A brand new curry awards competition is being launched to shine a spotlight on the district’s finest Asian food eateries.

The inaugural Bradford Curry Awards is taking nominations now and will culminate with a glittering ceremony for the shortlisted nominees at the Cedar Court Hotel, in Rooley Lane, in April.

The competition is the brainchild of Fatima Patel, director of RF Publishing, in Little Germany, and who is also a food critique and journalist.

She said: “Curry is at the heart of Bradford’s heritage and culture and now we can bring the industry together to celebrate their collective achievements and the pride of Bradford’s most successful industry.

“I am really looking forward to showing off our great curry industry that has become the crown of Bradford.”

Bradford is the undisputed king of curry, holding the title of Britain’s Curry Capital award which the district has won six years in a row.

This new competition aims to find the best of the best of those 200-plus curry establishments around Bradford as the public gets the chance to decide who should receive the city’s own prestigious accolade.

Miss Patel added: “Following years of success, the people of Bradford think the time is right to celebrate the finest examples of South Asian cuisine. Enter, an inaugural awards night charged with highlighting both city pride and profiling the industry dedicated to serving up the finest cuisine.

“The awards will aim to celebrate this rich heritage, while also recognising the best restaurants, and those people who work hard behind the scenes creating Bradford’s culinary craftsmanship. This magical evening will unashamedly be a platform to lobby for the industry, and to inspire and nurture future talent.

“I am also looking at ways to encourage more women into the industry who are themselves fabulous cooks but who have had little opportunity to showcase their skills.”

Miss Patel said it was the influx of workers from India and Pakistan to cities in Britain in the 1960s and ‘70s which started the curry revolution.

Most of those who came here were men who were not used to cooking and at the time there were no Pakistani or Indian restaurants.

She added: “It was then restaurants such as The Sweet Centre, and Karachi, established to serve the demand for South Asian cuisine from Britain’s new immigrants. Both restaurants are still trading today, and the city now boasts more than 200 curry establishments. Each one serves some of the best and award winning South Asian cuisine in the Bradford district.”

Sponsors of the competition include Visit Bradford, Bradford Council, Asian Sunday, Picturehouse Bradford, the National Science and Media Museum, Sova Healthcare, Lexus Bradford, United Foods and Print Buddy.

The charity partner for this first year is the international humanitarian aid organisation, Penny Appeal.

Patricia Tillotson, Visitor and Business Manager at Visit Bradford added: “Bradford is Curry Capital of Britain and these awards will now showcase the best of Bradford. It’s great that the people of Bradford can vote for their favourite restaurant and look forward to the awards”

Aamer Naeem, chief executive of Penny Appeal said: “Curry is something that is loved by so many and so when Fatima approached us for the inaugural Bradford Curry Awards, we were simply delighted to be chosen as the official charity partner.

“We have every confidence it’s going to be a great event and via the awards night, we hope to raise funds which in turn will help many people abroad and at home who are in need of help.”

There are eight categories to choose from, with nominations now open until midnight on March 18.

Voting, plus information about the awards, is via the website bradfordcurryawards.co.uk/index.php/nominate/

All public votes will be verified and shortlisted for a panel of judges to find the final winners and announced at the ceremony on Tuesday, April 17.

The ceremony itself will be a glittering evening of food, music, inspirational speakers and comedy with guests.