British Curry Awards founder dies aged 61

25 July 2022 by
British Curry Awards founder dies aged 61

Enam Ali, founder of Spice Business Magazine, the British Curry Awards and Le Raj restaurant in Epsom, Surrey, has died aged 61 following a two-year battle with cancer.

He established numerous trade associations in the 1990s and published the industry's first trade publication, Spice Business Magazine, in 1997. He founded the annual British Curry Awards in 2005.

Formerly chairman of the Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs, he had a long and successful career progressing the interests of the UK curry industry and NRB (non-resident Bangladeshi) community.

He campaigned for the hospitality sector, including against the points-based immigration system and fake reviews, and called for lower VAT for the industry.

As well as raising more than £2m for various charities, he held and established a multitude of advisory, governing and director positions in various businesses, foundations and organisations.

In 2009, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours list for his services to the Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant industry.

In 2012, when London hosted the Olympic Games, Le Raj was the only restaurant selected to serve Indian food at the event, including serving iftar during Ramadan.

Ali was recognised in 2018 at the Institute of Hospitality awards for his Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, including for having established training restaurant Le Raj Academy @ NESCOT college.

He also featured on various TV programmes, such as Heston Blumenthal's Great British Food, Great British Menu, MasterChef, and The Best of British Takeaways.

Ali's family said anyone who would like to pay their respects is welcome to attend the funeral.

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