English Curry Awards

Posted on Analysis Sep 2011 - by Tandoori Editor
English Curry Awards

The winners of the first-ever hungryhouse.co.uk English Curry Awards were announced at a glittering bash at the Sheridan Suite in Manchester.

Nominations came in from all over England and the race to be crowned at the debut awards ceremony was an extremely tight contest. Managing Director of http://www.hungryhouse.co.uk Shane Lake said:
“The awards were a runaway success and have a set a fantastic precedent for the years to come. There was a fantastic turnout and an electric atmosphere inside the Sheridan Suite, which represented the vibrant and varied talents within the room. This year’s awards succeeded in both raising money for a worthy charity and paying tribute to England’s thriving curry industry.” 
Over 700 guests attended the prestigious awards ceremony. The awards were presented by renowned stand-up comedian Jeff Mirza. 
Amongst the awards were several standouts and major presentations. These included the Curry King of the Year Award, which was presented to Shabir Hussain of Akbars restaurant group. Presented by Ahmed Saeed, Area Chief of Habib Bank AG Zurich, Hussain was deemed a man who embodies the spirit of brilliant entrepreneurship coupled with achieving the highest standards in modern South Asian cuisine.
With over 20 years of experience, he is today the proud Chief Executive of over 10 restaurants employing more than 400 members of staff. Hussain works tirelessly to support the local communities, particularly young people, who are inspired by his relentless hard work and dedication in turning his dream into reality. 
The Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 was given to Sanjay Anand by Tony Lit, owner of Sunrise Radio.
Anand, who owns Madhu’s Brilliant restaurant in London’s Southall, is known as one of the top Asian caterers in the UK and his contribution to the Indian restaurant industry has been recognised with many accolades throughout his career.
He began his business career at 17 years old and has not looked back since, working hard to create one of the most esteemed and acclaimed Indian restaurants in the country. The awards ceremony praised Anand as someone who continues to be an inspirational figure to any young chefs looking to build their own business in the UK.
The Restaurant of the Year Award, sponsored by Mongoose, Pepsi and Harrogate Spring Water and presented by Steve Mody, co-owner of Mongoose Beer, Matt Greenslade, UK Independent Wholesale Channel Manager for Britvic Soft Drinks, and James Cain, Managing Director of Harrogate Spring Water, went to one of the most prominent names on the UK restaurant scene, Mumtaz in Bradford.
Another favourite award category was the Takeaway of the Year Award, sponsored by hungryhouse.co.uk and presented by Managing Director Shane Lake. The award went to Cafe Masala, Sheffield.
There were several notable names who were nominated in the Chef of the Year category including Gulshan Indian Restaurant, Liverpool, Benares Restaurant, London, Gurpareet Bains, Indian Superfood, Lasans Restaurant, Birmingham and Arzoo Restaurant, Midlands. However, the winning entry proved to be Gurpareet Bains.
As for the Caterer of the Year Award, which was sponsored by ZEE TV and presented by Vasdev Tulli, Head of Sales for Zee TV UK and Europe, it went to Chak 89, London.
Best Supermarket Curry Award, sponsored by East End and presented by Tony Deep Wouhra MBE, Chairman of East End Foods Plc, went to Waitrose. Amongst the finalists in this category were Asda, Waitrose and Tesco.
The Best of Manchester Award, sponsored by the Sheridan Suite and presented by Vanessa Myers, Managing Director of the Sheridan Suite, went to East Z East. Finalists in the Best of Manchester category included Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, Mughli Restaurant + Charcoal Pit, Zaika Restaurant and Akbar's.
Yasmin Mahmood, Event Organiser with Oceanic Consulting, said: “The 2011 hungryhouse.co.uk English Curry Awards followed in the footsteps of the Scottish version and proved to be a fantastic success. As well as paying tribute to England’s curry community the event raised funds for our charity partner, the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. We are confident this will be the first of many successful English Curry Awards and we cannot wait to see what next year brings.”
Performances on the evening included Abbas Hasan, an artist who is proving to be a breath of fresh air within the Asian music industry. Born in Canada and raised in France, this singer blends the various cultures and influences he has experienced growing up to reinvent Asian music for a new generation. Romy Shay, known as ‘Mr Bolllywood’, brought a pop vibe to his sound and used his expressive vocal stylings to bring a new flavour to classic Asian music. Burgeoning songstress Kiran Dee also performed, combining elements of bhangra, Bollywood and RnB to create a melting pot of modern sounds. 
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