Locog in Curry Capital dispute
Recently Reuters put out a press release announcing “Brick Lane in London’s East End is dubbed as Curry Capital 2012”.
This has caused uproar as The Curry Capital of Britain is a title competed for each year by cities all over Britain as part of National Curry Week which is run to raise money for charity.
The London Organising Committee, when approached, stated they had not issued the release containing this title, claiming it had been issued by Tower Hamlets. They, in turn, claimed the title had been given them by the London Organising Committee as part of the new deal over the re-routing of the marathon course and were totally unaware an official title was already held by someone.
Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said when announcing the deal, “This means using the Games as a catalyst to deliver lasting change and also to inspire a new generation of sporting stars. It also includes supporting local businesses and making Banglatown and Brick Lane the curry capital for London 2012 as part of our commitment to make that vision a reality.”
Enam Ali MBE. Founder of the prestigious British Curry Awards said, “The London Olympics are supposed to be for the benefit of the whole country so the excellence of our curry restaurants nationally should be recognised.” Cyrus Todiwala OBE of top class Café Spice Namaste which is in East London but not part of the Brick Lane scene just shrugged fatalistically at the news as if to say “what can you do?”
“Many cities claim to be the curry capital of Britain,” said the organiser of the official event, “but this seems to be a self awarded title not the official one voted for by the public and worked hard for by cities all over Britain each year.”
Curry Capital of Britain is competed for as part of National Curry Week (9-15 October 2011) each year and this year invitations to compete have gone out to 19 cities including Tower Hamlets. The title is currently held by Glasgow.
“I can understand LOCOG needing to find a political solution to satisfy Tower Hamlets,” continued Grove, “but usurping a title that cities all over Britain work very hard for each year, is not the answer.” “Should Tower Hamlets agree to enter the competition this year and should they win, they will then have earned the title of Curry Capital of Britain for the period covering the London Olympics 2012.”