The British Kebab Awards 2017 are set to take place on 26 February
Ten kebab outlets, including seven in the east of Scotland, are gearing up to go head to head in the fifth annual British Kebab Awards on 26 February.
Tony’s Kebab Shop in Kirkcaldy and Ali Baba, Hanedan Turkish Restaurant, Best Kebab House, Samsun’s Speciality Kebab and Pizza, Yeni Restaurant and Nawroz Restaurant in Edinburgh have all been shortlisted for the title of Best Kebab House in Scotland.
There are 15 categories altogether, ranging from Best Kebab Van to Best Newcomer and Best Fine Dining.
Members of the public were invited to nominate their favourite kebab shops, culminating in a shortlist which has since been whittled down based on the number of public votes received and hygiene scores, with bonus points for nominations from MPs expected to attend by the dozen on the big night.
The winners will be crowned in just under three weeks after a final round of judging by the British Kebab Awards judges including Shadow Economic Secretary Jonathan Reynolds and fellow MP Nadhim Zahawi. The number of #BritishKebabAwards tweets of support that a contender gets between now and the awards will be taken into account.
The British Kebab Awards was established by the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) and its founder Ibrahim Dogus in 2013.
More than 1,200 guests including more than 300 MPs, Lords, Baronesses and Councillors, and 800 businesses and community representatives will attend this month’s VIP-studded ceremony in the ballroom of the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel where they will be served Bira, the first beer in the world to be brewed especially for kebabs.
Awards sponsors include headline sponsor Just Eat, the UK’s largest takeaway website, plus Galliard Homes, Cobra Beer, Big K, Alton & Co, Bira London, Harlequin and Crucials.
British Kebab Awards and Bira creator Ibrahim Dogus said: “I’m so proud of the British Kebab Awards as it celebrates its fifth birthday this year. It’s set to be bigger and better than ever.
“Year on year we see fiercer contests between the best kebab chefs in the country all battling to be crowned kebab kings and there’s no shortage of people wanting to judge for themselves, Brits just can’t get enough of kebabs.”
Graham Corfield, UK managing director of Just Eat, said: “The UK kebab industry continues to go from strength to strength and is testament to the ever-growing demand for quality, global cuisine. The caliber of kebab restaurants catering to discerning British customers across the nation makes the achievement of those shortlisted for this year’s British Kebab Awards even more remarkable. On behalf of Just Eat, I would like to congratulate all those who are recognised for the wonderful contribution they make to their local communities, to the British Kebab industry and to the UK economy.”
The annual event is the only one to recognise the contribution made by the kebab industry to the British economy – worth more than £2.8 billion a year, supporting around 200,000 jobs across restaurants, suppliers and the food industry.
Every day 1.3 million 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 by Çetin Bukey and Kojay 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. There are also around 200 doner kebab manufacturers in the UK, with a turnover in excess of £750 million.
Last year’s winners included Önder Sahan who won Best Chef at Hazev in Canary Wharf, Curipza in Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, which won Just-Eat Best Delivery and Mez-opotamia in South Woodford, north-east London which won Best Newcomer.