Over 180 VIP guests attended a celebratory dinner at the House of Commons

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Over 180 VIP guests attended a celebratory dinner at the House of Commons on Thursday 12th March, to honour the winners of the Asian & Oriental Chef Awards and to launch this year’s Asian Restaurant Awards and Asian Curry Awards. The dinner was hosted by the Minster for London, Paul Scully MP.

Following a cook-off competition held at Ealing University in February, Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year 2020 awards were presented to chefs Daya Shankar Sharma (Indian) of Grand Trunk Road in South Woodford and Shanker Pandy of Everest Inn (Nepalese) in Blackhealth; and Jie Chen (Chinese) of Canton Restaurant in London.

Chak Fung “Jacky” Chan of Golden Dragon in Swansea was named National Runner-Up (Chinese).

Regional awards went to Suna Meah of Tamarind Lounge in Sevenoaks (Kent); Mahabur Rahman of Royston Tandoori (East of England); Ram Paudal of Panas Gurkha in Blackheath (London Suburbs); Mohamed Al Amin, Millennium Balti, Royal Leamington Spa (Warwickshire); and Mohammed Najib Ali of Maya Restaurant, Altherstone (Midlands).

The awards’ Chairman of Judges Pat Chapman, editor of the Cobra Good Curry Guide received a Lifetime Achievement.

Special Recognition Awards were presented to hotelier and TV chef Tony Khan who founded the Tony Khan Institute in Bangladesh and is president of the Bangladesh Chef’s Association and to Satish Arora of Director of Food Production at Taj Hotels.

In his keynote speech, ACF chairman Yawar Khan announced a joint initiative with the Tony Khan Institute to train young chefs in Bangladesh, help process their immigration visas and find them jobs in UK curry restaurants, which are facing a severe skills shortage.

Yawar Khan welcomed the Government’s post-Brexit points-based immigration policy which will make it easier for employers to recruit skilled chefs from outside the UK.

“For years we have lobbied government ministers and officials to relax the salary threshold for non-EU residents coming to the UK for work,” said Khan, who added, “The Asian Catering Federation supports the Government’s aim to make Britain a high-skilled economy.”

The House of Commons event was also used as a platform to launch the ACF’s Asian Restaurant Awards being held in Manchester on 20th April, the Asian Restaurant Awards -Scotland in Edinburgh on 22nd June and the Asian Curry Awards in London on 22nd November.

These are the country’s only awards open to the diverse variety of cuisines across the entire Asian continent. The Manchester event is open to restaurants from across the UK.

Spice lovers can nominate their favourite restaurants