When Enam Ali started these Awards back in 2005, he could never have dreamed that they would become the most powerful hospitality industry force they are today. He had high hopes of course. After all, his reason for establishing the Awards was to provide a fittingly glamorous national shop window for the new generation of restaurateurs who, by their investment, hard work and creativity, were already setting new quality standards that even the Michelin Guide inspectors could no longer ignore.
The concept of the “British Curry” is now so well established that it is possible to forget the opposition encountered before the first awards in 2005. There were a lot of people who objected, believing that this was an ‘Indian’ or ‘Bangladeshi’ only product. Enam Ali MBE had to spend a considerable sum of his own money to fight legal battles against those who objected and successfully won these cases, to the benefit of all today. Enam was ‘ahead of the game’ in realising that the new generation, while proud of their roots, were nonetheless very ‘British’ and had evolved their own particular brand of curry. He was determined to give the talented people who were busy creating a whole new dining experience for our British customers their own identity. Now, of course, British curry is known and respected not just on these shores but throughout the world. As Enam likes to say, curry may have been born in India, but it’s in Britain that it has grown and matured. The British Curry Awards are recognition of that.