The special reception to celebrate Sanjay’s honorary achievement took place at the Members Dining Room, House of Commons, attended by MP’s from both the UK and India, including Angela Eagle, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, and Murli Deora, India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, who had flown in especially from India, to attend the celebratory event. Other guests included key dignitaries and respected industry contemporaries.
On hosting the celebratory reception, which recognised the deserved achievement of one of the most established names in the Indian restaurant industry, Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP said, “The way in which Sanjay conducts both his professional and his personal life is as someone right at the very top of his game. He is excellence, not just in the Asian community, but also in the restaurant industry. He built up his empire, serving food that is always of the very best standard. It was no surprise to me, when the Queen decided that Sanjay was the best representative to receive the MBE, and these awards are few and far between. Everyone who meets Sanjay goes away with the impression that they have to have Madhu’s food.”
Showing appreciation for his coveted achievement, Sanjay told “When I first read the letter that arrived from Buckingham Palace, I nearly fell off my chair! I made Julie read the letter out twice – it came totally out of the blue.
“I will never forget going to Buckingham Palace, driving through the massive gates which, for 35 years, I had only ever seen from the outside. I do not feel that this MBE is just for me. It is a collective honour, for my family and the entire Asian restaurant industry. I just happen to be the lucky one that has received it. “The fact is that I love my business. I am very passionate about food and service. I am extremely grateful to God, who gave me such a wonderful family and such tremendous friends. It is they who give me my strength, my courage and my determination.”
Keith Vaz then proceeded to re-present to Sanjay the EMBIZ Award for Entrepreneur of the Year, which was awarded to the lucrative restaurateur by Tony Blair at the former Prime Minister’s farewell dinner in 2007. Following the reception, guests were invited to a sumptuous sit-down dinner at the Riverbank Park Plaza Hotel, London, where a heartfelt visual presentation was screened, conveying messages of congratulations to Sanjay, from family, friends and associates.
Sanjay Anand, pioneer of leading Indian restaurant Madhu’s, was awarded the MBE on Thursday 6th December 2007, for his services to the hospitality industry. Madhu’s is renowned as the top Asian Outside Caterer in the UK and for exclusively serving its delectable Punjabi cuisine with a Kenyan Asian twist at the food halls of the world’s most famous store Harrods, London.
Sanjay Anand’s contribution to the £3.2billion Indian restaurant industry* has continuously been recognised by the array of industry accolades he has collected throughout his career. His previous accolades include being the winner of ‘Best UK Restaurant’ at The 2004 Cobra Good Curry Guide Awards, being nominated at the 2005 Tio Pepe ITV London Restaurant Awards in the ‘Indian Restaurant of the Year’ category, winning a Best In Britain Award for being ‘best’ in the restaurant category, winning ‘Industry Personality of the Year’ at the 2004 BIBA Awards, in association with The Real Curry Restaurant Guide and more recently Sanjay won the Best Outside Caterer Award at 2007 Cobra Good Curry Guide Awards.
Sanjay started the business as a 17 year-old Punjabi who enlisted his mother as head chef in the 36-seat restaurant. Today, Madhu’s in Middlesex is a two level restaurant that attracts gourmet diners and celebrities from across London. With forefathers originally from India, in the 1930s Sanjay’s grandparents moved to Nairobi, North Kenya, to set up their family empire. ‘The Brilliant Hotel’ was where Sanjay’s late father made his name with his exceptional and unmatchable cooking talent. With Kenyan political unrest in the 1970s, the Anand’s moved to the UK and with this move, the empire followed. Madhu’s Brilliant restaurant opened on 28th November 1980, with the aid of Sanjay, aged 17 and his brother Sanjeev, 16. The rest as they say is history.
In the first four years of the restaurant opening, the clientele was mostly Asian, however after Madhu’s received countless awards and positive reviews, including Timeout and The Good Food Guide, many non-Asians now dine at the fine restaurant. The Indian Hyatt trained chefs cook some of the Anand signature dishes, Punjabi cuisine with a unique Kenyan Asian twist. The high profile guests who have enjoyed Madhu’s fine cuisine include former England cricket player Ian Botham and American pop star Tina Tuner.
Following a disastrous fire in 2002, Sanjay refurbished the restaurant with a chic new style that now includes a calming water feature underneath the glass floor at the entrance, black granite features, modern high chairs and polished floorboards.
Moving from strength to strength, Madhu’s is established in the catering industry as the top UK Asian outside caterer, the only and first Asian caterer accredited by the top West End hotels including London’s Hilton on Park Lane, Café Royal, Carlton Tower and Grosvenor House Hotel. Madhu’s regularly caters for some of the most prestigious events in the UK, including the Asian Business Awards attended by HRH Prince Charles, the Duke of York and HRH Prince Michael of Kent.