Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA) held it’s 12th Annual ceremony for its Chef and Restaurant of the Year Awards at the Park Plaza Hotel Westminster on 19 November 2017 . This year’s theme was – BCA: Sourcing Britain’s Love for Curry Since 1960. The evening was co-hosted by celebrities Tasmin Lucia Khan and Alexis Conran. High-profile guests, dignitaries, Members of Parliament, Mayors and Mayoress and the media – came together to celebrate the best of British curry industry which was attended by 1,200 guests. BCA’s charity partner, British Asian Trust was present there too.
The dignitaries who attended the ceremony included Bangaldesh High Commissioner to UK Mr Mohammed Nazmul Quaunine; Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP, Former Minister of State (Ministry of Defence); Richards Harrington MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy); Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer KCB QC MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union; Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP; Andrew Stephenson MP
Jo Stevens MP; Nia Griffith MP; Rushanara Ali MP; Ruth Cadbury MP; Anne Main MP; Karen Bucks MP; Lords and Lady Sheik; Sheema Malhothra MP; Rami Rangers CBE; Dr Rupa HUQ MP; and Paul Scully MP.
Eleven outstanding and talented BCA Chefs were recognised and won the Chef of the Year Awards, alongside its Restaurant of the Year Awards; where eleven mighty UK regional winners, were chosen from hundreds of out-standing entrants. Both these Awards are highly regarded by the Bangladeshi curry industry.
These eleven winning Chefs have won their Awards for their innovation, presentation of food, hygiene standards and customer service; and had to compete with thousands of entrants, facing stiff competition. The competing Chefs were short-listed to 47 finalists who participated in an exciting ‘live-cook off’ in October, held at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College. From this ‘live cook off’, the eleven winners were chosen.
The Restaurant winners were also judged on their innovation, ambiance, presentation of food, hygiene standards and customer service; including a ‘mystery tasting’ part to the competition; making the competition fierce. The winners were selected by a panel of judges who included – Stephen McParland MP; Dr Rami Ranger, CBE, MD – SunMark Group; Zakir Khan, Relationship Manager, Canary Wharf Group; M Salik, CEO, Chef Online; John Hooker, Media Presenter; and Damon Malcom, Ex Cricketer.
At the event, BCA made three Honour Awards to the following individuals for their huge contribution to the curry industry, the British Bangladeshi Community and for the services they do. The Awardees are:
Dr Rupa HUQ MP, who is a wonderful supporter to BCA, her father was a known restaurateur and she has spoken about the “curry crisis” in the House of Commons and has highlighted the issue on the BBC. BCA appreciates all the work she does for all communities.
Paul Scully MP, proud to present the second Honour Award to a great friend of the British Bangladeshi community, a man who chairs the British Curry Catering Industry All-Party Parliamentary Group and is Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Bangladesh. He is the UK’s first MP with Burmese heritage, co-chairing the Burma All-Party Parliamentary Group, where continues to raise the plight of the Rohingya community.
Zakir Khan, a community champion, who is Associate Director for Community Affairs at the Canary Wharf Group. He’s regularly featured in the British Bangladeshi Who’s Who Publication, on the British Bangladeshi Power & Inspiration list, recognised by the British Bangladeshi Business awards, as well as Channel S Community. He’s the only person of Asian origin to be appointed as club Ambassador to premiership football club, West Ham United.
Tasmin Lucia Khan is a British film producer TV news anchor and is known for being the face of BBC Three News, hosting E24 on BBC News and fronting the morning ITV breakfast news. Alexis Conran is a
British Actor, writer and TV presenter, who won Celebrity Masterchef 2016.
The Awards also introduced the new National Executive Council and its elected representatives – President, Mr Kamal Yakub; Secretary General, Mr Oli Khan; and Chief Treasurer, Mr Saidur Rahman Bipul.
BCA has been representing the Bangladeshi curry industry since 1960, ensuring that it actively represents the issues affecting this sector by lobbying government. The key issue right now for BCA is the shortage of skilled curry chefs, which is why these Awards are so important, as it puts this topic on the news agenda. BCA represents over 12,000 UK curry houses and takeaways; and is an industry that contributes £4.2 billion to the economy, creating thousands of jobs.
These winning Chefs and Restaurants are passionate about creating a cross-cultural fusion of flavours by innovating curry, blending spices, crafting marinades and other magic in their kitchens.
Kamal Yakub, President, BCA says: “What a fantastic evening, where we not only showcased the talent of these extremely hardworking Chefs and Restaurants, but we came together as a community – thriving and inspiring the next generation of Curry Chefs and eateries. Great to see so many MPs supporting BCA!”
Oli Khan, Secretary General, BCA says: “Tonight had a great buzz and truly shows why BCA is an industry leader! Our Awards are like the Oscars and we had a great turnout of dignitaries and supporters. It was also meaningful to award BCA’s special Honour Awardees, but most of all it was exciting to be able to acknowledge the fantastic work of our winning Chefs and Restaurants who are making curry great!”
Saidur Rahman Bipul, Chief Treasurer BCA says: “Last night was spectacular, not only did we put our winning Curry Houses and Chefs on the map, but we put the curry issue back on the national news agenda, to ensure that curry remains the national dish.”