The annual World Curry Festival returned to Bradford over the weekend of 12 and 13 September with a range of stalls and attractions, plus a huge food theatre, dominating the centre of Lister Park. Though the traditionally wet autumn weather put a bit of a dampener on the first day, Sunday brought some glorious weather and it was fantastic to see the park filling up with families and food lovers young and old. They were all there hoping to sample some of the incredible curries on offer, watch some impressive food demonstrations and enjoy the sunshine in the various café-style seating areas.
As well as the food there was a good range of themed stalls selling colourful and eclectic goods from Asia and the Middle East. Evocative smells of Indian incense and bright displays of colour made a circuit around the park an enjoyable and immersive experience.
Other attractions included the Curry Theatre, where chef Nooril Karim from Penang created a traditional Malaysian dessert, whilst chef and television personality Hardeep Singh Kohli commentated to a packed-out venue. Hardeep’s funny and well-received jokes continued throughout the forty-five minute demo, which was as entertaining as it was informative. A series of further sessions with chefs from India and Pakistan completed the day alongside a Chemistry Of Curry session from Stephanie Moon. And there was a cookery school for people to participate in.
Local restaurants – including Hasan’s Zoya and Zouk and Zaara’s – offered various curries and kebabs alongside a range of other food and drink offerings, including candy floss for those with a sweeter tooth. Bradford Council’s Food Safety unit were in attendance with useful advice and a Sky Ride rickshaw provided rides around the park. There were plenty of merchandise stalls too, with the ‘Keep Calm And Curry On’ gear going down particularly well.
The World Curry Festival was a great way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny Sunday with plenty of curries to try, places to sit and rest with a drink or cake, and lots activities for families, alongside some large and impressive art displays in the shadow of Cartwright Hall art gallery. Throw in an impressive culinary line-up in the theatre and Bradford continued to show why it is certainly Britain’s Curry Capital.