The Asian Curry Awards 2016 judging panel
Chairman of the judging panel, Mr Chapman is founder of the Curry Club and author of the Good Food Guide since 1984. He is called ‘The Ambassador of Indian Food’ by Derek Cooper and ‘Curry Leader’ by Fay Maschler and ‘a Missionary seeking converts to curry’ by Loyd Grossman.
Born in war-torn London at a time when Britain had just six Indian restaurants, Pat was virtually weaned on spicy food, and by the age of ten, he was learning from his ex-memsahib granny how to cook curries the pukka Indian way. He was hooked, and later coined the word, ‘curryholic,’ to describe his passion for that food. Following education at Bedales, Cambridge and a short commission in the RAF (flying fast jets), he started a successful stage lighting and sound company.
Michelin Star Chef and Chinese Masterchef winner in 2006, Mr Poon launched Poons, the chain of restaurants in London, first opened in 1960s.
Chef William Poon personally ran the kitchen in Covent Garden (one Michelin star 1979-80) before it moved to Poons in the City in 1992. The restaurant in the city was modelled on the design of Hong Kong’s Luk Yew Tree House and had an 80-seat fast food section. Poons have been patronised by celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and many theatre stars among the Covent Garden theatres.He continues to work in support of community projects and is currently the Chair of Euro-Chinese Literature Association (歐華文聯)., and the Permanent President of Shunde UK Association.
George Shaw is a former BBC journalist.
He has edited Capital Life, Thai Life and Highend magazines and published the Islington Restaurant Guide. He now provides specialist restaurant consultancy and marketing services to the hospitality sector.
A former restaurant inspector for the Good Food Guide, George also led a team of judges in the inaugural Kent Restaurant Awards. He provides the daily news feed for Food & Drink News on the OrderOnlineNow.co.uk restaurant and takeaway booking website.
Emily Knight launched the the popular www.bristolbites.co.uk food and drink website in January 2010, which has grown from strength to strength, being awarded Best Blog at the Food Magazine Readers’ Awards in 2013.
Emily has been involved in judging a number of food and drink awards, including the Bristol Good Food Awards, the Warburtons South West Young Baker of thee Year competition, and will also judge at this year’s Great Taste Awards.
After a year long stint as editor of Flavour Magazine, responsible for both the South West and London editions, Emily is now a freelance writer and provides
marketing services to the food and drink industry.
Neil Hennessy-Vass is the Food & Travel Editor of Families Magazine and a professional food photographer. He is a repeat visitor to the Indian sub-continent and has worked with an executive chef helping developing new menus for an Indian restaurant. His background includes a broadcasting career, working for Channel Four, BBC World Service, ITV and Sky. His food photography includes commissions for BBC Food Magazine, B & W Photography Magazine, Darling Magazine and Our Man on the Ground.
Momtaz Begum-Hossain is Editorial Director of Asiana Wedding Magazine and Asiana.TV. She is a respected journalist with over a decade of experience, writing for local and national press including The Guardian and Independent. She currently oversees the content for the UK’s biggest South Asian publication. She is also a television and radio presenter and hosts a Saturday morning breakfast show. www.momtazbh.co.uk
Jason Freedman, the chef owner of the award-winning Minnis and, Taste of the Med restaurants
and Curiously Kentish delicatessen/cafe, all in Birchington-on-Sea in Kent.
He’s a member of both Master Chefs of Great Britain and the Academie Culinaire de France.
Jason is a devotee of Indian and Eastern cuisines, holds regular Asian and curry event nights, and returned recently from a culinary tour of Japan.
His outdoor catering company cooks for the prestigious Taste of Kent Awards and the VIP area at the Broadstairs Food Festival. He is also a member of the Produced in Kent organisation which champions local produce.
Ian Fenn trained as a Chinese chef at Westminster Kingsway College before studying under Ringo Lo at Lee Fook in Surbiton. He is editor and publisher of Chopstix™, the award-winning Chinese food and cookery website. His work has also featured in publications including Time Out, Square Meal, and BBC Good Food. He is consultant to restaurants including the critically-acclaimed Felix Yu.
Ria Amber Tesia
Ria Amber Tesia is an award-winning author, food critic, Best of Bolton Winner (2012–2014) and Patron of Reading. She is a passionate foodie reviewing restaurants worldwide and loves championing good food and great spaces.
She reviews restaurants for both local and national press (including Derbyshire Guardian, Leicestershire Guardian and Taste of Manchester). She is a prolific cook and food writer, frequently trialling recipes in her test kitchen in Derby and featuring them on her foodie blog.
Ria provides journalistic and social media services to food festival organisers and frequently interviews celebrity chefs for exclusive features, including James Martin, John Torode, Lisa Faulkner and Gino D’Acampo.
Ria has been involved in judging various food and drink awards, and is a consultant recipe developer for catering companies and restaurants. She is currently working hard on her debut cookbook whilst putting the finishing touches to the sequel of her second novel. www.riaambertesia.com
There are a few more judges to be announced very soon to join the judging panel for the ACA 2016.