Curry Capital 2012 Result: The TATTGOC Breakdown


First things first: well done Bradford, for retaining the Curry Capital title in 2012. The final result was announced at 1pm on Monday earlier this week, and while it might have meant disappointment for Glasgow, our own fair No Mean City did still place second, just like in 2011. In fact, the top five places in Curry Capital 2012 mirrored the result of 2011: Bradford, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Edinburgh (there was a bit more to-ing and fro-ing further down the list).

What might have broken Glasgow hearts, however, was hearing that the judging panel had been unable to slide a fag paper between the top two cities, marking them both at 83 out of a possible 100 (Wolverhampton weren't that far behind either, on 81). With no definitive winner, the tiebreaker was decided by the results of two public votes – one on the official Curry Capital website, and one on the website of sponsors Hungryhouse. And after totting up the results of both polls, Bradford edged out in front. What to make of it all?

Peter Grove, the originator and organiser of Curry Capital said: “The 10th running of Curry Capital of Britain was undoubtedly the greatest ever and team restaurants and councils have to be congratulated on their high standards. All three of the top cities produced fantastic submissions, underscoring their commitment to the curry industry and ethnic community whilst emphasising how important curry is to their cities. Wolverhampton gets better each year whilst Glasgow continues to set the standard for enthusiasm and commitment but Bradford, the city that seems to eat, breath and even export curry, just made it across the line first by the narrowest of margins.”

Glasgow's bid – organised by the council and featuring the brilliant restaurant team of KoolBa, Mister Singh's India, Mother India and Neelim – submitted a video as part of their bid. And in a commendable bit of transparency on the part of GCC, that video is available to watch. So let's!

Nice to see the amazing wall photos in The Glasgow Curry Shop being put to good use in there. And as you could tell from the video, the Glasgow bid put a great emphasis on community outreach and charity work; once again, it was the city to raise the most money for charity during National Curry Week and the Curry Capital campaign – over £2500 – and was commended for that effort.

The Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: "Our city's restaurants deserve national recognition. Their blend of unique dishes, charitable donations and delightful banter are testament to their continued popularity. They represent Glasgow for what it is – caring, friendly, hot and spicy."

The Glasgow bid DVD ... complete with curry-flavoured popcorn

Digging deeper into the press releases, there are some interesting nuggets. In years past, each London council had to submit their own bid separately but in 2012, the UK capital was split into four jurisdictions. It certainly made a difference, as London Central scored highest in the restaurant category (admittedly, their team did include two Michelin-starred restaurants), with Birmingham placing second and Bradford third.

Birmingham also did well in the public votes, and improved their position from last year – moving up to sixth place from seventh – but still couldn't crack the top five. So while our focus will always be on Glasgow, it's worth noting that Edinburgh must be doing something right in their campaign to retain fifth place against tough competition: to have two Scottish cities in the top five out of 18 competitors is something to be proud of.

So it all comes back to that tiebreaker. And while every effort should be made to ensure the voice of the public is heard in Curry Capital, a similar effort should be put into ensuring that public votes are logged by a robust, verifiable, transparent system. 
No-one could blame you for wanting to vote twice for your favourite city in a fit of enthusiasm; but systems should be in place to ensure that it doesn't happen, or at least that it's not that easy to do. It'll be the subject of the Burning Question in the next episode of TATTGOC's wildly popular podcast Keep Calm And Curry On.

But that's really a discussion for Curry Capital 2013, the starting gun for which is a mere six months away. In the meantime, TATTGOC salutes Bradford, our friends at the Wolverhampton campaign and everyone else who supported their city in this fine competition. Curry FTW!

Screen Queens Keen You Glean Cuisine Means In National Curry Week
Put Down That Yorkie And Prepare Thyself For National Curry Week
The Tramps Go "POP"
Our Curry Podcast Hits Double Figures Yet Maturity Remains Elusive
Let's Get Back To Helping Glasgow Reclaim The Curry Capital Title
Woo-Who! It's Edinburgh's Curry Tardis!

Edinburghers Recommend Their Favourite Curryhouse – Part Two
Edinburghers Recommend Their Favourite Curryhouse – Part One 
TATTGOC Proudly Presents: A Month Of Capital Curry! 
TATTGOC's Founders Gets A Grilling From