The UK’s favourite curry restaurants, as nominated for by the British Public, were announced at the trailblazing and foremost celebration of the industry, British Curry Awards in association with Just Eat, as it returned for its 17thyear after the pandemic challenges.
The finest curry restaurateurs from across the UK descended on the Capital in the hope of being recognised as the best restaurant in their region and honoured with a jewel in the crown of the UK curry restaurant industry award sector at the prestigious ceremony that took place on Monday 29th November at Battersea Evolution.
As the foremost and pioneering celebration of the UK curry industry’s achievements and the best restaurants across all regions, with awards deemed the most prized badge of honour across the entire industry for winning restaurants, British Curry Awards has established itself as a national institution.
This year’s ceremony had particular significance, given the challenges faced by the industry over the past 18 months of the pandemic, and acknowledged the industry’s spirit and resilience through difficult business and personal circumstances. The industry has seen many leaders, pioneers, restaurateurs and staff tragically lose their lives to Covid. This year’s ceremony paid tribute to those that have passed away.
British Curry Awards Founder, Enam Ali MBE, is the UK’s leading spokesperson for the curry industry and has been promoting it globally for the past 45 years. Speaking at the event, he said, “What a year we have had – full of highs and lows as we have come out of the pandemic and had to try and rebuild our businesses after lockdowns. The support of our customers has been incredible but the challenges are still significant.
At the British Curry Awards we have always stood up for the causes that matter to the industry. We are all now benefitting from the so-called vindaloo visa which has helped address the chef shortage problem. We will always fight your corner. And the Government does listen to us.
This year we have received many reports that restaurants that had got high, four or five stars ‘scores on the doors’ in the past from local environmental health officers have been getting marked down to only one or two stars. It seems from the reports we are getting that, often, restaurants are being marked down for fairly minor, technical infringements. Even though these can often be quickly rectified they are having to wait up to six months to be reassessed. This is unfair and is putting many already struggling businesses as they come out of the pandemic on the verge of closure.
What we are asking for is the government to require local authorities to have a much faster appeal and recertification process, so that those marked down can be reassessed in 4-6 weeks, not 4-6 months. Otherwise we will not be able to play our part in the recovery of our high streets, as this inflexible process will prove the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
In a message of support, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said, “I’m delighted that one of the greatest events in our gastronomic calendar, the Curry Oscars, is back in action and it is fantastic to celebrate the genius of our curry restaurateurs who have, for decades, offered their fragrant medleys. Throughout the testing times of the past two years, you’ve always responded with resolve and creativity, feeding our NHS heroes and dispatching fleets of mopeds to bring spice to the lives of millions of people at home. And now I’m glad to say customers are returning en masse and curry houses the length and breadth of these islands are bustling once again, more than 10,000 of them across the whole of the United Kingdom. That’s 200 for every city, more in London than in Mumbai and since the British Curry Awards are now in their 17th year with a record number of nominations, we’re not just building back better we’re building back balti and I want to thank you all – restaurants, chefs and waiters – for blessing us with your flavoursome morsels.”