|In the kitchen at Sheesh - again winners of this year's Fine Dining Award|
Some one thousand people attended the British Kebab Awards last night, where they were bizarrely treated to curry along with kebabs as they heard this year’s winners. Now in its third year, the British Kebab Awards (BKA), organised by the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) threw up a range of new and familiar names in the business, with a host of surprise winners too.
The brain child of İbrahim Doğuş (restaurateur – Troia), Mustafa Topkaya (pioneering kebab restaurateur), and Timur Ekingen (editor of Londra Gazete), BKA was set up with the aim of helping to promote kebabs, both as a tasty and nutritious meal, and also for its important contribution to the British economy.
The sector is annually worth £2.2 billion to the British economy. There are an estimated 17,000 businesses involved in the kebab chain – from suppliers to restaurants and takeaways – which collectively employ over 70,000 people.
Kebabs are on an upward trajectory
While kebabs are the staple fodder of countries from
Greece through to India and all nations in between and many beyond,
at the forefront of the
industry are Turks and Kurds. They have taken what was traditionally a
late-night drunken snack and presented it in a totally new light, using top
quality ingredients and traditional cooking methods, some even opting for fine
dining environments. UK
The humble kebab is on an upward trajectory that will continue to grow with the likes of Alan Yau (of Hakkasan and Wagamama fame) joining the party with his newly opened West End eatery Babaji Pide and other leading chefs set to do the same in 2015.
Of course, standards continue to vary and the industry is plagued by rogues. Only last week a kebab eatery in Havering, near Romford, was fined £7,500 after a 3-inch drill bit was found in a customer’s döner kebab! However, the positive profile of kebabs continues to grow, aided significantly by events such as these.
So on to the BKA winners.
There were 14 categories, among them Best Takeaway, Best Value, Fine Dining, Best Newcomer, and Best Chef. Local politicians and people were asked to nominate the best ones in their area, and of course outlets and businesses could nominate themselves. Their local council score on aspects such as hygiene and environment get included into the scoring mix, along with how many local votes each outlet amasses. From these, a shortlist is drawn up – see here for the BKA 2015 Shortlist.
The BKA judges, who this year included Baroness Meral Ece-Hussein, restaurateur James Breslaw and Önder Şahin – owner of Ev and the Tas chain – then visit all those on the shortlist to judge them on a range of criteria, while the public continues to cast their vote for their favourite kebab joints. The two verdicts are then combined and the winners determined.
And the winners of the British Kebab Awards 2015 are:
|Chicken kebab courtesy of Super Kebab - Best Takeway in London|
Best Chef Award of the Year
Winner: Haci Akdogan (head chef/owner, Haz Restaurant chain)
Best Young Chef
Joint winners: Murat Poyraz (Blue Legume chain) / Mazlum Demir (Skewd Kitchen, Cockfosters)
Altan & Co Award for Fine Dining
Paragon Quality Foods Award for Best Takeaway in
Winner: Super Kebab/Ocakbasi, Stoke
Bulldog Power Energy Drink Award for Best Takeaway Outside
Winner: Botan Kebab House,
|Dishes from Kebabalicious - winners of Best Delivery|
JUST EAT Award for Best Delivery
Big K Award for Best Value
Winner: Selale Restaurant, Harringay
Harlequin Printing & Packaging Award for Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Durum Ocakbasi, Golders Green
Best Related Business of the Year
Joint winners: Baran Meat / Veli’s Doner Kebab Manufacturers
Outstanding Contribution to the Kebab Industry
Best Newcomer Kebab Restaurant
Pivaz, Clapton London
: Hill Café & Bistro, Huntingdon London
Best Kebab House in
Winner: The Sphinx,
Best Kebab House in
Winner: Javit’s, Edinburgh
Best Kebab House in
Winner: Pizza Choice,
|BKA co-founder İbrahim Doğuş with Gulfer Gulener at last night's awards ceremony. Photo: Peray Ahmet|
British Kebab Awards –recognising the importance of kebabs to UK culture and the economy, 14 Jan. 2014