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and Oriental cuisine - dubbed ‘curry colleges’ - and it was involved in launching the Government- backed scholarship fund at one of the Centres of Excellence - the University of West London - last year.


On behalf of the Asian Restaurants Skills


Board, Rajesh Suri, chief executive at Tamarind Collection commented: “Our motivation is rooted in our passion for food and a love for cooking. We are driven to prime the next generation of world class chefs with the techniques and knowledge to carry on the great traditions of Indian fi ne dining and bring palatable enjoyment to countless more people.” He was supported by Iqbal Wahhab, chair of the Asian Restaurants Skills Board, who added: “This is a vital initiative to provide the next generation of talent in our industry. Whether it’s hosting fundraising events or providing work placements and apprenticeships, our members are actively investing in new talent from young Londoners who may have never previously considered entering the sector. With the right coaching, guidance and encouragement, these could be the next generation of masala millionaires!” Communities’ secretary Eric Pickles is a big


believer in the scheme. He said, “The Asian Restaurant Skills Board is doing a tremendous job in bringing our fi nest chefs and restaurateurs together to promote British talent in the Asian cuisine industry. The scholarship scheme, backed by our world-leading restaurants, is helping to ensure that young ‘elite’ chefs and managers can reach the very top of their profession. It also ensures that this country remains one of the best places in the world to train in Asian cuisine.” Further restaurant events have been scheduled to promote the initiative. These include Café Spice Namaste, lunch on Sunday 19th May; La Porte des Indes, evening canapés on Tuesday 4th June; Chor Bizarre, lunch on Tuesday 14th July; The Painted Heron, dinner on Tuesday13th August and Cinnamon Kitchen, lunch on 9th September. For more details and how to book places go to: http://alumni.uwl. ac.uk/arsb. n


CAMPAIGNING FOR CURRY HOUSE FOUNDER


THERE are plans to honour the man who brought the curry house to Britain with a special blue plaque. Campaigners want to recognise Sake Dean Mahomed for his contribution to the popularity of the curry in Britain today.


Mahomed opened the Hindoostanee Coffee House in 1810 in Portman Square, London. While there is a green council plaque on the site of


the original restaurant, campaigners say a blue English Heritage plaque should be placed on the house in Brighton where he lived. The campaign to get this recognition for Mahomed has been led by Peter and Colleen Grove, the well respected editors of Mood Food Magazine and curry events organisers. He says, “Curry is an important part of British culture and something that has galvanised our people. That is largely thanks to this man and I think it is important to remember and recognise his contribution.” n


Celebrities flock to Chak 89


SOUTH London restaurant Chak 89 has seen a number of well-known faces come through its doors in recent months, including a royal prince, the Nawaab of Pataudi, Saif Ali Khan. Also one of India’s top actors, Saif was in London for just a day to launch the worldwide promotional tour of his latest fi lm, Race 2, and paid a visit to the restaurant for a ‘meet and greet’ with fans. Other recent visitors to Chak 89 have included Chelsea footballers David Luiz and Victor Moses, boxer David Haye, athlete Mo Farah, singer Beverley Knight, politician Ed Balls and cricket legend Imran Khan. n


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