We hosted the ‘Oscars of the Curry Industry’

The cream of the culinary crop gathered at Cambridge Regional College on Thursday 26 September for the annual Arta Awards. CRC hosted the regional qualifiers for the South East, putting the best Asian restaurants in the area in a head to head competition. The winners were being granted a place at the finals on the 2nd October at the O2 Arena in London. With over 2300 contestants nationally, the competition was already fiercely underway, with each establishment battling through customer ratings to a gain a spot at a regional qualifier.

With everything to play for, the 4 competing restaurants nominated their most proficient chefs to head up the challenge. Being judged by Executive Chefs Chad Rahman and Graham Taylor, nerves and excitement filled the air. The contestants we’re given 1 hour to build a dish worthy of a place in the final. Though that is not all they we’re being judged on – with cleanliness, restaurant reviews and customer satisfaction all playing a key role.

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Executive Chefs – Graham Taylor (Left) & Chad Rahman (Right)

As soon as notice was given the competitors sprung in to action, quickly preparing ingredients, heating pans and mixing spices. Creating, what can only be described as, a rainbow of smells, sounds and colours. The contestants had come with only fresh, seasonal produce and we’re tasked with creating the finest main meal possible.

The 4 restaurants competing consisted of Pipasha, Lalbagh, Elaichi & Ruby. The competition saw the contestants create some of the most stunning dishes our judges had ever seen. Lalbagh kicked the competition off by wowing the judges with a stunning plate of tempered pan fried sea bass, rhubarb reduction gel & coriander rice. Second to present to the judges were Pipasha, presenting a king prawn rezzella, aloo gobi & lemon coriander rice that again, looked incredible. Number three to present to the judges, was Ruby – whom had crafted a stunning plate, consisting of a chicken pathia & saffron rice. Finally, Elaichi presented a very modern plate of ginger duck on a bed of pan roasted aubergine.

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Contestants prepare their plates for the judges

With the complex nature of the scoring system, the final entrant to the final is yet to be decided. The Grand Final, being hosted at the O2 Arena on Sunday 2nd October, will pit the best of the best, from all around the country in one final cook off. With the winner being announced as Artas ‘Best Restauraunt’ 2022. Keep an eye our socials to find out who the winner will be, or better yet – book your table at the Arta Awards 2022 Grand Final!

To see more photos from the event, check out our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. To keep up with the next stages of the Arta Awards, make sure to check out their website and Facebook!

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