EXCITED: The team at Visit Bradford, along with some of the participating restaurateurs in this year's competition, along with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford
EXCITED: The team at Visit Bradford, along with some of the participating restaurateurs in this year’s competition, along with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford

Curry Capital of Britain competition is back

Curryhouses from Bradford are joining forces to cook up some fantastic food…it can only mean one thing – the Curry Capital of Britain competition is back.

The city, which has been crowned victorious in the contest over the past five years aw over 60 honoured guests, VIPs and dignitaries descended on City Hall this week to enjoy a right royal celebration, marking Visit Bradford’s official entry into the Curry Capital of Britain competition 2016.

Sitting down to fantastical tables set with faux-grass cloths and gingham-covered vases filled with fresh wild flowers, everyone agreed the atmosphere and ambience was at an ‘all time high’ – and that the thoughtful setting added authenticity and pizzazz to the event.

Having previously won the competition and awarded the accolade of Curry Capital for a record-breaking five years in a row, the stakes were high to ensure that this year’s entry was award-worthy of title number six.

This year, the destination marketing organisation’s entry has been all about celebration.

The bid launched with the cadets of 2387 Squadron Air Training Corps in Thornbury taking part in a special sponsored Curry Capital Olympics and culminated with an indoor garden party in the Banqueting Suite of City Hall, to tie in with the Queen celebrating her 90th birthday earlier this year.

Bradford Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe said Bradford had done ‘exceptionally well’ in the Curry Capital awards to win the national competition five years running.

She said: “The quality of our restaurants is, of course, renowned but what has also set us apart is the way which food has been used across all the events to bring communities together.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe added: “I know the tourism team has worked really hard to put in another excellent bid. We’re hoping it’s another winner.”

As well as Cllr Hinchcliffe and judges from the Curry Capital of Britain competition, other guests included the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford – and two winners of a social media competition – to experience the exclusive VIP event; and Grace Neil and Hazel O’Neill – two ladies also celebrating their 90th birthdays this year – acting as honorary ‘Queens of Curry’ at the royal-themed garden party.

Guests enjoyed an array of garden-party-style finger food – but prepared with an Asian twist  by the restaurants taking part in this year’s bid.

In addition, guests were entertained with outdoor games, such as a hoop toss and skittles, as well as enjoying a live display of authentic Indian dancing.

Tricia Tillotson, tourism manager at Visit Bradford, said: “It’s been a huge success. Everyone who attended said what a wonderful time they had and that they thoroughly enjoyed the theme of our ‘Royal Garden Party’.”

She continued: “As this year’s bid has been all about celebrating extraordinary achievements, from our record-breaking Curry Capital of Britain wins, to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and of course Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, it seemed fitting for our bid to culminate in a celebration that was fit for the Queen.

“In fact, yesterday’s event even took place in a room where the Queen once dined herself while visiting Bradford.

“Of course, the event would not have been possible without the generous support of all of our stakeholders and sponsors. I’d like to thank them all and whatever the outcome of the competition now, we can honestly say we did our best and have had a brilliant time celebrating our achievements in the process.”

Unlike previous years, the format of the 2016 competition is changing. The initial competition will decide Curry Capitals of England – minus London – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The national winning teams, plus London, will then go head-to-head to compete for the title of Curry Capital of Britain.

Voting for their winner of Curry Capital of Britain 2016 is still open. People can vote via www.visitbradord.com/currycapital, email vote@fedrest.com, or in person via the Visitor Information Centre.

Voting closes for the Curry Capital of Britain competition on 1st September.

The winner of the Curry Capital of England competition will be announced on 13th September, with the overall winner of the Curry Capital of Britain revealed week commencing 10th October.