The latest news for your enjoyment.
Starting with just £11,000 and a lack of business acumen but plenty of enthusiasm, Lasan boss Jabbar Khan says it was his naiveté and absence of knowledge starting out that probably helped his success.
Establishing Lasan on a quiet street in the Jewellery Quarter with little through traffic has taken years of effort, but Khan credits the struggles not the successes for helping to pave the way to their current venture – the £1million Nosh and Quaff, in Colmore Row.
The group were able to invest in the new site after
the eventual success of Lasan restaurant – helped in no small part by being named Gordon Ramsey’s ‘Best Local Restaurant’ on his television series The F Word. The group has gone on to hit £8million turnover.
With renowned chef Aktar Islam at the helm, generating further publicity through appearances on the BBC’s Great British Menu, Lasan has become firmly established as a top food destination.
Nosh and Quaff will mark another step forward for the group, which also owns Raja Monkey, in Hall Green, and Fiesta del Asado, in Edgbaston.
They expect to take on between 40 and 60 new members of staff, bringing the group’s total workforce to more than 100.
Mr Khan said the inspiration to open an Indian restaurant was to get away from the sort of cuisine associated with the subcontinent but not really served there.
He explained: “A lot of what I have learned is what not to do. I have learned from customers who come in and see 150 dishes on a menu who say ‘I have been to India and never seen any of these’. So I thought I will never serve any food I don’t enjoy eating myself. How else can you expect customers to enjoy it?” Birmingham Post
Despite its success, Mr Khan and the group have opted not to try and repeat the Lasan model in other towns and cities, arguing that maintaining a consistent standard across several outlets would be hard. Instead they have focused on serving food that “excites” them.
“Given the shortage of Indian chefs, we decided there was no reason we should just do Indian food.
“We decided just to serve things that excite us”, Khan told Birmingham Post.
Khan and Islam have focused on a variety of concepts in their home city. The first was Fiesta Del Asado, Birmingham’s first Argentine Asado restaurant, based in Hagley Road.
Nosh and Quaff at more than £1million marks their largest investment to date and will be an ambitious venue spread across four floors with the restaurant at ground level, a bar-restaurant above and the chefs working their culinary wizardry at the top.
3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, St Paul’s Square Birmingham, B3 1SD. Tel: 0121 212 3664. www.lasangroup.com
Source: Birmingham Post
Community-Chef & Food Safety Trainer Afruj Choudhury
Last week I read the tragic news of an 18 -year-old teenager named Shahida Shahid who collapsed after dinner on Friday night. Shahida, a Manchester student, died from a suspected allergic reaction after eating at a popular Manchester restaurant.
I am deeply saddened and shocked after reading this story especially as I recently wrote an article about the new food allergen laws introduced in December 2014; my aim was to create awareness and promote the importance of food allergen knowledge and training in the food, curry and hospitality industry.
Shahida’s death should serve as a wakeup call and a final warning about the need for everyone involved in the food service and catering businesses to train and learn underpinning knowledge about food allergies and dietary requirements so they are able to properly assist consumers who may be vulnerable to life-threatening allergic reaction and prevent possible fatality.
Food allergens can be life threatening and the only way people can manage a food allergy is to avoid the foods that make them ill. An oversight on your part – such as serving someone a food they are allergic to – can damage the reputation of your business as well as cause serious harm to your customer. Food allergens cannot be removed by cooking. That is why it’s essential to practice good kitchen hygiene, as well as careful separation, storage and labelling of ingredients when preparing food. From 13 December 2014, all food businesses have to provide information about the allergenic ingredients used in food sold or provided by them.
The information can be supplied on the menu, on chalk boards, tickets or provided verbally by an appropriate member of staff, as well as other formats made available to the consumer. It must be clear cut, not hidden away, easily visible and legible.
If you sell a food product which contains or uses an ingredient from any one of the 14 allergenic substances then it needs to be declared. This means that you need to check all your recipes/foods for sale to assess whether they contain any of these allergens. A list or matrix of allergens should be compiled for each recipe so that staff can easily inform customers about the presence of these allergens in the foods for sale. Staff need to be given proper allergen training so that they can handle food allergy queries from customers with confidence.
Even large companies who already have allergen policies in place are making mistakes with mixed information, miss-labelling and not communicating properly to the customer. It may seem insignificant to some, but to a food allergy sufferer it really can mean the difference between life and death.
As a Community-Chef & Food Safety Trainer my aim is to highlight the changes in food related laws and regulations to help the hospitality industry to become ‘Food Allergy Aware’ and avoid prosecutions. I use the media and pop up workshops to demonstrate best practice and outline risks associated with food allergens, food hygiene and healthy cooking.
For the best part of 50 years, the British curry industry focused on how to best serve customers who, by all accounts, had little or no obstacles when it came to enjoying eating out. While much has been done to educate kitchen staff on safe food-handling practices, continued instruction in the food allergen area could prevent fatal consequences as well as a bad reputation for your business.
There is a big difference between food items to which people are intolerant, such as gluten, and items that result in an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions are often more severe; this is why food allergy training is an important component of any food service operation.
We have talked a lot about the importance of food safety training, and the news of Shahida’s death, despite being in its early stages of investigation, is a ‘timely reminder’ to the food industry about the significance of providing information to customers with food allergies.
Stars of stage and screen gathered at a twinkling winter wonderland at the annual event in the Battersea Evolution in London, to see the industry’s finest chefs rewarded for their hard work in continuing to innovate and perfect the nation’s favourite dish.
Home Secretary Theresa May was this year’s guest of honour and said: “It’s not hard to see why the Prime Minister and others have called these the ‘Curry Oscars’. The British curry industry really is one of Britain’s greatest success stories. Through hard work and innovation, you’ve built a vibrant industry, which generates wealth, promotes growth and employs tens of thousands of people.”
In a special video message played at the event, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “These awards are a great night for this country. Curry is one of our country’s greatest achievements and one of our most exciting exports too.”
Hosted by TV’s Kate Silverton and Hardeep Singh Kohli, the awards helped showcase Britain’s finest culinary talent.
This year, a phenomenal 206,378 public votes were received, with 2,641 restaurants being nominated. More than 1,600 guests packed into the lavish venue to celebrate the stars of the industry and crown this year’s champions.
British Curry Awards 2014 winners:
Best Spice Restaurant in London Central & City: The Cinnamon Club, Westminster
Best Spice Restaurant in London Outer & Suburbs: Shampan Welling, Kent
Best Spice Restaurant in South East: Maliks Restaurant, Maidenhead, Berkshire
Best Spice Restaurant in South West: Myristica, Bristol
Best Spice Restaurant in North East: Aagrah Midpoint, Thornbury, West Yorkshire
Best Spice Restaurant in North West: Blue Tiffin, Oldham
Best Spice Restaurant in Midlands: Mem Saab, Nottingham
Best Spice Restaurant in Wales: Rasoi Indian Kitchen, Swansea
Best Spice Restaurant in Scotland: Light of Bengal, Aberdeen
Best Casual Dining: Dishoom Covent Garden
Newcomer of the Year: Five Rivers A La Carte, Walsall
Best Delivery Restaurant/ Takeaway by Justeat.com: The Chilli Pickle, Brighton
This year’s Special Recognition Award was presented to one of the founding fathers of the British curry industry, Shams Uddin Khan of Maharani restaurant in Clapham.
The British Curry Awards was established by British entrepreneur and restaurateur Enam Ali MBE in 2005. He said, “These awards have changed the public’s perception of British curry and we are getting the recognition for providing truly world class cuisine.”
Curry Life Magazine has awarded its top chefs for 2014 as nominated by the public.
Thirty-three of the country’s best chefs received awards at the five-star Lancaster Hotel in London, at a swanky annual event that celebrates the UK curry industry.
The ceremony was attended by Employment Minister Esther McVey, MP Keith Vaz and former Secretary of State for Health, Frank Dobson.
The Curry Life Chef Awards, launched in 2009 by Curry Life Magazine, are customer led and have gained a reputation for identifying authentic talent among UK curry chefs. They aim to honour curry industry professionals who have shown outstanding performance and culinary excellence.
In Greater Manchester, Jamal Uddin, head chef at the Westwood East Restaurant in Oldham, was among those collecting the accolades. Mr Uddin said: “To win this title is the greatest vote of confidence I could wish for, not just for myself but for my team who work so hard to make things happen at the Westwood East.”
“The award will inspire us to keep improving and I’d also like to thank all our customers for their help putting us on the map.”
He also paid tribute to Curry Life for their decade long dedication to supporting and promoting the curry industry – and establishing a benchmark for the most talented chefs.
Ms McVey said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and it was great to celebrate the success of so many of those who are experts in their field at the Curry Life Magazine awards. The Government is committed to supporting businesses that want to grow and expand.”
Syed Belal Ahmed, editor of Curry Life Magazine, said: “Events like this illustrate the strength of our love as a nation for curry. I would like to congratulate the much-deserving winners of this year’s awards.”
Curry Life Magazine is the accepted voice of the curry industry – delivered to 10,000 restaurants in the UK alone, it has an estimated readership of over 100,000 in the UK, Europe, Middle East and South Asia.
For a full list of the winners visit www.facebook.com/CurryLifeMagazine
Chef Mushfiqur Rahman has taken home the crown at this year’s UK South Asian Chef Challenge at the third attempt.
The chef director of the New Delhi 6 fine dining restaurant, in Sutton Coldfield, won the prize for creating the best original dish and recipe after competing in a final with eight other chefs.
Rahman, who takes inspiration from Northern Indian and Bengali cuisine, was runner up in 2012 and 2013 – and also won the special Health award last year for his nutritious entry. This year he took home the title and a £2,000 cash prize after competing in a cook-off at Bradford College.
Head chef at Maguro Restaurant in London, Shire Yu, had double success this year coming second and also retaining the accolade for most Innovative dish that he won last year. Third place went to Chef Marzena Nowakowska from the Crown Moran Hotel in London. Second and third chefs collected a trophy and £1,000 and £750 respectively.
The competition, now in its 10th year, is organised by the Aagrah Group of Restaurants. The brief each year requires that chefs produce their own original dishes with an emphasis on being ‘creative and adventurous’.
The winners were awarded their trophies at Aagrah’s annual charity business dinner held at New Dock Hall, Royal Armories, Leeds, on October 20 attended by more than 700 business guests – and raised £120,000 on the night for the Prince of Wales Trust.
Asian Afternoon Tea, a healthy Asian food cookbook and poppadom challenges are all part of the successful bid that has seen Bradford crowned as the Curry Capital of Britain for a fourth consecutive year.
Visit Bradford, the marketing organisation for Bradford Council, is celebrating once again having already won the national competition three years in a row.
Visit Bradford’s bid for the 2014 title included a number of initiatives and activities, such as poppadom challenges, an Asian afternoon tea and a healthy-style Asian cookbook created in connection with the NHS.
Peter Grove, organiser and founder of the event, was full of praise for Bradford’s outstanding effort, with the city’s score increasing nearly 9 per cent on last year’s total.
“It is as if they have found the magic formula,” he said. “Of all the competing cities they have understood the underlying message of the event to promote cohesion where there was division and have used curry … to bring different aspects of Bradford society together.
“As well as curry lovers and restaurateurs, they managed to bring together local businesses such as Lishman’s of Ilkley and their balti pies and Keelham’s Farm Shop with their tasty Tipsy Pig Ale, hotels and even the air cadets.
“They managed to portray the local pride they have in all things ‘Bradford’ so much so that we will be using their approach as a blueprint for next year.”
Patricia Tillotson, tourism manager at Visit Bradford, added: “Winning the hotly contested competition this many times in a row is a first and we’re pleased to have set the bar so high.
“From the return of our famous ‘Poppadomathon’ to the first ever Asian Afternoon Tea to be hosted outside of London, we’ve just loved being involved in the competition and raising money for a good cause.”
The Curry Capital of Britain is an annual competition which sees cities across the UK compete for the title. This year, 20 cities and regions including Birmingham, Leeds, and London took part. As part of the competition, all entering cities must host a range of fundraising events, with proceeds going to The Curry Tree. Visit Bradford raised over £700 for The Curry Tree charity which will be used to support the cause and its work oversees.
The winners of the English Curry Awards 2014 have been announced and a new collection of curry heroes and heroines have taken home the accolades this year.
Entries came in from all over England with favourite chefs and restaurants, caterers, teams and marketing campaigns all amongst the categories, with contenders vying for a nod at the awards which are growing in influence year on year.
Kings and Queens of curry from up and down the land were crowned at a ceremony at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on 13 October. The audience escaped from a wet and windy night into the warmth of the glamorous event, presented by Sunny and Shay from the Bafta nominated Channel 4’s ‘The Family’ and current hosts of BBC Radio London 94.9fm.
The audience gathered represented those working within and for the sector, and the occasion marked a celebration of the efforts of everyone continually striving to push up standards in the curry industry, as well as reward those gaining deserved recognition.
“To be amongst such passionate people who love what they do is truly inspiring. The English Curry Awards aims to recognise that dedication.” commented Yasmin Mahmood, Operations Director of event organisers Oceanic Consulting.
The audience was entertained by energetic dancers from RiRi’s Dance Academy in Manchester before being presented with a lavish and towering banquet catered for by Saffron Events. Media partners supporting the event included Probash Bangla, Oldham Voice and Spice City Journal.
As well as recognising the curry industry in all its facets, the event also raised just over £1500 for the official charity partners The Well Foundation.
There were 14 categories in total, with 39 awards up for grabs on the night. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award was kept under wraps until the evening and went to Ahmed S Choudhury, Chairman of Channel S and owner of Rajpoot Restaurant in Bath.
And so the best of England this year are …
Curry Lover of the Year – Adventures in Curryland
Best of Manchester – Akbar’s
Caterer of the Year – Greenleaf Services (Southall)
Curry King or Queen 2014 – Dipna Anand (Brilliant Restaurant, Southall)
Healthy Curry Provider – Clapham Tandoori (London)
Maitre D’ of the Year – Mohammed Khalid (Sheesh Mahal, Banbury)
Best Restaurant Design – Tipu Sultan (Birmingham)
New Restaurant of the Year – Khanage (London)
Best Marketing Campaign – Shimla Spice (Shipley)
Restaurant of the Year:
North East – Akbar’s (Newcastle) – and overall Restaurant winner
North West – Bollywood Masala (Manchester)
Yorkshire – Aakash (Bradford)
East Midlands – Haveli Fine Dining Restaurant (Nottingham)
West Midlands – Pabna (Leek)
East – Rang Mohol (Cambridge)
South East – Jai Ho (Surrey)
South West – Rajpoot (Bath)
London – Chak 89 (Mitham)
Takeaway of the Year:
North East – Indian Cottage (Country Durham)
North West – Indian Express (Preston)
Yorkshire – Medina Bismillah (Huddersfield)
East Midlands – Chutneys (Leicester)
West Midlands – The Lime Pickle (West Midlands)
East – Raja Indian Cuisine (Cambridge) – and overall Takeaway winner
South East – Masala Bay (Kent)
South West – Papa Raj (Plymouth)
London – K2 Indian Takeaway (Wimbledon)
Team/Service of the Year:
North East – New Bengal (Newcastle)
North West – Maharaja (Liverpool)
Yorkshire – Hansa’s (Leeds)
East Midlands – The Curry Fever (Leicester)
West Midlands – Indigo Restaurant (Wolverhampton)
East – Pride of Sylhet (Dunmow) – and overall Team winners
South East – Indian Melody (Southampton)
South West – Nibana (Plymouth)
London – The Coriander Leaf (Ealing)
Chef of the Year:
North – Niom Ullah Cutlers Spice (Sheffield)
Midlands – Dev Matharoo at Flamingo Bar and Grill (Leicester)
South – Arvind Horo at Papa Js (Milton Keynes) – and overall Chef winner
More than 10,000 nominations were entered for the fourth annual English Curry Awards – but the shortlist has been announced and the final will now take place in Salford this October.
Entries came in from all over England with votes for favourite chefs and eating establishments proving once again the popularity of curry and the ever-increasing high standards in the industry. The battle to be crowned at this year’s awards ceremony at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on 13 October is guaranteed to be a hot one!
Yasmin Mahmood, Operations Director for awards event organisers Oceanic Consulting, commented: “Each year [the] awards have grown from strength to strength, as we see an increase of nominations for those hidden gems as well as the better known curry houses. All the finalists are truly deserving and we wish everyone the best of luck.”
The Awards will also help raise funds for official charity partner The Well Foundation.
The shortlisted nominees for this year’s English Curry Awards are:
Curry Lover of the Year
Adventures in Curryland
Mr Curry Lover
The Curry Sauce.com
Best of Manchester
East Z East
Zouk Tea Bar and Grill
The Pearl Restaurant Bar and Lounge
Imli by Lal Qila
Caterer of the Year
Indus Catering (Essex)
Greenleaf Services (Southall)
Sukhdev’s Catering & Events (Birmingham)
Five Rivers Catering (Walsall)
Holy Cow (London)
Payal Events (Manchester) Mamas Masala (Derby)
Yasin Catering (Leeds)
Exquisite Caterers (Dewsbury)
Curry King or Queen 2014
Patel Family (Prashad Restaurant, Bradford)
Dipna Anand (Brilliant Restaurant, Southall)
Nisha Katona (Curry in a Hurry)
Healthy Curry Provider
The Tiffin Food Company (Leicester)
Kayal (Leamington Spa)
Indali Lounge (London)
Clapham Tandoori (London)
Curry Mahal (London)
House of Punjab (Milton Keynes)
Hare’s Moor Ltd (Walsall)
Craving Curries (Carlisle)
Maitre D’ of the Year
Ministers Indian Restaurant (County Durham)
The Rupali (Newcastle)
Sheesh Mahal (Banbury)
Blue Mango (Birmingham)
Mint Cuisine (Birmingham)
Jahed Cuisine of India (Birmingham)
Shama Balti (Huddersfield)
Zouk Tea Bar & Grill (Manchester)
Best Restaurant Design
The Mint Room (Bath)
Tipu Sultan (Birmingham)
Five Rivers A La Carte(Walsall)
Jaipur (Milton Keynes)
Haweli of Belmount (Sutton)
Desi Lounge Restaurant (Manchester)
The Horshoe Bar & Restaurant (Birmingham)
New Restaurant of the Year
Chef and Spice (Leicester)
Best Marketing Campaign
Spice Balti (Birmingham)
Mizan Spice (Walsall)
Mumbai Spice (Nottingham)
Passage to India (Whitby)
Lime Indian Restaurant (Nottingam)
Shimla Spice (Shipley)
Shikara (Tyne and Wear)
Spice Valley (Bolton)
Team/Service of the Year
New Bengal (Newcastle)
Moti Raj (Sunderland)
Monsoon Kitchen (Sunderland)
Maharaj’s Lounge (Blyth)
The Purple Pakora (Chesire)
Spice Lounge (Liverpool)
Zest Indian Restaurant (Chesire)
Indian Brasserie (Chester)
The 3 Singhs (Bradford)
Butler’s Balti House (Sheffield)
Curry Lounge (Nottingham)
The Curry Fever (Leicester)
The Mogul (Derby)
The Shalimar Restaurant (Derby)
The Royal Bengal (Ketterinng)
Kismet Indian Restaurant (Stoke on Trent)
Indigo Restaurant (Wolverhampton)
Kashnir Gardens (Stoke on Trent)
Rose Murree (Birmingham)
Sanskrit Indian Restaurant (Birmingham)
India House (Cambridge)
Pride of Sylhet (Dunmow)
Gandhi Indian Cuisine (Suffolk)
Rajdhani Restaurant (Milton Keynes)
Indian Melody (Southampton)
Kali Mirchi (Southampton)
Cinammon Spice (Kent)
Spice Merchants (Hampshire)
4500 Miles From Delhi (Bristol)
The Khyber (Swindon)
Bombay Lounge (West Swindon)
The Coriander Leaf (Ealing)
The Red Fort (Soho)
Chor Bizarre (Mayfair)
Chef of the Year
Indian Express (Preston)
Paprika Restaurant & Bar (Bradford)
Kiplings (West Yorkshire)
Cutlers Spice (Sheffield)
The Spice City (Liverpool)
Light of Bengal (Liverpool)
Magna Tandoori (Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
Pushkar Cocktail Bar + Dining (Birmingham)
Saffron Quater (Worcester)
Flamingo Bar and Grill (Liecester)
The Cumin Indian Restaurant (Nottingham)
Mogal e Azam (Nottingham)
Blue Tiffin (Stoke-on-Trent)
Isaacs Contemporary Indian Dining (Birmingham)
Milan Indian Cuisine (Birmingham)
Eastern Eye (Plymouth)
The Chilli Pickle (Brighton)
Mirch Masala (Oxford)
Pipasha Restaurant (Cambridge)
A One Dosa (Luton)
Papa Js (Milton Keynes)
Spices Indian Cuisine (Berkshire)
The Cochin (Hemel Hemstead)
Takeaway of the Year
Moti Jheel (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Jaipur (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
Indian Cottage (Country Durham)
Mizan Tandoori (Durham)
The Razni (Gateshead)
Shagor Tandoori Takeaway (Burnley)
Indian Express (Preston)
Abduls Food to go (Manchester)
Indian Spice (Manchester)
Mumbai Indian Takeaway (Liverpool)
Hanifah Balti House (Sheffield)
Medina Bismillah (Huddersfield)
Millenium Tandoori (Bradford)
Mumbai Flavours (Nottingham)
Mumbai Spice (Nottingham)
Tawa Curry Hut (Leicester)
Curry Express (Derby)
The Lime Pickle (West Midlands)
Mr Maliks (Newcastle Under Lyme)
Red Fort (Leamington Spa)
Mahim Indian Takeaway (Shrewsbury)
Masterchef Indian Takeaway (Luton)
Little India (Luton)
Golden Spice (Cambridge)
Shampan Tandoori (Essex)
Raja Indian Cuisine(Cambridge)
Bina Tandoori (Southampton)
Curry World (Portsmouth)
Daan Indian Food (Milton Keynes)
Polash Tandoori Takeaway (Kent)
All Spice Indian Takeaway (Bristol)
Mirchi Indian (Bristol)
Indus Takeaway (Plymouth)
Papa Raj (Plymouth)
Spice Magic (Exeter)
Shimla Mirch (Hammersmith)
K2 Indian Takeaway (Wimbledon)
Whitton Tandoori (Hounslow)
Masala Express (West Kensington)
Restaurant of the Year
Raval Luxury Indian Restaurant (Newcastle)
Spice Empire (Sunderland)
Jashn Restaurant (Newcastle)
Koconut Grove (Cheshire)
Cafe Lahore (Oldham)
Baber Elephant (Lancaster)
Spice Valley (Bolton)
Boolywood Masala (Manchester)
Miah’s Kitchen (Leeds)
Shimla Spice (Shipley)
Nawaab Khan (Leeds)
The Raj Restaurant (Kettering)
Haveli Fine Dining Restaurant (Nottingham)
Santhi Restaurant (Leicester)
Turmeric Gold (Coventry)
Bengal Delight (Birmingham)
Punjabi Rasoi (Birmingham)
Rang Mohol (Cambridge)
Zara Indian Cuisine (Cambridge)
Jewels Restaurant (Southampton)
Raja of Kent (Tenterton)
Jai Ho (Surrey)
The Eastern Eye (Bath)
Mombay Brasserie (Plymouth)
Kohi Noor of Bristol (Bristol)
Shah Jahan Indian Restaurant (Salisbury)
The Clay Oven (Ealing)
Indian Zing (Hammersmith)
Salaam Namaste (Bloomsbury)
Chak 89 (Mitham)
Eight finalists are set to compete in the grand final of the South Asian Chef Competition (SACC) at Bradford College on October 20.
Now in its 10th year, the contenders, who are yet to be announced, will be professional chefs that have excelled creatively in developing a selection of innovative South Asian dishes in order to win the coveted title of UK South Asian Chef 2014.
Judges represented by the Craft Guild of Chefs, the catering industry and the education sector will assess competitors’ skills and also their knowledge of South Asian cuisine, as well as judged on their own original recipes.
The awards will be presented at the Aagrah Annual Business Dinner at The Royal Armouries in Leeds. These include a first prize of £2,000 plus membership of the Craft Guild of Chefs, runner up receiving £1,000 and second runner up £750, plus two further special prizes each of £100 for the most innovative dish and health-conscious dish.
Two restaurants that were ‘at war’ with each other have both triumphed in the 17th Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards.
Manchester House at Spinningfields and The French at The Midland Hotel, have won top awards at the event which celebrates the rich Manchester food and drink scene each year.
The two venues and their head chefs Aiden Byrne and Simon Rogan, who featured in BBC documentary Restaurant Wars earlier this year, went head-to-head in a number of categories in the awards served up at Manchester Town Hall on Monday (29 September).
Manchester House won a historical hat-trick – usurping last year’s winner The French as Best Restaurant, and adding Best Bar and Best Newcomer to their collection.
Adam Reid scooped the coveted prize for Best Chef for his services at The French. Both restaurants’ culinary teams, headed by Rogan and Byrne, attended the glittering ceremony to receive their accolades on the evening, with Manchester House creator and owner Tim Bacon also honoured with the Outstanding Achievement award.
The awards capped this year’s festival, which ran for 11 event-packed days across the city centre.
Pub of the Year went to The Dockyard – MediaCityUK’s first ever pub which opened last year. In awarding the best pub, judges look for quality, range of ale/ beers and atmosphere.
Elsewhere, Ramsbottom stood firm in the Best Food Pub category – The Eagle and Child took the title from neighbour Heart of the Ram to hold on to the honours for the Lancashire town.
A host of venues across Manchester were nominated in the 12 categories – a sign of the city’s food and drink boom in recent years. Festival director Phil Jones commented: “Manchester’s dining market has seen another year of fantastic growth in both range of offer and quality of experience, and this has been clearly reflected in the awards.
“We have seen innovative new food events taking the city by storm, alongside restaurant wars between some of the region’s hottest chefs – all have made for a fantastic year for MFDF that saw more than 90,000 visitors to our Festival Hub in Albert Square over the 11 day Festival.”