British Kebab Awards
Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 8th January, 2015
The British Curry Awards have become a firm fixture in the UK’s gastronomic calendar, but they now have a vigorous rival in the form of the British Kebab Awards, whose third annual event was held last night at London’s Park Plaza Hotel. It was a tribute to the driving force and organising ability of Ibrahim Dogus — with whom I work as a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) — that 1,200 people gathered for a slap-up meal (no kebabs, but Oriental mezze, followed by stuffed chicken and desert), including a range of MPs and other politicians from all three main political parties, including a blast from the past Lord (Neil) Kinnock. Keith Vaz MP joked that the Indian restaurateurs in Leicester are really worried about the competition from the Turks and it’s fascinating how quickly kebab outlets — from humble takeaways to smart restaurants like London’s Sofra and Sarastro — have become part of the UK’s culinary landscape. There was a wide range of categories of winners chosen by a panel of judges that included Keith Vaz, Nadhim Zahawi MP and Baroness (Meral) Hussein-Ece. Among the laureates in London (and therefore ones I might try) Super Ocakbasi (Best Takeaway), Durum Ocakbasi (Best Customer Satisfaction), Selale Restaurant (Best Value) and Pivaz Restaurant (Best Newcomer).