Message from the Chairman

Yawar Khan, Chair ACF and Asian Curry Awards, speaks at Grosvenor House Event in London

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of our members for their continuing support and commitment to championing the best in Asian cuisine in Britain. As I have made clear in my meetings with government, trading organisations and regulatory bodies on your behalf, the last few years have presented many significant challenges to our practitioners – to the restaurateurs, chefs and all of the ancillary staff who have had to cope with cost of living crisis, staff shortages, inflated mortgage costs and excessive heating and fuel bills. Yet despite this, you have all contributed to producing a record year for the Asian catering industry, with an estimated £7.5billion in turnover projected for the year-end.

The Asian Curry Awards which took place last month at the splendid Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair, London, witnessed the cream of our business receive recognition for their impressive and authentic fresh cooking efforts. They join our regional winners in becoming the champions of the industry – providing the positive impetus and becoming the role models for the many other aspiring restaurant owners and chefs who are up and coming across the UK.

This has been a busy year for us at the ACF and the Asian Curry Awards in particular. With my hard working team, I have attended many meetings, conferences, round tables and workshops with senior regulatory and trading bodies and government ministers both in the UK and in Europe.

Critically I was able to present our case in person for a reduction in business rates and VAT to the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary for Business & Trade, Kevin Holinrake MP back in July, whose positive responses to our demands preceded the announcement in the October budget, that business rates and the 75 % levels of relief, will remain frozen for another year.  

HE Saida Mina Tasneem High Commissioner Bangladesh at the Asian Curry Awards

It has been a real honour to coordinate functions, along with many my colleagues in the federation in the different regions. Our U.K. Asian Restaurant Awards, in Edinburgh delivered a major event, as did the Asian Restaurant Awards and the prestigious Asian Chef’s Awards at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester. The year’s programme began with the Cook-Off competition in February in London’s Pillars Kitchen, followed by the official launch of the Asian Curry and Asian Chef Awards at the House of Lords in March, under the new patronage of Lord Kamall. The Cook-Offs in Scotland this year, were hosted in the New Town Cookery School in Edinburgh, and saw a dazzling range of stunning dishes put before our panel of judges. Foysol Choudhury MBE MSP, Shadow Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, hosted the official launch of the 7th Scottish Asian Restaurant Awards at Hollyrood House in Edinburgh in May. Two months later in July, we toasted the 7th Asian Restaurant Awards Manchester at the Hilton Hotel and in September, we hosted the 7th Asian Restaurant Awards Scotland, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh. The crowning event of the year was the 13th Asian Curry Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, in Mayfair, London on 19th November.

I have asked my Director of Communications, Carl Arrindell to help me address some of our most pressing issues – specifically those which have been responsible for the crippling rise in costs, shortages of staff, business rates, VAT and partnerships with online food delivery platforms. It is our purpose to continue to fight to obtain the best conditions to allow our industry to continue to thrive and I ask that you assist us by completing the short questionnaire attached to this letter.

Best wishes
Yawar Khan
Chairman, Asian catering Federation and Asian Curry Awards

My meeting with UK Parliamentary Under Secretary for Business & Trade, Kevin Holinrake MP