The BCA Annual Dinner 2008 will mark the 48th anniversary of the association’s establishment and is revered as the most prestigious awards ceremony of its kind in the UK specifically created to reward the very best of Bangladeshi restaurants that play a significant role in contributing to the nation’s economy and wealth.
At present, the curry industry employs more than 90,000 people, mostly of Bangladeshi origin, with an estimated yearly turnover of £3.5 billion and the BCA are at the forefront of representing and organising various activities to promote Bangladeshi cuisine in the UK and Europe. The event also recognises and awards the organisation’s veterans, applauding them for their continuous loyalty and hard work since the inception of the BCA in 1960, and the efforts of community leaders who have devoted their time and effort within their respective institutions and industry.
The theme for the BCA Annual Dinner 2008 is ‘Life’s Nice with Spice’ which will profile the glorious history of Bangladeshi cuisine, made with aromatic healthy spices and how they have attracted UK curry lovers to learn more about their nutritional value..
With the gathering being the largest annual congregation of restaurateurs, the gala event will see them meet and exchange views with other fellow restaurateurs concerning their personal success stories, future policies affecting curry business, and to meet high-level Government policy makers.
More than 800 guests will attend this star-studded event including, Rt Hon Shahed Malik MP Minister for Justice, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, Lord Andrew Mawson, Rt Hon Jim Fitzpatrick, Transportation Minister, Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP, Rt Hon Ann Main MP, Rt Hon Michael Foster MP, Rt Hon Jonathan Shaw MP, Dr Charles Tannock, MEP, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Rt Hon Karen Buck MP, Shafi U Ahmed, Bangladesh High Commissioner to UK, Anwar Chowdhury, Former British High Commissioner to Dhaka, Keith Best, IAS Chief Executive, Baroness Paula Uddin, Prof David Metcalfe, Chair Migration Advisory Committee.
Other guests will consist of a host of curry and restaurant enthusiasts, celebrity chefs, mainstream and Asian celebrities, public figures and other high profile dignitaries from the UK and mainland Europe.
The event will be hosted by Bangladesh Caterers Association and will comprise the awards presentation interspersed with a sumptuous annual dinner and a plethora of spectacular entertainment by renowned Bengali and other Asian singers.
In speaking about the event, President of the Bangladesh Caterers’ Association UK Ltd Mr Bajloor Rashid comments, “Its tough out there, a lot of the curry houses are feeling the heat from the credit squeeze. The loss of jobs in the banking world and other sectors mean many restaurants are quiet to say the least. But restaurant owners always managed to thrive without any helping hand from the government. In fact, the immigration laws, the point based system; discriminate against the very people it should protect leading to staff shortages. But we will manage to survive the impending recession. Despite these testing conditions, we are celebrating these success stories once again at the Annual BCA dinner”.
Mr Rashid went on to say,” The BCA Annual Dinner & Award ceremony has gained an iconic status over the past few years and curry leaders across the country eagerly look forward to coming together to enjoy their successes with their fellow colleagues. Given that we will be enjoying golden Jubilee of our organization in two years time, this event gives us a count down effect to that great moment.”
“The ‘Life’s Nice with Spice’ theme helps us to think about the glorious past of Bangladeshi Caterers who introduced this healthy spices more than a century ago that changed the British taste forever. In this age of `Go Green’ motto everywhere, we are only happy to show the people that we have had adopted that long ago and had contributed significantly to British Health,” says Mr N R Khandaker Pasha, the Secretary General of BCA.