Taj Mahal Claims Tiffin Cup 2006
Over 40 South Asian restaurants throughout Britain were nominated for the Tiffin Cup ? a celebration of curry in Britain ? by their local MPs, and after being whittled down to a short-list of 14, the lucky chefs took part in a landmark cook-off at the House of Commons, preparing their signature dishes for a judging panel made up of celebrity chefs Lloyd ?Master Chef? Grossman and Ainsley ?Ready Steady Cook? Harriott and television personalities such as Nina Wadia from ?Goodness Gracious Me!? fame.
After masticating their way through 14 mouth-watering dishes, the judges reached a verdict. The accolade of First Runner Up went to Royal Al Faisal from Birmingham, a family-run establishment renowned for being the first restaurant to serve balti in England. The ?Runner Up? prize was shared between B Raj Tandoori from Fraserburgh and Bombay Spice based in Enfield. Restaurants acknowledged as highly commended by the judges were, Bombay Dreams from the Brent South constituency headed by Dawn Butler MP, Aagrah based in Shipley, Mirch Masala in Tooting with Sadiq Khan MP and Sukhi?s Indian Cuisine in Darwen. The hotly contested event saw the Taj Mahal in Pembrokeshire walk away with the coveted Tiffin Cup 2006.
After tasting, Lloyd Grossman commented: ?We have experienced some high art and creativity this evening and British cuisine is certainly enriched by Asian cooking and is by no means seen as a cheap alternative anymore.? Ainsley Harriott added: ?I understand how difficult it is to enter another kitchen and compete so closely to other chefs but everybody performed tonight under pressure, well done!?
With more South Asian restaurants in London than in Mumbai and Delhi put together, they all make a colourful culinary contribution to the multicultural British Food industry, while helping to raise awareness and understanding of Britain?s Asian culture.
The Tiffin Cup 2006 was organised by Michael Fabricant MP, John Barrett MP and Leicester East MP, Keith Vaz, who also jointly head up The Tiffin Club, formed in 2005. Mr Vaz commented on the evening: ?We are all delighted to have the first Tiffin Cup under our belts and congratulation to the Taj Mahal in Pembrokeshire for tantalising our judges. It has also been a huge success for our two charities, Roko Cancer and TB Alert, who we can donate all monies raised from tonight. I am very much looking forward to growing this event and celebrating the UK?s love of curry on a more regular basis.?
All MPs in attendance and guests raised over ?2,000 for the Roko Cancer Appeal, which aims to create India?s first mobile breast cancer unit and TB Alert, the only charity to fight TB both in the UK and India, including proceeds from the tiffin auction.
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