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This edition of Spice Business is pub- lished hard on the heels of the sixth annual British Curry Awards held on 21st November at the Grosvenor House Hotel. We have been receiving numer- ous messages of congratulations, paying compliments to us about the event, from various quarters, includ- ing celebrities, politicians, media and restaurateurs. Many are saying it was the best award ceremony ever in the hospitality sector.


Since we started the British Curry Awards in 2005, there have been over 16 other awards ceremonies. But as the Prime Minister said, our event is regarded as the curry ‘oscars’.


Live footage of the event was shown around the world through our media partner, ITN News, and the consequent international coverage has been a huge success. The event was publicised at a national, regional and international level in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV. Watch out on Christmas Day, as Star TV will broadcast the programme in full. But if you are too busy that day keep an eye on our website for a repeat date of the broadcast.


The team at Spice Business and The British Curry Awards are striving hard to showcase the best of the British curry industry to the whole world. I think we are getting the message across globally that British curry is the best there is!


There are winners and losers in every


competition, but competition can bring out the best in us. My message to all my fellow restaurateurs is keep up the good work, our industry is proud of your achievements!


I cannot help mentioning the need to please book your seats for the next awards ceremony well in advance to avoid disappointment. There were desperate calls for seats to our office at the eleventh hour when all the seats had been sold out and unfortunately we were helpless due to the limitations of the venue.


A word of praise for the chief guest at the British Curry Awards this year, the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Development. Himself a curry lover, Mr Pickles talked about the great contri- bution the curry industry is making to the national economy and local com- munities and that curry has a huge place in our national affections. Let’s hope Eric will become a great cham- pion for our industry in government


After all, the last thing I want to see is for all our hard work to be undermined by the adoption of harmful government policies. I know that our government is in a dilemma as to how to deal with the need to import chefs from overseas, and especially the Indian subcontinent. The statistics show that cutting down on chefs coming into the UK will have


an insignificant impact on the whole employment scene.


A sound policy on the immigration of chefs will catalyse our curry industry and we are not opposed to a cap in principle. However if it is applied in a harmful way then it could jeopardise the whole curry buiness, which is a £ 3.5 billion turnover industry, as well as the eating out delights of many mil- lions of Britons.


As I write this, the harsh winter has come back much earlier than usual and it is causing chaos with roads closed and deliveries affected. But curry restaurants, it seems, always get the better end of the deal in these conditions as people like to have a hot curry in snug surroundings. Let us hope it is the same this time!


There is no doubt that 2011 will be a time of uncertainty, starting off with the VAT increase. However there are signs that the economy is improving so fingers crossed that this continues. In the meantime, may I wish all readers a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a prosperous New Year.


Enam Ali MBE-FIH enam@spicebusiness.co.uk


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