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Chef of the Year: Banglatown ‘09 announced at the Press Launch of Brick Lane Curry Festival

Press release September 25, 2009 Culture

Europe’s Curry Capital plays host to Europe’s biggest celebration of exotic food and culture

Wednesday 23rd September 2009: Amir Uddin of Eastern Eyerestaurant was today appointed Chef of the Year: Banglatown ‘09 during the Best Curry Competition at the Press Launch of Brick Lane Curry Festival 2009. Dishes were prepared by the chefs of Brick Lane, judged by a panel comprising actress Nina Wadia; celebrity chef and Executive Director, Food & Business Development, V8 Gourmet Group Andy Varma; and Mayor of Tower Hamlets - Councillor Ahmed Omer.Also on the panel wasRejina SaburfromWhitechapelwho entered an online competition which gave a member of the public the chance to join the celebrity judging panel. The joint runners up were restaurants Massala and Chillies

Today’s event also marked the imminent return of theBrick Lane Curry Festival with lead sponsor Cobra Beer Partnership, back this year even bigger, better and tastier than before as once again, Europe’s Curry Capital pays homage to the nation’s favourite dish – the curry!  Launching on Sunday 27th September 2009,the two-week Brick Lane Curry Festival will comprise a hearty celebration of exotic food, culture and the full flavours of the East, running until Saturday 10th October 2009.  Now a cultural and gastronomic institution in its own right, Brick Lane Curry Festival is renowned as one of UK’s biggest and most exciting cross cultural street parties, regularly attracting over 60,000 visitors on its opening day. 

Established over seven years ago, the launch event on 27th September will take shape as a buzzing street festival of sumptuous cuisine and al fresco dining; eclectic music, dance and street art performances; stalls providing unique Bangladeshi snacks and sweets; and ushers in traditional Indian costumes, snake charmers and chanachur walas (traditional snack sellers) entertaining visitors. For the days following the lively street gastronomic extravaganza, restaurants along the entire length of Brick Lane will provide festive menus, special offers and live entertainment. 

Brick Lane Curry Festival’s launch event will comprise a global mix of food, music, history, art and culture. The entire length of Brick Lane and Osborn Street will be closed to create easy access for the crowds and to make way for the al fresco dining opportunities that will be provided by the multitude of longstanding restaurants, which have added colour, flavour and character to one of London’s most infamous streets for years and transformed Brick Lane into a cultural and social hotspot for tourists and Londoners alike. 

Comments Event Organiser, Amir Hussain, “After a one year hiatus, Brick Lane Curry Festival is back, even bigger and better than before. Brick Lane is a melting pot of social groups, cultures and sub cultures, who all congregate against the characteristic backdrop of the colourful and vibrant Bangladeshi restaurants.  

“These restaurants have made a huge contribution to the UK economy and been largely responsible for bringing tourism and visitors from far and wide to the area. They have also transformed Brick Lane into one of UK’s most popular and vibrant destinations. The Brick Lane Curry Festival will give fans and newcomers to the area the chance to experience the full kaleidoscope of colours, flavours and atmosphere that the region has to offer.”  

Among the panel of judges was celebrity chef and Executive Director, Food & Business Development, V8 Gourmet Group Andy Varmawho said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the judging of the fantastic dishes. The food was exquisite and fantastic, Hats off to the chefs. It is really important to keep the spirits up and have this vibrant competition between all these chefs – they are energetic, young and innovative. With innovation comes excellence which is something that I always encourage. What we saw today was fantastic, many dishes in the competition really stand out. I hope the one I like wins. The Curry Festival for two weeks is going to be fantastic and great for the economy and the area. I think it is much appreciated and needed and I am sure next year will be even bigger and better.” 

Karan Bilimoria, Founder and Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership, the lead sponsor for the Brick Lane Curry Festival comments: “Brick Lane is a cultural gem and is truly London’s curry capital. You cannot but be mesmerised by the vast array of offerings and delicious food available. Cobra Beer is proud to have been present in Brick Lane since we started twenty years ago and to have seen Brick Lane grow from strength to strength over the last decades. We are truly grateful and appreciative of the support we have received from Brick Lane over the years. Cobra Beer is delighted to support the Brick Lane Curry Festival 2009 and we wish it every success.”  

Adrian Davey, Managing Director, Cobra Beer Partnershipcomments:''After recently joining the Management team of the Cobra Beer Partnership I have enjoyed many evenings visiting customers and being really impressed by the great food, hospitality, and Cobra that is offered to such a high standard. However, one evening that will always stick in my memory was visiting Brick Lane with Samson Sohail and being overwhelmed with the energy, vibrancy and dynamism of the Brick Lane area. Obviously it was also great to see Cobra being present on so many restaurant tables! As Cobra begins a new chapter in its exciting journey we are delighted to support the Brick Lane Curry festival for 2009 and wish everyone a really successful and enjoyable festival.''