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18th Annual British Curry Awards to honour founder, Enam Ali MBE

The UK’s leading and foremost award ceremony to honour the nation’s top curry restaurants, as voted for by the British public, The British Curry Awards 2022 in association with Just Eat, will pay tribute to the late Enam Ali MBE. The 18th annual ceremony will be held on Monday 28th November at Evolution London in memory of the event’s founder and the UK’s leading spokesperson for the curry industry, who worked tirelessly to promote the curry industry globally for over 45 years.

The finest curry restaurateurs from across the UK will come together in the Capital to honour Enam Ali’s memory and in the hope of being recognised as the best restaurant in their region and honoured with a jewel in the crown of the UK curry restaurant industry award sector. Recognised globally as the original and most coveted award ceremony in the UK curry industry, also referred to as the ‘Curry Oscars’, as termed by former Prime Minister David Cameron, British Curry Awards will also welcome prominent personalities from the worlds of politics, sport, showbiz and entertainment alongside celebrity chefs and curry restaurant owners and their staff from across the country. The Awards’ main sponsor is Just Eat, the market-leading online food ordering and delivery platform.

British Curry Awards has established itself as a national institution, recognised internationally and a firm fixture on the UK’s social calendar. A nationwide nominations process to honour the nation’s top curry houses is led by the local patrons of curry houses on the streets of Britain, annually invited to nominate their favourite curry restaurants and takeaways. The process of public nominations creates an authentic list of the nation’s favourite Asian eateries, based on the opinions of residents, leading to a rigorous vetting process by an independent panel of judges.  

The 2022 event also marks the introduction of the Diners Choice Award – a new category that will reward curry establishments that are able to engage their customers through social media. Any nominated establishment in Britain will have a chance to win this award if they receive the highest number of live, public votes on the night.

However, the UK curry industry, known for its resilience in weathering operational and business challenges such as staff shortages and the pandemic, now faces further uncertainty with the energy and cost of living crises and amid rising inflation. With spiralling costs, It is estimated that the average price of a curry could reach as much as £30 and industry leaders fear it could lead to the closure of thousands of curry restaurants across the UK.

Curry restaurateurs have seen their shopping bills increase by an average of 40 per cent. The price of oil alone has increased by more than 100 per cent; while the cost of other curry house essentials such as a 25kg sack of onions has now doubled to more than £14.50. The situation is unsustainable for the industry as curry houses are desperately trying to minimise off-setting these costs against menu pricing, as households are facing tightened budgets themselves.

The Spice Business ‘Onion Bhaji Index’ indicates the average cost of an onion bhaji in the UK will jump from £4 to £12 per portion, while rising inflation means the average price of curry house favourite, the chicken tikka masala, would rise from an average menu price of £7 to £17, which diners are simply unable to afford. Add to that soaring energy bills, it is estimated that around seven in ten restaurants could be forced to shut their doors for good without government intervention.

Jeffrey Ali, Director, British Curry Awards says, “The British Curry Awards 2022 marks the first year without our Founder, the late Enam Ali MBE. For decades, he tirelessly dedicated his life towards promoting and championing the UK Curry Industry, cementing The British Curry Awards as an ‘institution’. As the natural custodian of this revered brand, we proudly strive forward with our responsibility to continue his legacy, ensuring The British Curry Awards remain THE platform to inspire future generations to push the boundaries and innovate Britain’s favourite cuisine. 

Whilst the international community, especially the UK, faces a continued onslaught of economic uncertainty and political instability, we take solace from the general public who continue to support local businesses such as their local Curry Restaurants. We’re currently developing the ‘Onion Bhaji Index’, which will help consumers and business owners alike to better understand prices at their local curry establishment. As a consumer forward award platform, our goal is to promote the best in Britain, bringing real value to our nation’s customers. We have received tens of thousands of nominations this year and look forward to announcing the results of our months-long judging process and live vote due to be held at the biggest and most anticipated ceremony on the hospitality calendar.”

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