Chefs across Wales are preparing to tantalise your taste buds, seduce your senses and pamper your palettes as they compete to become Welsh Curry House of the Year 2011.
The search is now on to see who will win the coveted award, now in its fifth year, with more than 280 Indian restaurants in Wales eligible to compete.
“It feels like only yesterday that we started on our journey of discovery to find the best curry houses of Wales - but this is our fifth year! I always get excited when we launch the competition knowing we are going to discover some hidden gem we can share with the rest of the world,” said Berwyn Rowlands from the Festivals Company the founders of the competition.
The award combines the nation’s love of curry with locally sourced Welsh produce and in 2011 the public will have 5 weeks to sample new Welsh Curries. The competition organisers have confirmed that the final 30 restaurants, as voted by the public, will have to make a Welsh curry using Welsh Lamb and Really Welsh Leeks available on their public menu starting from 15 February 2011.
“This is a great way for the public - and we received over 10,000 votes last year - to get more involved with the competition by tasting some great food – a fusion of Indian cooking and Welsh produce. It is also a fantastic opportunity for the very best chefs to demonstrate how they can take the best we have in Wales and combine them with the best in Indian cuisine,” added Berwyn Rowlands.
Speaking before the competition launch from the Spice Cottage, East Street, Rhayader - the Welsh Curry House of the Year winner for 2010, the owner Muhamad Rab said, “People who eat out in Indian restaurants in Wales have seen how the sector has been transformed over the past 10 years. A night out at the local curry house is now a fashionable and sophisticated evening of fine food.”
“There’s no need to use colouring in Indian food to make it look nice. The natural colour of food is beautiful as it is. My advice would be to focus on cooking fresh and local food without any artificial colouring,” added Muhamad Rab.
Between now and 31 January 2011 diners will be able to cast their votes to decide the top restaurants from each of the three regions by visiting www.welshcurryhouse.co.uk. The 30 short-listed restaurants will be announced on Tuesday 15 February 2011.
Over the following five weeks the independent regional judges will visit each of the 30 short-listed restaurants. The top three restaurants in Wales, one from each region, will be announced on the following dates:
Tuesday 29 March 2011: North Wales
Wednesday 30 March 2011: Mid Wales
Thursday 31 March 2011: South Wales
The national judges will spend a full day visiting all three restaurants competing in the final. During the visit each restaurant will be invited to impress the judges with one of their signature dishes, available from the public menu.
The national winner will be announced on Thursday 14 April 2011.
Kingfisher, the World’s number 1 premium Indian lager, is proud to be the key sponsor of the Welsh Curry House of the Year competition for the fifth year. The competition is also sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government, Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales, Really Welsh and Buzz Magazine.
For more information, interviews and photography contact:
Berwyn Rowlands, The Festivals Company. Berwyn@thefestivalscompany.co.uk
Mobile: 07860 818294 or 029 20232744
Note to editors:
Previous winners of the competition:
2010: Spice Cottage, East Street, Rhayader. LD6 5DN
2009: Kareems – The Restaurant, 72 Queen Street, Rhyl. LL18 1SB
2008: Sheesh Mahal, 53 Stepney Street, Llanelli. SA15 3YA
2007: Sopna, Felin Wen, Pontrug, Caernarfon.