Curry Capital of Britain

 

 

Organised by :

The Federation of Specialist Restaurants

P.O.Box 416,
Surbiton, Surrey
KT1 9BJ
020 8399 4831

Partners

The Curry Tree Charitable Fund
(www.thecurrytree.com)

It's a very narrow victory for Curry Central

Bradford has hung on to its title by the narrowest of margins to become Curry Capital of Britain 2012, the third time the city that boasts 200 curry restaurants has won the title. Glasgow still holds the record as a four time winner and was equal on points with 83 out of a possible 100 points with Wolverhampton third just two points behind, its strongest challenge to date. The title went to Bradford on a tie break due to being higher in public voting in both the national and sponsor Hungryhouse polls.

Organiser Peter Grove commented, "The 10th running of Curry Capital of Britain was undoubtedly the greatest ever and team restaurants and councils have to be congratulated on their high standards. All three of the top cities produced fantastic submissions, underscoring their commitment to the curry industry and ethnic community whilst emphasising how important curry is to their cities. Wolverhampton gets better each year whilst Glasgow continues to set the standard for enthusiasm and commitment but Bradford, the city that seems to eat, breath and even export curry, just made it across the line first by the narrowest of margins".

2011/2012 has been a very difficult time for many sectors in Britain and the curry restaurant industry has not been immune from the commercial pressures. In Brick Lane, London's tourist curry hotspot, closures have started with rumours of more in the pipeline. On Manchester's famous Curry Mile the scene has changed beyond recognition with just 12 sit-down curry restaurants remaining, having been replaced by an influx of shisha bars. All over the country many curry restaurant owners are reporting up to 20% fall in income, not helped by high VAT levels.

All is not doom and gloom, however, as many top-end and well established restaurants continue to do well and Curry Capital of Britain has once again received more public votes than ever before underlining the continuing enthusiasm for 'Britain's national dish'.

"With just two points between the winner and third placed city, I would like to give all three a trophy", commented organiser Peter Grove for The Federation of Specialist Restaurants. "The most interesting feature this year has been the growth of the challenge from some of the other cities, as they realise the importance of the event to their city and community. Birmingham, Edinburgh and Leicester always put up a serious challenge, but this year Cardiff climbed to joint seventh and we welcomed newcomers London Central and London South. The gap between challengers and past winners is narrowing year on year so 2013 could see some interesting developments."

The presentation of the trophy was made to Patricia Tillotson on behalf of Bradford Council at a ceremony at Akbar's Cafe in Leeds Road Bradford on 2nd December by Mandeep Singh(below left) on behalf of co-sponsors Hungryhouse.


Mandeep Singh of sponsors hungryhouse shares a platter and the individual award with Akbar's Cafe and Patricia Tillotson of Bradford Council


Fine food at the award ceremony from Akbar's Cafe, Bradford


Mandeep Singh of hungryhouse presents the trophy to Bradford Council and the Bradford team of Akbars, Aagrah, Shimla Spice and Zouk

Top ten Cities 2012 :

(2011 in brackets)

1. Bradford (1)

2. Glasgow (2)

3 Wolverhampton (3)

4. Leicester (4)

5. Edinburgh (5)

6. Birmingham (7)

7. London Central (-)

8. Cardiff (10)

 9 London South (-)

 10 Nottingham (9)

JUDGES REPORT 2012

The process to determine the winner is made up of points for the team restaurant reports (including Scores on Doors and Trip Advisor reports), Council submissions, Charitable fundraising, Public city votes to give a score out of 100.

Restaurant Reports:

As the standard of team restaurants improves year on year, differentiating between individual restaurants with differing styles becomes increasingly difficult. Top city for restaurant scoring alone was London Central whose team included two Michelin starred restaurants followed by Birmingham and Bradford

Council Submissions :

These get better and more innovative every year and help the judges to understand the manner in which the curry sector and the needs of the city complement each other. Both Glasgow and Bradford produced very entertaining DVDs explaining how important curry is to their cities and Wolverhampton produced their best submission yet on a series of laminated cards explaining the importance of curry to the city, all housed in an authentic wooden dabba. Leicester, Edinburgh and Birmingham also produced solid submissions but some other cities received a varying level of support from their councils.

Charitable Fundraising :

All the most committed cities make every effort to encourage their team members to raise funds for charity with some more active than others. Glasgow the compassionate, always the charity star, started months ago with a special Council dress down day to raise funds and each team restaurant was active and generous during National Curry Week. Not to be outdone Bradford ran its own Pop up restaurant to raise funds and is planning a joint function between the team restaurants for a gala event to raise funds in the New Year.

City Votes :

Once again these poured in by their hundreds of thousands with sponsors Hungryhouse running their own in-house version which put Birmingham, Manchester, London South and Bradford at the top. Once all votes were combined Bradford was the winner by some margin followed by Glasgow, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Some comments from the 2006 event

"We and all the restaurants are delighted with the result!"
Paula Greig - Glasgow City Council

"Fantastic - we are delighted. This is brilliant news for Bradford and will go some way to building a more positive image of the cities multiethnicity! "-
James Lee - Bradford City Council

"I'm thrilled that Glasgow has reclaimed the title of Curry Capital of Britain and I'd like to congratulate the Council's marketing and graphics team who put their heart and soul into our bid." -
Liz Cameron - Lord Provost

"I hope this will encourage visitors to come into the city and sample what's on offer. It could provide a tremendous boost for trade. It's great to be in the news for the right reasons for a change!" -
Terry Rooney - Bradford North MP

Previous Holders

Curry Capital: London West(2001) : Glasgow(2002) : Glasgow (2003) : Bradford (2004) : Birmingham (2005) : Glasgow (2006)
EthniCity : Edinburgh (2003) : Birmingham (2004) : Glasgow (2005) : Bradford (2006)

 

"This sounds very interesting --- I wish the project well and look forward to hearing about its progress"
Tony Blair, The Prime Minister