Bradford is on scent of Curry Capital title as city bids for record fifth accolade

Bradford is on scent of Curry Capital title as city bids for record fifth accolade

JOY: The celebrations after Bradford clinched last year’s curry capital crown

Tricia Tillotson, Bradford Council's visitor economy manager

First published in News
Last updated

IT could be another historic year for the city of Bradford when it comes to the Curry Capital of Britain crown.

2013 saw Bradford become the first city to clinch the coveted title for a third year in a row. That win also meant Bradford had equalled Glasgow when it came to holding the title four times in total.

This year however could see Bradford edge out in front with a fifth win.

But what can Visit Bradford, the tourism team for Bradford Council, bring to the bid this time to outdo all their rivals? Tricia Tillotson, the Council's visitor economy manager, believes an innovative approach could be the key.

She said: "It's a massive ask to win it four times in a row. To get three - well we just never expected it and it was amazing. Everybody was just fantastic and really got behind the bid for us.

"What we are having to do this year is think of something that is equally as good. But rather than concentrate on one thing, we've got a few things in the pipeline - from very different angles - a real different approach this year. We are very excited about it because we have got to find something niche, something different and that nobody else has done and we think we are going to tick all the boxes!

"Once the restaurants are decided, I will be working with another public body and we will sit down and have discussions about the different ideas."

In addition there will be a special event organised in the city and a poppadom eating competition. A DVD will also form part of the bid, filming for which has already started.

"We actually launched the bid at the World Curry Festival held in Bradford earlier this year," continued Tricia. "We interviewed people and held a poppadom tower building contest and we were really busy. That's the start of our video and we will add to it as we go along.

"We held a poppadomathon last year when we asked the air cadets based at Pudsey to take part in a poppadom relay for us. They had six teams and had to run with a poppadom in a relay race, but if the poppadom broke they had to start again. They actually ran 29 miles in half an hour between them. So this year we are asking them to try and beat that record. But we are also asking any other youth groups or clubs to have a go at this too."

Part of the judging process is based on a public vote, and this can really make the difference between winning and losing. In fact in 2012 Bradford and Glasgow were equal on points, but Bradford was declared the overall winner based on its higher level of public votes.

Tricia added: "People have this expectation that Bradford wins this easily because its so well-known for its curry, but this is a really difficult competition to win. You are up against 21 other places, including Birmingham and Brick Lane, that are famous for their curries too.

"So we need people to vote for Bradford."

Curry lovers in the district have until August 14 to vote for their favourite restaurants in a bid to help Bradford win the title for the fourth year running. The top four restaurants will be chosen to make up the team that represents Bradford. This can be done by completing a voting form at Bradford's visitor information centre on Broadway, online at by e-mail to vote@fedrest.com or by tweet using #BFDCurry to @VisitBradford.

The teams will be announced shortly after and then people will have until September 26 to vote for the winning city before the 2014 champion is announced in October.

This year the voting has again taken to Twitter and Facebook, as well as the traditional e-mail route.

Organiser Peter Grove said: "Voting for restaurants to make up the teams for this year's event closes on 14 August with the names released two days later. Until that time it is impossible to know which restaurants the judges will be visiting but this will start from 17 August. They have to check quality, service, décor, health and safety and 'scores on the doors'.

"From August 15 people can vote for the city of their choice at votecity@fedrest.com or on Twitter or Facebook, both of which were introduced last year. Levels of voting for the twelfth running of this event are well up to previous numbers including record numbers from Bradford."

The Curry Capital of Britain competition began in 1999 to involve cities all over the country in a bid to promote social inclusion, Asian cuisine and to raise funds for charity.

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