For the very first time, 19 Indian restaurants from across the North East and Cumbria (full list below) are hosting a charity event on the same night (Monday 14th May) and raising funds for our Foundation.

Lady Elsie with Mohammed Alamgir (event organiser) and his wife Syeda Begum

It is an opportunity for the restaurants to showcase their specialities and for guests to try dishes they may not have eaten before.

The charity night is being organised by Mohammed Alamgir, known as Alam, from Newcastle, who very sadly lost his Mum to cancer.

Alam says: “We’re so proud to be raising funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and believe this is the first time Indian restaurants in the region have come together to do something like this.

“The enthusiasm to get involved, from restaurant owners and chefs, has been really wonderful.”

In addition to the charity night, Alam is the driving force behind a ‘MasterChef style’ cooking competition called The Chef TV Reality Show, which will be broadcast to a national audience via Channel i Television (free-to-view on Sky 752), the leading station for the UK’s Bangladeshi community.

The show, which is designed to raise the profile, skills and aspirations of chefs working within Indian restaurants, begins next month and has 20 entrants who are currently working within Indian restaurants across the region.

This is the second series of The Chef TV Reality Show and, this year, the team behind the competition are thrilled to have the support of Newcastle College, which will be giving contestants a ‘taster session’ of the formally recognised training chefs in the industry could receive.

Lady Elsie with just some of the restaurant owners who are fundraising for our Foundation and representatives from Newcastle College

Alam, who is also a Channel i Television correspondent, adds: “Traditionally, chefs within local Indian restaurants have only had ‘on-the-job’ training. Newcastle College is helping by showing this year’s entrants the kind of industry training that’s available via local colleges and, hopefully, we’ll encourage viewers to think about the options available to them.

“The Chef is a competition, and we want to find the best chef from the group, but along the way we want to increase the skills of our entrants and showcase their creativity.

“It’s a chance to raise the profile of chefs who are producing some of our most popular local food and encourage the recruitment of more new chefs into the industry.”

Lady Elsie joined Alam, along with Milon Miah, the head chef of Spice Island in Barnard Castle and winner of The Chef 2017, and Philip Pringle, lecturer and course leader in food and hospitality at Newcastle College, to find out more about Monday’s charity night and The Chef TV Reality Show.

She was also pleased to meet Titu Ahad, Abul Boshor and Abdul Karim, who are supporting Alam’s efforts, and Rahim Uddin from Alnwick, who is entering this year’s The Chef TV Reality Show.

Lady Elsie with Milon Miah (last year’s competition winner) and Mohammed Alamgir

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Curry Night costs £20 per person, with £5 per ticket being donated to the charity.

Set menus will vary according to restaurant specialities. For details and tickets, please contact individual restaurants.

Regional heats of The Chef TV Reality Show begin on 26 June and the 20 initial contestants will be whittled down to 10 for the televised finals, which begin in September, and all competing for the top spot.

Restaurants participating in the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Curry Night on Monday 14th May:

1. Jolsha, Stockton-on-Tees
2. Jolsha, Middlesbrough
3. Spice Island, Barnard Castle
4. Ala Spicery, Beamish
5. Duke Bombay, Darlington
6. The Days of the Raj, Newcastle
7. Tandoori Nights, Newcastle
8. Cafe Spice, Newcastle
9. Paprika, Gateshead
10. Nafizas Restaurant, Low Fell
11. Namaste, South Shields
12. The Shampan, Whitley Bay
13. Char Mausum, Stannington
14. Tandoor Mahal, Morpeth
15. Ashianna, Bedlington
16. Mivesi, Alnwick
17. Saathi, Hexham
18. The Viceroy, Carlisle
19. The Naz, Eccles