The winners of the Asian Curry Awards 2013 are one step closer to being announced, as an event in their honour this week highlighted the importance of Asian food in Britain.
All Indian and Asian restaurants in Britain are eligible for the Asian Curry Awards (ACA), which were set in motion this week with a networking event by the River Thames, hosted by Tom Brake MP and influential figures across the industry.
Categories up for grabs include Regional/National Restaurateur of the Year, Business Woman of the Year, Asian and Oriental Chef of the Year, Best Asian Takeaway, and Young Chef of the Year.
Awards are separated by kinds of cooking - such as Malaysian or South Indian â' and geography, including central London, the London suburbs, English regions, Scotland and the rest of Europe.
With nominations open to anyone who loves Asian food, the shortlisted candidates will be announced on the ACA website, with regional finalists invited to a cook-off of their "signature dish", to be judged by a panel of industry experts.
Criteria include innovation, skill, nutritional value, food safety, creativity and taste, and overall winners will need to succeed across a total of 11 judging heats.
The competition is designed to recognise the industry's £4b contribution to the economy, as well as promote imaginative entrepreneurs, healthier menu choices, the use of social media, marketing and fusion influences in Asian cooking.
Chairman of the ACA, Yawar Khan, said: "These awards recognise the huge successes made by business owners across the whole of the curry industry and ensure that key players are lauded for their achievements."