News & Reports

sauces and sources podcast

       The Sauces & Sources Podcast is a new project in which I will be chatting about my favourite topics on food and food history.

Once my latest book is published, I'll start recording some new podcasts.

International Indian Chef of the Year Competition 2017

It was an honour for me to be introduced to HRH The Princess Royal at the award ceremony for this year's International Indian Chef of the Year Competition. The judges of the competition were invited to meet Princess Anne before the awards ceremony and, as you can see from the photo, I was able to share a light hearted moment with her and the founder of the competition, Tommy Miah.

Princess Anne
Princess Anne, Tommy Miah (back to camera) and David Smith
photo credit: Jonathan Hordle

see our full report of the final and the awards ceremony.

see the judges notes for each contestant

International Indian Chef of the Year Competition 2017 - final

Tommy Miah, David Smith
Tommy Miah and David Smith

The final of Tommy Miah's International Indian Chef of the Year Competition took place at Billingsgate Seafood School on Monday 2nd October. Seven finalists spent two hours creating their chosen dishes. The dishes were then placed in tiffin carriers and transported to a Virgin Train's first class carriage for the judges to sample on their way up to York. The competition was extremely tight and the chefs were all first class themselves. But there can only be one winner and that person will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held in London on Monday 9th October.

International Indian Chef of the Year Competition 2017 - launch

Alex Salmond, David Smith, Tommy Miah
Alex Salmond, David Smith and Tommy Miah
(photo kindly taken by Neil Mitchell)

The competition was originally launched at The Jubilee Rooms in the House of Commons in late 2015. Unfortunately, the competition had to be postponed and there was a second launch in early 2017.

Alex Salmond announced the original launch alongside the competition's founder, Tommy Miah. As you can see from the photo, I was there too. I'm delighted to say that I was one of the judges of the competition again this year.

The competition is open to anyone with flair and talent. You don't have to be a restaurant chef (or be Indian) to enter the competition despite its name.


currywurst from Berlin

      I was in Berlin recently, and it's hard not to notice that currywurst is very popular there. Currywurst stalls are everywhere. So, what is it? Well, currywurst is a typical German sausage sliced into chunks which are smothered with a spicy ketchup with finely ground curry powder sprinkled on top.

And what's it like? I thought it was going to be awful but, as I was in Berlin, I felt at least I ought to give it a try. Surprisingly, it's quite nice. Nothing like curry at all really but the sweet and spicy currywurst ketchup is very moreish.

Apparently, currywurst originated In Berlin just after the end of WW2. Army rations were used as a form of currency and foodstuffs like tomato ketchup, Worcester Sauce and curry powder were available to trade. An enterprising Berliner acquired the three ingredients, blended them together and poured the resulting sauce over local sausages. At least, that's how the story goes.

International Indian Chef Of The Year Competition 2013

The final of the International Indian Chef of the Year Competition was held on Thursday 14th November in the kitchens of the Central Street Cookery School, London.

The winner was... Ashwani Kumar who is head chef at the Mango Lounge restaurant in Windsor. Congratulations to him. The runner-up was Sabrin Hoque, a housewife from Ilford - well done to her too.

read our full report of the competition
(including the winner's menu)

     competition founder, Tommy Miah
The competition founder, Tommy Miah, and the winner, Ashwani Kumar

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Agnes Marshall: from scullery maid to Victorian celebrity cook by David Smith