Cutting across party-lines, over 50 British members of Parliament have formed the first-ever 'All Parliamentarian Tiffin Club' in London to select the best South Asian restaurant in the United Kingdom every year and to boost charitable causes.
The club will be jointly headed by non resident Indian leader Keith Vaz, MP, former minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Office, John Barrett, MP, and Michael Fabricant, MP.
It was formally launched at the Gaylord Indian Restaurant, one of the top five restaurants in the UK at a luncheon Tuesday.
NRI industrialist Karan Billimoria, who was the chief guest on the occasion, spoke about the opportunities provided by Britain to people of Indian origin and said the flourishing restaurants indicated the extent to which Indians have earned a name for themselves.
Billimoria also hailed the decision that this year's competition for selecting the best restaurant in the UK would be in aid of ROKO Cancer Appeal, a charity established five years ago by NRI entrepreneur M K Chawla to raise funds to help in the fight against breast cancer.
Billimoria, who is also the chief of the Cobra Beer, said the charity would introduce the first mobile breast cancer detection unit in Amritsar on December 18.
Vaz said, "The UK's love affair with curry has come a very long way. This will be the first of many events to find MPs' best Indian restaurant in the country and it's for a good cause."
MPs present on the occasion included John Barrett, Janet Anderson, Crispin Blunt, Peter Bottomley, Dr Vincent Cable, Philip Davies, Andrew Dismore, Simon Hughes, Anne Mcintosh and Derek Wyatt.
The judging panel will consist of five judges selected by the Tiffin Club. The nominees will be given a regional assessment. Every national finalist will be commended. In all, 10 regional winners will be chosen and in May 2006, the winning restaurants will be invited to a special cook-in in London, where the overall winner of the Tiffin Cup 2006 will be chosen.
The winning restaurant will get a year's supply of Cobra Beer and the 2006 Tiffin Cup.