ARTA press release:

Maidstone’s Taj Barming Named Regional Chef of the Year for the Kent Region at the Asian Restaurant & Takeaway Awards 2019 in London – The Oscar’s of the Curry Industry

Sunday, 13th October 2019, London:  Maidstone’s Taj Barming has been named as the Regional Chef of the Year for the Kent Region at the Asian Restaurant & Takeaway Awards (ARTA) 2019, held at the Park Plaza Hotel Westminster. The awards are in recognition of the UK’s best of South Asian, Thai and Chinese cuisine across a series of prestigious regional and national categories.

From the National Chef, Takeaway and Newcomer of the Year Award, to the Best Thai and Chinese Restaurants, Regional Takeaways and more, ARTA spotlighted the pinnacle of over 2400 applications across the UK. The grand award of Champion of Champions was awarded to crown the very best of a superb group of entrants from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Applications were refined using a survey of over 350,000 customers by ARTA official partners, ChefOnline – the digital application to order food and book tables on the go – to unveil the finalists.

The winners were selected by an esteemed panel of Ambassadors & Judges comprising Paul Stuart Scully MP, Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam; Stephen Anthony McPartland MP, Member of Parliament for Stevenage; Donald Sloan, Founder and Chair of the Oxford Cultural Collective; Dr Wali Tasar Uddin, Former President & Senior Advisor British Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce in UK; Devon Malcolm, Ex England International Cricketer; Samantha Simmonds, Journalist and Broadcaster; and Judges Chand Rahman – Executive Chef, Multi Award Winning Celebrity Chef; Councillor Mohammed Mujibur Rahman – Ex-Mayor of Corby; Graham Taylor – Senior Chef Lecturer, Cambridge Regional College; and Kuldeep Singh, Lecturer & Celebrity Chef Nescot College.

The UK’s Curry industry contributes £5 billion annually, which as of 2015 has accounted for a fifth of the restaurants in the UK dating back to the 1800’s. Today there are more Indian restaurants in Greater London than in Delhi and Mumbai combined.

The event was hosted by renowned BBC News newsreader and ARTA ambassador Samantha Simmonds. The former Sky News anchor was joined by entertainer Paul Martin as co-host. Mixing hilarious stand-up comedy with magic tricks and performance, Paul has been entertaining audiences for the past twenty years.

Kiron Haque, the owner of Taj Barming, Maidstone said “It’s an incredible honour to be named as the Best Regional Chef of the Year in the Kent Region at the Asian Restaurants & Takeaway Awards 2019. We thank our valued customers in Maidstone without whom this would not have been possible. Curry and Asian food have become such a huge part of British culture and to be recognised as the best in the region is truly remarkable. We are inspired to carry our work and create more happy customers.”

Speaking about the Asian Restaurant & Takeaway Awards 2019, Salik Mohammed Munim, Founder Member and CEO of ARTA, said: “Year on year, the standard for this competition continues to defy imagination. With more entrants than ever before, we have been immensely impressed by the quality on show this year. We commend all the winners and finalists of ARTA 2019. The selection process has been rigorous, and we witnessed some remarkable contestants, therefore picking the winners wasn’t easy. All the winners and finalists should be equally proud. 

Asian cuisine has embedded itself deep within the beating heart of British culture and brings about so much creativity, flavour, vibrancy and joy to so many. There is something truly special about the Asian cuisine industry, which binds communities, regions and an entire nation by the common love of incredible food. The ARTA is the perfect platform to recognise the magicians behind the magic that makes the food so superb”.