Judges

Kate 03Kate Solomons
Leicester-born Kate has lived and worked in the city all her life; a former primary school teacher, she has been running her own business for the last 12 years, Kreative Group, a Leicester-based Model & Event Agency. Kate is the National Director of Miss Great Britain, and as a former Miss Leicestershire has now 600 over 15 years within the model and pageant industry.

Having travelled to some amazing countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, and Fiji, amongst others, Kate has always loved sampling the food of different cultures with Indian cuisine being her favourite. Kate believes that Leicester has some of the best Asian delicacies in the UK!

 

Ted Cassidy MBE 02

Councillor Ted Cassidy MBE
Ted has completed nearly thirty years in public life in Leicester and the East Midlands region as a Councillor, as a former Lord Mayor, and as a Trustee or Board Member of many organisations including the National Space Centre, the Carlton Hayes Mental Health Charity, and Leicester Cathedral Council. Among former roles, he has chaired the Phoenix, was on the Board of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, and chaired the Special Olympics Great Britain Summer Games in Leicester in 2009.  In the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Ted received an MBE for his contribution to the Arts.

A qualified youth and community worker and social worker, he worked for nearly thirty years at De Montfort University, formerly Leicester Polytechnic. He is currently project managing the renovation of St Peter’s Church in Highfields. Ted is a long-standing season ticket holder at the Premiership Champions Leicester City.

 

Simon Porter
Born and raised in Leicester, Simon is a classically trained chef and graduated from Southfields College in 1986. He learnt his craft in and around the city while working at some major hotels as well as Leicester City football ground.

He successfully ran an authentic curry evening in Market Harborough for many years and now spends his days training the chefs of the future as a Lecturer at Northampton College. In addition to this, he’s hosted Bangladeshi Chef of the Year at Northampton College as well as supporting and coaching many chefs to high ranking positions in various competitions such as Gluten-Free Chef of the year and Game Chef of the Year.

 

Namrata Varia 01Namrata Varia
A producer for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio Leicester, Namrata is a local girl. Born and bred in the city, and like with most Asian families, food has always been a pretty big part of her life – not least because her mum is an exceptional cook who can knock up a feast big enough to feed a small Leicestershire village!

She’s worked with Ben Jackson (the current Mid-Morning Show presenter) for most of her time at the BBC and she credits him for being one of the biggest foodies she knows. Whether it’s a feature for a programme or sharing tips and cheats, food is never too far from the conversation. And when it comes to eating out, she’s the biggest critic amongst her friends, so everyone knows if she approves of a place – it’s bound to be good!

 

Rajiv Popat
Rajiv is a reporter with ITV News Central and has over 20 years’ experience working in radio and television for both regional and national broadcasters. Although his career takes him to far flung places, he spends a lot of time reporting from the Midlands, particularly Leicester. He’s covered the football team’s incredible success in the Premier League and the find of the century – the remains of Richard III under a council car park and the reinterment ceremony that followed.

He loves everything about Leicester, especially the incredible choice of Indian restaurants and pubs. For him, being a judge for the Leicester Curry Awards has been an absolute privilege. There is much more to Indian cuisine than Chicken Tikka Masala or Lamb Buna and he’s had a great time sampling some fantastic new dishes and getting re-acquainted with some old favourites.

 

Anne Davies
A British television presenter and newsreader, Anne Davies has had a varied career within the media, from fronting daytime programmes and news reading, to presenting the first breakfast programme on GMTV with Eamonn Holmes, alongside presenting her own cookery strand and covering for Lorraine Kelly.

After eight years of newscasting, cooking, foreign travel and fun, Anne moved back to Leicestershire to read the evening news for BBC East Midlands Today alongside Dominic Heale, and last year launched the prestigious Fashanne Awards – an initiative set-up to support talented fashion students within the East Midlands.