Enam Ali MBE – FIH, FRSA
Founder & CEO
British Curry Award
Enam Ali was born in Sylhet Division, Bangladesh. In 1974, he came to the United Kingdom to study law as his parents wanted him to become a lawyer, however he instead completed a degree in Hospitality and Management. In Bournemouth he worked two days a week for an American food company while completing his studies. Later, he worked part-time for the TM group of restaurants. In 1980, he earned an International Fellowship from the Institute of Hospitality, and in 1990, a fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts.
In 1998, Enam Ali launched Spice Business Magazine, a quarterly trade magazine featuring articles in English and Bengali with information on the restaurant sector and community news which soon maintained an average quarterly readership of over 100,000. Alongside publishing and editing, he has been involved himself with politics and developed outstanding relationships in the political arena by which he made a good use in influencing the government. He has been a member of the Home Office Hospitality Advisory Panel in matters relating to regulation and parliamentary legislation affecting the hospitality industry in which capacity he has been incessantly lobbying at the House of Lords to ensure fairness in the UK government’s treatment of legitimate migrant workers.
His hardworking and extensive research established and promoted the concept of British Curry as an own right cuisine, not just in the UK but worldwide as well. The concept of the “British Curry” is now so well established that it is possible to forget the opposition encountered before the first awards in 2005. His aim has always been to help British consumers distinguish between the different types of cuisine from the sub-continent of India and he is the pioneered establish “British Curry” as a cuisine in UK, according to trade journal Spice business magazine.
In 2005, Ali founded The British Curry Awards to recognise excellence and with the intention of generating headlines and features for the best British curry restaurants, overall and in local categories throughout Britain.
In 2012, the restaurant Le Raj which he founded was selected as one of the official food suppliers of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. It supplied Bangladeshi halal curry and iftar during Ramadan for 17 days during the Olympics to thousands of Olympic officials and diplomats.
In 2013, Ali became Chief Strategy Advisor to the hospitality-sector led charity Terraque Ltd who was already committed to the United Nations Millennium@EDU initiative, which funds deliver of computers to 15 million students by 2015 in the poorest countries, cooperating with Intel and Microsoft to purchase and deliver these at, or close to, cost price.
In June 2016 Enam was elected president of the British-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce, to continue promoting trade and investment opportunities and co-operation between Britain and Bangladesh. During his term, he hosted the NRB Global Business Convention in Bangladesh with 29 nations participation. Enam also hosted the Global Challenges conference in Bangladesh with keynote speaker, David Cameron, Former Prime minister of Great Britain.
Other countries’ bestselling newspapers have used Ali as a contributor and consultant in writing about the increase in domestic curry consumption, best cuisine and global trends and refer him a media commentator for this industry.
Awards and recognition
In 2009, Ali was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours for his services to the Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant industry.
In 2008, he was a member of the Home Office Hospitality sector advisory panel to ensure fairness in the treatment of the restaurant industry by then department and by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In 2011, Ali became the first Muslim and the first representative of the British curry industry to be granted Freedom of the City of London, in recognition of his contribution to the hospitality industry. In the same year, he was awarded Best Business Personality of the Year by his local area (Epsom and Ewell) at their Business Excellence Awards, in recognition of the contribution he has made to the local community by hosting charitable events, raising over £1.02 million in the previous 26 years.
In January 2013, Ali was nominated for the Arts and Culture Awareness award at the British Muslim Awards. In 2014, he was named NRB Person of the year by Millennium Global Magazine.
April 2018, he was awarded Awards Professional of the Year by Awards Awards. Enam continues promoting British Businesses worldwide in the media covering “Curry may be born in India but Britain globalised it”.
In June 2018, he has been recognised by the Institute of Hospitality for his outstanding contribution to the industry.