The 11th annual British Curry Awards took place on Monday 30th November at Battersea Evolution, London, where the industry at large, foodies, celebrities, MPs and dignitaries collectively paid homage to the nation’s finest curry restaurants.
The award winners were announced at a star-studded event in London hosted by BBC broadcaster Jane Hill and attended by special guests including MPs, Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy and EastEnders actor Nitin Ganatra.
This year, there were 218,000 public nominations via post, app and online from diners suggesting their favourite, before it was whittled down to a shortlist.
The awards were set up 11 years ago to celebrate the curry industry, which generates £4.2 billion for the UK economy and employs more than 100,000 staff. The event also saw awards founder and restaurateur Enam Ali MBE speak out about “crippling” shortages of chefs.Mr Ali said the main reason for the crisis was the government’s immigration policy. He said: “I have drafted a very constructive new visa scheme to help the industry survive in the current climate. “I believe my document will help to tighten migration to the benefit of the country while giving us access to the skilled curry chefs we need. “At the same time, looking to a long-term solution rather than depending on foreign chefs, I am proud to tell you I have formed the Le Raj Academy in partnership with the North East Surrey College of Technology.”
In a video message, Prime Minister David Cameron said “I want to thank everyone in this room for what you do. You represent the very best of British values of family, running your restaurants with parents, children and spouses. Enterprise, starting businesses from nothing, hard work, dedicating every hour of everyday to what you do. And above all patriotism, flying a flag for British food right around the world. So congratulations to the winners and to everyone involved in this great British industry.”
Shelim Hussain, founder of sponsor Kukd.com, said: “It is a great honour to be a part of the original and benchmark award ceremony that was established to celebrate the achievements of such an integral and significant industry within the UK.”
Winners of British Curry Awards 2015:
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD: Reza Mahammad
BEST CASUAL DINING: Dabbawal Jesmond, Newcastle
BEST DELIVERY RESTAURANT IN ASSOCIATION WITH KUKD.COM: The Chilli Pickle, Brighton
BEST NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Calcutta Club, Nottingham
BEST IN SCOTLAND: Karma Restaurant, Whitburn
BEST IN NORTH EAST: Aagrah, Leeds
BEST IN NORTH WEST: Viceroy, Carlisle
BEST IN MIDLANDS: Pushkar Restaurant, Birmingham
BEST IN WALES: Sheesh Mahal Restaurant, Llanelli
BEST IN SOUTH EAST: Shampan at the Spinning Wheel, Westerham, Kent
BEST IN SOUTH WEST: Spice Lodge Restaurant, Cheltenham
BEST IN LONDON CENTRAL AND CITY: The Cinnamon Club
BEST IN LONDON SUBURBS: Green Spice Restaurant, Dartford