The best kebab shops battled it out to take the top title this evening at the British Kebab Awards – here’s the full list of winners
Two of the kebab world’s kofte kings cemented their place at the summit of the industry last night as they did the double at the British Kebab Awards.
Kebab businesses in every corner of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales battled for gongs in 16 categories from Best Newcomer to Best Fine Dining for the sixth annual awards held this evening.
The winners were revealed after a final round of judging by the British Kebab Awards judges including former Tory chairwoman Baroness Warsi, Children’s and Families’ Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Shadow Economic Secretary Jonathan Reynolds, Amjad Bashir MEP and Heart Radio presenter Lucy Horobin, who co-hosted the event with Capital Radio newsreader Tim John.
More than 1,200 guests including Chippy Chat’s Austen Dack and Oliver Boutwood attended the British Kebab Awards VIP-studded ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in central London.
Mazlum Demir, who famously produces black pide bread with squid ink and octopus in kebab form, won Chef of the Year for the second year in a row for his work at the mangal at Skewd Kitchen in Barnet, North London.
Meanwhile Resul Atalay and his twin sons, Jason and Josh, held on to the Best Kebab Van title for Atalay’s Kebab Van in Thame, Oxon. It means a 100% win rate for the family business – the Best Kebab Van award is only in its second year. Resul is famous for making his own doner from scratch and his homemade chilli sauce has no less than 30 ingredients.
Among the other winners were Verdo Turkish BBQ in Edinburgh which won Best Kebab House in Scotland and Golden BBQ, Cardiff, which scooped Best Kebab House in Wales.
Irmak BBQ in Dunstable, Beds, won Just Eat Best Delivery, Tarshish Mediterranean Grill in London’s Wood Green claimed the coveted Cobra Beer Fine Dining gong and Gokyuzu, Harringay, won Best Value Restaurant.
Every day, more than 1.3m kebabs are sold across Britain. The UK’s first kebab shop, Istanbul Restaurant in Soho, opened during the Second World War and pictures of it feature in the Imperial War Museum.
However it was not until 1966 that the famous doner kebab – cooked on a vertical spit – first appeared with the opening of the Hodja Nasreddin Kebab House by Çetin Bukey and Konjay Hüseyin in North London’s Newington Green.
There are now over 20,000 kebab outlets in the UK selling around 2,500 tonnes of lamb and chicken doner a week.
Interest has been so high over the last six years that the British Kebab Awards organisers will be launching the first National Kebab Week in 2019, set for February 11-17.
British Kebab Awards founder, Ibrahim Dogus, said:
“Some of the kebabs being produced in the top flight are incredible. This cuisine is coming of age in Britain with interesting twists and, at its heart, good ingredients cooked well.”
“British foodies are showing their appreciation for this ancient style of cooking and competition is getting extremely hot. For two of the finalists to retain their titles two years in a row is no mean feat and I know their competitors will be even more determined to unseat them next year.”
The annual event is the only one to recognise the contribution made by the kebab industry to the British economy – worth more than £2.8billion a year, supporting around 200,000 jobs across restaurants, suppliers and the food industry. This year’s awards raised money for the bone and soft tissue cancer charity Sarcoma UK.