“The national dish of Great Britain is

Chicken Tikka Masala!”

Robin Cooke MP

 

UK Curry Championships 2024

National Curry Chef of the Year

 

On Wednesday 29th May, chefs from across the UK, from Glasgow to London will converge in the market town of Dunstable, Bedfordshire.

The UK Curry Championships takes pride in showcasing the best of British curry culture and providing a platform for curry professionals to show off their culinary skills.

Curry chefs are invited from around the country to come and compete and cook their best curry dishes in the hope to become

UK Curry Champion / National Curry Chef of the Year.

 

The British Culinary Championships is one of the UK’s largest live culinary competitions and will take place at Central Bedfordshire College on 28-29th May 2024.

Wednesday 29th May 2024 will host a schedule of competition classes dedicated to Asian and Oriental cuisine culminating in The UK Curry Championships hosted by UK Curry Connect.

 

A brief history

The first ‘Indian’ restaurant established in the UK, ‘The Hindoostane Coffee House’ was opened in London in 1810, Sake Dean Mohamed, a Bengali surgeon and entrepreneur from Calcutta. Other Bangladeshi owned Indian restaurants followed in the 1920’s and these would have served returning colonial officers, Indian professionals and lascars. It wouldn’t be long before the rest of the British population would develop a taste for the exotic.

The growth of the ‘Curry’ industry can be attributed to the arrival of brave Bangladeshis with entrepreneurial spirit and their quest to better their family’s lives as well as their own. Since their arrival after the labour shortages of WWII, generations of Bangladeshis have taken the industry from its humble beginnings to now being closely entwined with British culture. 

‘Going out for a curry’ was no longer a novelty but a rite of passage. The curry industry had established itself in British culture in almost every city, town and village across the UK where it can now proudly proclaim to be the nation’s favourite cuisine!

Although the Indian restaurant industry predates the creation of Bangladesh as a country, it is the Bangladeshis who have created this industry, with approximately 85-90% of the industry still being Bangladeshi owned.

However, the traditional food of the country from which these curry entrepreneurs originated from is somewhat overlooked in this industry with most restaurants offering customers what they know and what they grew up with. Dishes that were created for the British palate in mind and mostly unique to these shores. The consequence of this is that the amazing heritage and culinary delights of the sub-continent are untried and lost on the British palate.

Curry however, is not unique to Indian or Bangladeshi cuisine. Indeed, other countries and regions around the world have their own version of their curry, South East Asia, Japan, Nepal, Middle East, West Indies etc. and all have their rich histories and storied culture.

Furthermore, curry has evolved from its traditional roots and now embraces more modern interpretations, technique and presentation. It is more vibrant and delectable than ever. This competition allows traditional chefs to compete alongside modern contemporary chefs and those from different cultures and countries. It will certainly be a mouthwatering competition!

There are many great curry chefs around the country and it is time we give them an opportunity to sizzle. An opportunity to come together, to cook together, to compete together and to crown their champion!

 

 “The British may have conquered India with gunpowder…but we have conquered Britain with Curry powder!”

Baron Gulam Noon