Nominations are open for the UK Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year, which will be presented at a special ceremony in the Terrace Pavilion at the House of Commons on Monday 15th May 2017. The event will also be used to launch the Asian Curry Awards 2017, organised by the Asian Curry Federation [ACF] being presented on at a glittering ceremony on Sunday 12th November.
The ACF has also announced two dates for it roadshows. The first, takes place at Bokhara Bangor in Belfast on Monday 24th April. During the day, a workshop with leading London chefs including Bindu Patel, Chef Bokhara Bangor, with London’s Michelin-starred Gymkhana restaurant, Executive Chef Vishnu Natarajan, and Jiwan Lal, Chef de Cuisine at the multi award-winning Babur fine dining restaurant. At a gala dinner with live entertainment in the evening, awards will be presented to Northern Ireland’s best curry restaurants.
ACF members will also be invited to attended a Just Eat Road Show at the Birmingham Conference Events Centre (BCEC), taking place on Monday 8th May. This will be followed by another chefs’ workshop followed by a gala dinner and awards presentation at the AKS Banqueting Hall & Conference Suite. The Chairman of the Asian Catering Federation (ACF) Yawar Khan, has made the gloomy prediction that half of the nation’s curry houses will disappear from the High Street inside a decade.
These events are part of the ACFs continuing programme of events, designed to support the nation’s 35,000 Asian and Oriental restaurants and takeaways. The workshops and awards show restaurateurs and chefs how to respond to changing customer demands.
The ACF’s chairman, Yawar Khan, has warned that 50 percent of the nation’s curry houses will close in the next decade, because of a failure to respond to the growing preference for authentic and healthier dishes; and an unwillingness by owners to invest in marketing and branding.
Despite two curry restaurants closing each week, the dining out and takeaway sector as a whole, is actually thriving, with sales and new openings on the increase.
Although the ACF lobbies Government about tackling skills shortages, high business rates and VAT, Khan says, “We need to stop blaming the Government, rise to the challenge, and to take responsibility for the survival of our own businesses.”
“For years we have been telling restaurants they need to up their game with shorter menus, offering lighter healthier options with more fish and vegetable dishes, with genuinely authentic regional food.
The 7th Asian Curry Awards will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair on Sunday 12th November 2017.