Tenth Anniversary award ceremony pays homage to the unsung heroes behind the UK’s favourite dish
The UK’s favourite cuisine will once again be celebrated at the milestone, tenth-anniversary British Curry Awards onMonday 1st December 2014. The industry at large, foodies, celebrities, MP’s and dignitaries will collectively pay homage to the nation’s finest curry restaurants at one of the most lauded events of the UK hospitality sector, taking place at Battersea Evolution, London.
As well as being a lucrative mainstay of the economy, the industry has embedded itself in the social, cultural and culinary fabric of the UK, with approximately 25million curries being consumed each week. As a result, British Curry Awards, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary, has become a key fixture on the UK social calendar, celebrating the achievements of the nation’s most popular culinary genre. In speaking previously at British Curry Awards about the gastronomical phenomenon that is the British Curry, Heston Blumenthal commented, “I went to India a few years ago to make a progamme about chicken tikka masala. What I found was that dishes from over here that people would perhaps say are not authentic are now being copied over there.”
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 industry’s achievements. The event is eagerly anticipated annually by the industry and restaurateurs alike, with winning restaurants realising lifetime dreams through being awarded. As Prime Minister David Cameron said at the event last year, “These awards have become a fixture in our national life. They are, as I put it, the Oscars of British Curry. I’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who work in this great industry – 10,000 restaurants up and down our country, three and a half billion pounds worth of turnover, two and half million customers every week. I reckon that is about 31 million chutney trays, 62 million naan breads, 160 million poppadoms. As we say in Westminster, a light lunch!
Everything this industry does, everything we’re celebrating tonight, comes back to one thing, its values. As prime minister you get to go to quite a few industry dinners but there aren’t many where you feel quite as much pride as at this one. So from the bottom of my heart let me say thank you for everything you give to our country.”
The nomination process invites members of the public to put forward their favourite Indian eatery for a deserving accolade. This year, a phenomenal 200,000 public nominations have been 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, overtaking stalwarts such as a Chinese or Italian. Its value is reflected by the Best Delivery Restaurant / Takeaway Award, in association with Just Eat, the online takeaway ordering service.
Each year British Curry Awards also presents the Special Recognition Award to an influential culinary personality, with past winners including Atul Kochar. Madhur Jaffrey, Cyrus Todiwala OBE, Anjum Anand, Heston Blumenthal OBE, Shelim Hussain MBE and Mohammed Aslam MBE.
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. In speaking about the event, he says: “On the occasion of this momentous, ten-year year anniversary of the British Curry Awards, we continue to celebrate the hard work and commitment of the thousands of curry restaurants and their staff who deliver to their customers one of the most iconic cuisines of contemporary Britain. As well as establishing itself as the leading preference of UK diners when it comes to eating out, the industry continues to contribute a phenomenal amount to the UK economy despite the challenges it still faces in terms of staffing issues derived from immigration policy. But as Prime Minister David Cameron himself addressed at the event last year, he recognises the commitment that needs to be made to this lucrative industry as we collectively go from strength to strength in the face of adversity As they say, curry was born in India but has been made great in Britain.”
Event Director and Producer, Justine Ali says, “Marking our 10th anniversary, we have some great surprises lined up once again with some household names and great entertainment. It’s going to be a night to remember.”