In a first of its kind for the country – four of the most highly regarded restaurateurs in the curry industry joined forces for one night only to create a collaborative menu from the award winning kitchens of the Aagrah, Prashad, Kiplings and Shimla Spice.
The fantastic four lead Bradford to victory when they scooped the prestigious ‘Curry Capital of England 2011’ title for the city - and were voted by the public to represent the district.
Emmerdale star soap star Matthew Wolfenden (David Metcalfe) and Charley Webb, (Debbie Dingle) had the opportunity to dine out at Bradford College’s Department of Hospitality and Travel’s International Food Academy (IFA), on the 21st May, sampling signature starter and main course dishes featured in the acclaimed restaurants. They were joined by the Lord Mayor of Bradford and esteemed guests during the memorable evening. Chefs from the IFA specially select and created the amuse bouche and dessert menu.
This builds on the work the Department of Hospitality and Travel at Bradford College has been doing, working in partnership with leading Asian restaurants in the UK to address the curry crisis and develop a new generation of inspiring young chefs to fill the skills shortage in Asian restaurants.
Aagrah’s Managing Director, Mr Mohammed Aslam, MBE commenting on the pioneering evening said, “The pop up restaurant is a great opportunity to showcase Bradford as the Curry Capital and promote a positive Bradford message nationally - Aagrah is delighted to be a part of this celebration!’
Earlier this year Mr Mohammed Aslam MBE was appointed as the Chief Patron of the IFA and has personally delivered an ‘Aagrah Masterclass’ to the students at Bradford College. The Aagrah family, led by Mr Aslam MBE, are owners of the UK's largest chain of Kashmiri Restaurants. There are 14 branches throughout Yorkshire, serving on average 18,000 customers every week and employing over 400 staff.
Prashad’s Director Mr Bobby Patel has worked in partnership with the IFA on a number of projects, including the UK’s National Junior Curry Competition and smashing the Guinness World Record for the biggest bhaji in the world in 2011 with Mr Colin Burt chef assessor at Bradford college. Mr Patel was also announced as a distinguished Associated Patron of the IFA earlier this year.
Commenting on the pop up restaurant, Mr Bobby Patel said: “Working with Bradford's winning Curry Capital team to create a one night only pop up restaurant experience, is a true example of Bradford's collaborative power. We are stronger together and together we have been able to create one of the most amazing menus I have ever seen. The evening will be a reflection of our great future and superior presence within the nation’s food industry.”
Prashad served food to guests that Gordon Ramsay has described as ‘Extraordinary’ and ‘The best vegetarian cuisine he had ever had’. This included Prashad’s ‘Special Chaat’, a traditional Indian street side snack, diced samosas topped with crispy puri, chick peas, potato, yoghurt and tamarind.
The Chefs of the Aagrah prepared and cooked signature dishes served in their restaurants including ‘A Machli dumpukht’ – Seabass marinated in garlic, fresh curry leaves, lime juice, coconut, fresh coriander, green chillies and ginger, steam cooked in banana leaves. Whilst Shimla Spice served up speciality Desi Chicken Karahi and Kiplings delighted diners with their mouth watering Shashlick balti Murgh.
Head Chef at the International Food Academy Mr Colin Burt said: “It’s such an honour that such prestigious restaurateurs have chosen to host their pioneering event at the International Food Academy – and helping us to address the curry crisis.”
The ‘pop up restaurant’ is part of the College’s ongoing commitment to address the curry crisis.
Michele Sutton OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Bradford College reflected: “Working in partnership with Patrons of the Academy, local restaurateurs and employers we can develop a new generation of rising stars to enter the industry and address the curry crisis.”
Hayley Lomas concluded: “The evening showcased the skills and versatility of the students and facilities at Bradford College. The students thoroughly enjoyed working alongside some of the cities finest curry chefs, providing them with inspiration. The evening was such a positive experience for all involved, and we would be delighted to host the event in future years.”