“These businesses don’t just feed us amazing food, they have become an integral part of our everyday lives and I’m committed to doing everything I can to ensure they continue to thrive, enrich our communities and support our economy as we work together to build a better London for everyone.”

Top national accolades went to Colonel Saab, Asian Restaurant of the Year, Barbur, Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year.   Individual cuisine awards went to Issa Sushi (Japanese) Tien Thai, Bournemouth. (Thai), Kasa & Kin, Soho (Filipino), Ottoman Kitchen, Southampton (Middle Eastern), MyMakan, Norwich (Malaysian). Balo Brasserie, Brighton (Asian Oriental), Grand Sapphire Event Venue of the Year.

Namaste Highgate was awarded Newcomer of the Year.

Michelin-starred Benares‘s head chef Sameer Tanejar was presented with a Special Recognition award for his ‘outstanding contribution to the culinary arts’.  Chef awards also went to Nanu Miah of iNaga in Bromley and Sahil Ahmad of Sahil Ahmad of Spice I Am in Worthing. Junior Rashid of Lala’s in Pudsey was named Curry King.

Scotland’s winners were

Charcoals – Glasgow

Panache, Elgin

Spice of India, Keith

The full list of local and regional winners is available at www.AsianCurryAwards.co.uk.

Yawar Khan, chairman of the Asian Catering Federation which organises the event, acknowledged the economic, technological and social challenges faced by the sector, but was pleased to see some recovery across the hospitality industry. 

However, Yawar Khan warned of a market increasingly dominated by fast, ready-made and mass-produced offerings.

“We are competing against quick food, which is often produced in factories and warehouses – without the personal attention, authentic skill and attention of our top chefs, then shipped out to customers eager to take advantage of the convenience of the click-to-order online buying phenomenon.

“Our winners tonight are the guardians of fresh food cooking – the vanguard protecting and promoting quality in Asian cuisine and in many ways, keeping the high streets alive,” he said.

To combat the adversities which hit independent local restaurants, lacking the resources of chains and multi-national chains, the ACF will be unveiling a unique initiative for which the top hundred venues shortlisted for these awards will be eligible to participate.  A nationwide roadshow will demonstrate how the curry sector – which is often notoriously slow to adopt the advantages of new technologies.  Participants will be educated on how to use social media platforms, build and exploit invaluable customer databases, create marketing calendars, communicate new customer offerings, and increase footfall on what are mistakenly deemed slack trading periods.  Individual, fully functioning Individual order and table booking apps will also be offered.  The ACF will include the participants in a Top 100 Curry Restaurant Guide, initially published region-by-region online before 100,000 hard copies are produced.

The Asian Curry Awards are the only national accolades open to the full range of diverse Asian cuisines.

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