The fifth annual British Kebab Awards were held on Sunday 26 February 2017, in the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in Central London. Approximately 1,200 people attended the awards, which with each year have been going from strength to strength. The event was hosted by Christ Stark and Scott Mills from Radio 1, who kept the crowd enthusiastic. In attendance were high profile politicians, including Andrew Percy MP (Minister for the Northern Powerhouse), Barry Gardiner MP (Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade) and Paul Simon Danczuk MP, as well as members of the press from outlets such as BBC News, Channel 4, The Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph.
Attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception, a three-course Anatolian-style meal and entertainment from several musical performances.
As the recognition of the awards grows, so does the impact of winning an award. This year 17 well-deserving kebab outlets from across the UK won awards in categories ranging from Best Kebab Van to Best Newcomer and Best Fine Dining.
The awards were organised by the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS), a non-profit organisation which works to build bridges between Turkey and the UK, and between Turkish, Kurdish and Cypriot communities.
Members of the public were invited to nominate their favourite kebab shops. These were whittled down to a shortlist based on the number of public votes received with bonus points for nominations from MPs.
The winners were crowned after a final round of judging by the British Kebab Awards judge, including Shadow Economic Secretary Jonathan Reynolds and fellow MP Nadhim Zahawi.
British Kebab Awards and Bira creator Ibrahim Dogus said: “Every year we see the competition get tougher so I congratulate every kebab business that won a British Kebab Award. MPs got behind their kebab shops and restaurants by the dozen with more than 40 nominating businesses in their constituencies and that’s great to see. I look forward to seeing what the contenders serve up in 2018.”
Graham Corfield, UK managing director of Just Eat, which sponsored the event, said: “On behalf of Just Eat, I would like to congratulate all of the winners on receiving a British Kebab Award in 2017. It is a phenomenal achievement in what are well established and highly competitive fields. The kebab businesses that have succeeded this year serve as shining examples within their local communities and, at the same time, support the thriving UK kebab industry. The award for every winner is hugely deserved.”
The Kebab Industry
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.
Every day 1.3m kebabs are sold across Britain. The UK’s first kebab shop, Istanbul Restaurant in Soho, opened during the Second World War and you will find pictures of it 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 run by Çetin Bukey and Kojay Hüsey 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. There are also around 200 doner kebab manufacturers in the UK, with a turnover in excess of £750m.
Many MPs and Lords attended this year’s British Kebab Awards. Among those attending, some presented awards, including Paul Scully MP, Andrew Percy MP (Minister for the Northern Powerhouse), Lord Navnit Dholakia, Barry Gardiner MP, Dawn Butler MP, William Wragg MP, Vicky Foxcroft MP, Ben Howlett MP, Simon Danczuk MP, Justin Madders MP, Natalie McGarry MP, Roger Mullin MP, Ruth Smeeth MP, Wes Streeting MP and Jo Stevens MP, among others.
The event was sponsored by JUST EAT the UK’s largest takeaway website, Cobra Beer, The Crucial Sauce Company, Big K Products, Galliard Homes, Alton & Co, Bira London, Harlequin and Crucials.
In attendance were members of the press from many media outlets, including: BBC News, Channel 4, BBC’s Daily Politics, The Financial Times, The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Independent, The Spectator, The New Statesman, Middle East Eye, Haber, ART News, The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Mirror, The Metro, The Evening Standard, Heart Radio, Talk2meradio, London 360, Mail on Sunday, SE1 Community Website, and Avrupa Gazete
This year’s awards raised money for veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.
During the event, a raffle was held to raise money for the veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress.
Combat Stress is the UK’s leading veterans’ mental health charity. It treats a range of mental health conditions including PTSD, depression and anxiety. Currently, 6,000 veterans are registered with the charity, receiving support for themselves and their families.
One of the prizes offered in the raffle was a ceramic poppy used in the eponymous display at the Tower of London.
The Process of Deciding the Winners
To win an award, first your restaurant must be nominated. To nominate a restaurant, you can go to the British Kebab Awards website and nominate your favourite restaurant by entering the name of the restaurant, as well as your details. Restaurants receive points based on their number of nominations and their food hygiene rating. Nominations from MPs are worth extra points. The restaurants that receive the most points are then considered by our jury, who then decide which kebab restaurant will win. Nominations will soon be open for the 2018 awards.
The categories, winners, the highly recommended runner-up and their locations were as follows:
1. Just Eat Best Delivery: I am Doner, 23 Otley Rd, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 3AA
Highly Recommended: Irmak BBQ, 220 High Street, North Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 1AU
2. Galliard Homes Customer Satisfaction: Kosk, 269 Hertford Road, Edmonton, N9 7ES
Highly Recommended: Koz Mediterranean Restaurant, 87-89 High Street, Beckenham, BR3 1AG
3. Harlequin Best Newcomer Restaurant/ Takeaway in London: Tarshish, First Floor & Second Floor, 16-20 High Road, Wood Green, London, N22 6BX
Highly Recommended: Bababoom, 30 Battersea Rise, London, SW11 1EE
4. Crucials Best Newcomer Restaurant/ Takeaway outside London: Elder and Wolf, 171 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, NE26 2DN
5. Best Kebab House in Northern Ireland: Sphinx Glengormley, 335 Antrim Rd, Glengormley, Newtownabbey, BT36 5DZ
6. Best Kebab House in Wales: Mezza Luna, 159 City Road, Cardiff, CF24 3BQ
7. Best Kebab House in Scotland: Alla Turca, 192 Pitt Street, Glasgow, G2 4DY
8. Best Kebab House Regional: Meze Mangal Bushey Heath, 81 High Road Bushey, Watford, WD23 1EL
Highly Recommended: Akdeniz Turkish Restaurant, 50A Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff-On-Sea, Essex, SS0 7LX
9. Big K Best Takeaway Regional: Ellesmere Port Kebab House, 4 The Arcade Regent Street, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 8DX
10. Alton & Co Best Kebab Restaurant in North and West London: Gokyuzu, 26-27 Grand Parade Green Lanes, Haringey, London, N4 1LG
Highly Recommended: German Doner Kebab, 24 Broadway, West Ealing, London, W13 0SU
11. Best Kebab Restaurant in South and East London: Meze Bexleyheath, 269 Broadway, Bexleyheath, DA6 8DB
Highly Recommended: Efes Restaurant Brick Lane, 1 Whitechapel Rd, London, E1 6TY
12. Bira London Best Takeaway in London: Pizza King Kebab House, 109 Hertford Rd, Edmonton, London, N9 7EE
13. Best Value: The Iskele, 179-181 Whitecross St, London, EC1Y 8QP
Highly Recommended: Grand Bazaar, 42 James St, Marylebone, London, W1U 1EX
14. Chef of the Year: Mazlum Demir (Skewd Kitchen), 12 Cockfosters Parade, Barnet, EN4 0BX
15. Cobra Beer Fine Dining Restaurant: Veyso’s, Hertford, 97 Fore Street Hertford, Hertfordshire, SG14 1AS
16. Kebab Van of the Year: Atalay Kebab Van, North St, Oxfordshire, OX9 3HH
17. Outstanding Contribution: Prime Quality Foods, Unit 1, Centenary Estate, Centenary Road, Enfield, EN3 7UD
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