From a glittering gala dinner and master classes with world famous chefs, to street vendors cooking up incredible street food, the World Curry Festival got off to an amazing start at the weekend following its official launch at Bradford Cathedral on Thursday 15th September.
The World Curry Festival have been spicing up Leeds and Bradford between 15th and 29th September where hundreds of local people have enjoyed Israeli, Punjabi, Gujarati and even Islamic langar.
The Honourable Dato’ Haji Abdul Malik Kassim, the Malaysian State Minister for Religious Affairs and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs from the State Government of Penang, was at the Curry Festival last Thursday.
He said: “2016 is now the seventh year of Curry Fest. We were in Bradford and this year we’re in Leeds. It’s even more diversified this year because of the idea of gastro-diplomacy and we’re highlighting this even more this year.”
Singing chef, Aamir Iqbal added: “I enjoy my cooking my food in the kitchen but to make it even better, I sing along too. I do a lot of things in Karachi. I teach food production at a university over there, I do a live-cooking show on TV and I have a consultation company. Here in Bradford, Asian people are now turning towards Mediterranean food. Our slogan is ‘food brings people together’. The best part of the Curry Fest is faith in food – we go to all the religious places of worship and bring people together.”
Zulfi Karim, Founder of the World Curry Festival commented: “We’ve had a fantastic first weekend. From Indian fine dining to street food, from master classes to cooking classes, we’ve experienced it all. Our chefs have come from far and wide – Pearly Kee from Malaysia, Amir Iqbal from Pakistan and Chef Oberoi from India. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported us including our main event partner for the weekend – Kala Sangam Arts Centre.”
Other events in Bradford over the last week have included a special master class to mark the International Year of Pulses hosted by Jenny Chandler, The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation Special Ambassador for The Year of Pulses; Faith in Food at three different venues – Bradford Synagogue, Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara, and the Shree Lakshmi Narayan Temple; a Bollywood party at Mercedes-Benz of Bradford; a VIP hospitality event at Bradford City Football Club; and an evening of curry and comedy with Hardeep Singh Kohli.
A festival finale event will be dedicated to the legendary Chinese-American chef – Ken Hom OBE is taking place on Thursday 29th September.