The Caterer
Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Tory leader praises UK's Indian restaurants at British Curry Awards

06 November 2009

Tory party leader David Cameron praised Britain's £3.5b curry restaurant industry for its promotion of community cohesion at the British Curry Awards, now into its fifth year.

Speaking at the event on 3 November at London's Battersea Evolution venue, the politician said: "The British curry industry is a great success story. It's shown how people from all backgrounds, with different creeds and cultures, can come together as one."

Around 3,000 restaurants were nominated for the awards by 43,000 public nominations. An initial judging process then produced a list of 100 finalists. This year's winners included London's Bombay Brasserie restaurant, which was voted Best Indian Restaurant in the awards back in 2005.

Aberdeen's Cinnamon restaurant was judged to offer the best curry in Scotland and Northern Ireland while Bokhara Brasserie in Bridgend took the accolade for Wales.

The Best Newcomer award went to Vivek Singh's Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise in east London, just one day after Singh's Cinnamon Club was named the UK's best ethnic restaurant in the inaugural World Food Awards.

On the night, British Curry Awards founder and organiser Enam Ali appealed for help from politicians to solve a skills shortage in the curry restaurant industry.

"We recognise that the long-term solution to our staffing problems is to attract and groom our home-grown chefs," he said. "The improved profile that these awards have given to our industry is already showing some results, with more young people among the award winners," he said.

"But this is a slow process and, in the short and medium term, we will still need to turn back to the sub-continent to find many of the skilled people we need to help keep our industry moving forward and meet diners' increasing demands for regional cooking."

Ali said that the points-based immigration system, introduced earlier this year, had done nothing to help their cause.

"We were told this would provide us with a sensible solution to our problems. Sadly it has turned out to be anything but," he said.

"Restaurateurs are still facing problems obtaining sponsors' certificates from the Home Office, which is always a lengthy process, and now we have the requirement for chefs to pass an English test in order to obtain a UK visa. Chefs are in great demand here, but only for their cooking skills. They don't need to know English to cook a damned good curry!

The full list of winners of the British Curry Awards 2009:

  • Scotland / Northern Ireland: Cinnamon, Aberdeen
  • North East: Aagrah, Garforth, Leeds
  • North West: Indian Ocean, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire
  • Midlands: Lasan, Birmingham
  • Wales: Bokhara Brasserie, Bridgend
  • South East: Jaipur, Milton Keynes
  • South West: Rajpoot, Bath
  • London Central & City: Bombay Brasserie, London SW7
  • London Suburbs: Brilliant Restaurant, Southall
  • Best Casual Dining: Tayyabs, London
  • Newcomer of the Year: Cinnamon Kitchen & Anise, London

Cinnamon Club named best UK ethnic restaurant in World Food Awards >>

London curry college needed to save Indian restaurants >>
Enam Ali: Nail in the coffin of the curry restaurant >>

By Rosie Birkett

E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

Caterersearch.com jobs
Looking for a new job? Find your next restaurant job here with Caterersearch.com jobs

Blogs on Caterersearch.com](http://www.caterersearch.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking