The annual Leicester Curry Awards return next week to celebrate the very best Indian restaurants across the city and county.
With so many to choose from, where do you even start in picking the winners? The organisation of it all falls to Romail Gulzar from Pukaar News, so we caught up with him to find out more about it all.
Be sure to check back on Monday 27 September to find out who the winners are this year!
How has planning been for the awards this year?
My philosophy has been that the show must go on. Of course there have been challenges, but with lots of passion and a love of what we do we’re looking forward to a brilliant event. We’ll have 500+ people at Athena and I’m confident the event will be fully Covid safe.
What’s your favourite part of organising the Leicester Curry Awards?
My favourite part is seeing the team’s passion as the event starts to come together. We’ve been having up to 5 meetings a day about everything from toilet roll to tech production. We get involved in every aspect of the event so when it comes together on the night we know it will be perfect.
Are you allowed to have a favourite restaurant?
There’s absolutely no favouritism. I leave everything 100% to the judges.
How is the judging done for the awards?
Everyone is equal as they enter the awards. Nominations are done online and the public choose the top 5. However, one thing we do stipulate is that a restaurant must have 3+ hygiene status to be a finalist. Judges then visit the finalists anonymously and rate every aspect of the restaurant, not just the food but hygiene and service. We give judges 10 questions they have to answer about every finalist they visit.
Which category is the most competitive?
We are spoilt for choice in every category. For example, Indian pubs. People often don’t realise how many great Indian pubs there are in Leicester. We have also added a new category of Indian Street Food for this year.
What’s your favourite dish to order when you go out for a curry?
I can be very picky. I like a proper Indian Tarka Dhal and also chicken cooked on the bone.
What is it about Leicester’s curry scene that makes it so special?
If there’s no curry there is no Leicester. We may have lost the title of Curry Capital of the UK but I personally believe that we are. The county is also now coming through with more great restaurants to add to the city’s incredible options. It is a £5.3 billion industry in the UK and the East Midlands plays a huge part of that with 000s in employment. We’ll get that title back!
To find out more about Leicester Curry Awards and find out the winners visit the Leicester Curry Awards website.