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Curry Queen

Curry Queen


"Curry sauce queen" Anila Vaghela is celebrating serving more than two million meals to customers, after marking a quarter of a century making fine food. The founder of Anila’s Authentic Sauces has served an amazing 2,168,000 meals through her range of eight curry sauces since her first sale at a fair in Weybridge, Surrey in 1992. She has also provided more than three million servings of chutneys and pickles from her range of 16 accompaniments.

“We’ve come a long way from our very first fair and now supply food halls, health food stores, garden centres and farm shops, including Harrods, John Lewis and Chatsworth,” said Anila, who exports to France, Ireland, Hong Kong and Portugal.

“When I first had the idea to create the curry sauces, Indian food wasn’t as popular as it is today and I was one of the pioneering artisan producers making Indian cooking sauces using traditional family recipes. That’s very much the philosophy that we have stuck to over the past 25 years – creating tasty, healthy, curry sauces in small batches using only fresh ingredients.”

Growing up as the eldest child and grandchild in the family, Anila learnt to cook alongside her mother, grandmother and great grandmother in Zimbabwe where she was born.

Years later, as a busy mum living mum, Anila started to make small batches of curry sauces for convenience. She began selling jars of curry sauce on a very small scale in her local community, and at her first fair in Weybridge in 1992 all 80 jars were snapped up.

In 1997, aged 40, she was made redundant from her job as a PA and opted to launch Anila’s Authentic Sauces as a full-time business. Initially working from her home kitchen producing four varieties of curry sauces, she later began production from a catering kitchen in Surbiton and then relocated to a unit in Hounslow, with husband Dan who left his job to join the business. She gradually increased the range and now has eight curry sauces and sixteen pickles and chutneys.

Anila who also runs Vegetarian Indian cookery classes has won numerous Great Taste Awards, including the Best Speciality Award for the South East and FREE-FROM Food Awards.

The sauces are suitable for vegans and coeliacs. They are sugar, dairy and gluten free, contain no onion or garlic, and are free from artificial colours, additives and preservatives.


Wetherspoons to open in Rainham

Wetherspoons to open in Rainham


JD Wetherspoon is to reopen The Railway pub in Rainham, Kent, despite initial plans for the Station Road site being rejected by Medway Council in June last year because a proposed extension were “out of proportion with the main building fail to respect the character of the surrounding area and harm the street scene”.

The approved plans do not include a roof garden and the extension is lower. The Railway closed in 2012 when owners, Sarumdale, went bankrupt.

Medway Council received 14 letters of support of the application and 10 letters of objection. The reopening will create up to 30 new jobs.


YO! Canterbury

YO! Canterbury


YO! Sushi is to open a site in Canterbury. Work is under way on a site in Sun Street ahead of an anticipated opening date of 28th July. The company cited the “excellent vibe” surrounding the city and said it had been looking for the “perfect spot” for some time.

YO! Sushi plans to double its openings this year to nearly 100 venues.

Menus have been redesigned with dish numbers increasing from 70 to 100. The company recently launched a pop-up concept, minus its trademark conveyor belt, at Boxpark Croydon.




Top Chefs to be Honoured at House of Commons

Top Chefs to be Honoured at House of Commons


The nation’s favourite Asian and Oriental chefs, as determined by popular public vote, have been announced by the Asian Catering Federation [ACF].

The top thirty will be invited to a special presentation ceremony being held in the Terrace Pavilion of the House of Commons on Monday 15th May 2017. The event will also be used to launch the Asian Curry Awards 2017, organised by the ACF being presented on at a glittering ceremony on Sunday 12th November, where the top chefs and restaurants will be revealed.

The top chefs have been named as: Rafique Ali, Bokhara Bangor, Belfast; Harneet Baweja, Gunpowder, London; Vineet Bhatia, Vineet Bhatia, London; Ahad Nur, Millennium Balti, Leamington Spa; Sham Alom, Rumi’s, Beverley; Dev Banda Everest Inn, Grantham; Will Bowlby, Kricket, London; Stephen Gomes, Moksh, Cardiff; Imran Hussain, Shapla, Donegal; Shah Faysol Miah, Bangla Bangor; Abdul Majid, Royal Nawaab, Stockport; Muhammed Jehangir, Royal Nawaab, London; Palash Mitra, Gymkhana, London; Abul Monsur, Taj Cuisine Chatham; Jiwan Lal, Babur, London, Azadur Rahman, Red Fort London; Luthfur Ahmed, Bengal Brasserie, Belfast; Rafaqat Saleem, Royal Nawaab, Manchester; Karam Sethi, Hoppers London; Kaori Simpson, Harajuku Kitchen, Edinburgh; Muhammad Shoaib, Royal Nawaab, London; Abdul Sobur, Zafran, Southend; Alun Sperring, Chilli Pickle, Brighton; Sameer Taneja, Talli Joe, London; Cyrus Todiwala, Café Spice Namaste, London; Yoong Cheong Wong, Rasa Sayang London; Mahamud Zaman, Zaman International Cuisine, London; Abdul Kadir, The Grand Sultan, Port Talbot; Chad Rahman, Chez Mumtaj, St Albans; and Atul Kochhar, Benares, London.

A panel of judges led by Pat Chapman, editor of the Cobra Good Curry Guide will now visit these venues. Two overall winners (one casual, one fine dining) will be announced at the November ceremony, along with a host of other national and regional awards. The full list of categories can be seen, and online nominations made, at:


Whitstable Bar and Restaurant Plans

Whitstable Bar and Restaurant Plans


Plans have been drawn up for a new restaurant and bar on Whitstable Harbour. The site, which will specialise in local produce and promote the town’s famous oysters, will be built on the South Quay in the former engine room. A full planning application has yet to be submitted, but the harbour board has already handed the contract to the Whitstable Oyster Company, following a tender process.

The South Quay site will be open year round, creating four full-time and 10 part-time jobs. Once plans are approved by Canterbury City Council, works will begin in the autumn, with a view to opening in the early spring of next year.

The building will include an educational area to inform visitors about Whitstable’s oyster heritage. It will use recycled steel sea containers as the base building block, with colour finishes and materials reflecting the look of the rest of the harbour.

Canterbury City Council spokesman Rob Davies said; “It was felt a year-round facility promoting local fish and shellfish, selling Kentish foods and promoting the area’s heritage and culture would add to what the harbour has to offer its visitors.”


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