Chairman of the judging panel, Mr Chapman is founder of the Curry Club and author of the Good Food Guide since 1984. He is called ‘The Ambassador of Indian Food’ by Derek Cooper and ‘Curry Leader’ by Fay Maschler and ‘a Missionary seeking converts to curry’ by Loyd Grossman.
Born in war-torn London at a time when Britain had just six Indian restaurants, Pat was virtually weaned on spicy food, and by the age of ten, he was learning from his ex-memsahib granny how to cook curries the pukka Indian way. He was hooked, and later coined the word, ‘curryholic,’ to describe his passion for that food. Following education at Bedales, Cambridge and a short commission in the RAF (flying fast jets), he started a successful stage lighting and sound company.
Michelin Star Chef and Chinese Masterchef winner in 2006, Mr Poon launched Poons, the chain of restaurants in London, first opened in 1960s.
Chef William Poon personally ran the kitchen in Covent Garden (one Michelin star 1979-80) before it moved to Poons in the City in 1992. The restaurant in the city was modelled on the design of Hong Kong’s Luk Yew Tree House and had an 80-seat fast food section. Poons have been patronised by celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and many theatre stars among the Covent Garden theatres.He continues to work in support of community projects and is currently the Chair of Euro-Chinese Literature Association (歐華文聯)., and the Permanent President of Shunde UK Association.
George Shaw is a former BBC journalist.
He has also edited Highend, Nine to Five, Capital Life, and Thai Life and magazines and published the Islington Restaurant Guide. He now provides specialist restaurant consultancy and marketing services to the hospitality sector.
A former restaurant inspector for the Good Food Guide, George also led a team of judges in the inaugural Kent Restaurant Awards. He provides the Food & Drink newsfeed on the OrderOnlineNow.co.uk restaurant and takeaway booking website.
Ria Amber Tesia
Ria Amber Tesia is an award-winning author, food critic, Best of Bolton Winner (2012–2015) and editor of Apéritif Magazine. She reviews restaurants and loves championing good food and great spaces.
She is a prolific cook and food writer, frequently trialling recipes in her test kitchen in Derby and featuring them on her foodie blog.
From proof-reading for BAFTA to Tweeting for Antonio Carluccio, Ria has a natural love for social media, writing and editing. She provides journalistic and social media services to diverse industries and frequently interviews celebrity chefs for exclusive features, including James Martin, John Torode, Lisa Faulkner and Gino D’Acampo.
Ria has been involved in judging various food and drink awards, and is a consultant recipe developer for catering companies and restaurants. She is currently working hard on her debut cookbook whilst putting the finishing touches to her third novel.
Thomas Chan DL
Thomas Chan has led, over the years, many campaigns on issues affecting the Chinese catering sector and the wider Chinese community in the UK.
Working in partnership with the Chinese National Healthy Living Centre, the Chinese Takeaway Association (UK) launched the “Healthier Chinese Takeaway Menu Project”. The project was funded by the British Heart Foundation and other public sector bodies. Training seminars were held in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Belfast, highlighting the basic principles of good nutrition, the importance of choice of cooking methods and the selection of ingredients and awareness of how food and exercise can contribute to the prevention of heart disease.
Qualified nutritionists and celebrity chef Nancy Lam were there to introduce alternative and healthier ways of preparing popular Chinese dishes. As a follow up to the initiative, a healthy cook book titled Fresh Chinese was published. It was written by nutrition consultant, Wynnie Chan with a foreword by celebrity chef Ken Hom. The book brings a feast of over 80 mouth watering recipes to its readers so they would not pile on the pounds whilst cooking consuming delicious Chinese food.
Thomas has worked with the Chinese community in Britain for more than 30 years. He has been involved in the setting up of different Chinese community centres in London and the London Chinese Health Resource Centre (now Chinese National Healthy Living Centre). Over the years he has undertook researches into the needs of Chinese people with disabilities in London, older people in Belfast and Chinese community in mid Scotland. He is a qualified food safety trainer and business support consultant.
He was first elected to the London Borough of Redbridge in 1990. He returned to local politics in 2006 and has held different Cabinet positions. He was Mayor of Redbridge Council in 2009/10.
2006 saw Teddy K C Chen embarked on his new enterprise – entrepreneur and restaurateur. Today Teddy K C Chen’s restaurant empire takes the best of south-east asian culinary delicacies and places them in some of London’s most talked about south-east asian eateries. From freshly hand-pulled noodles to one of London’s most talked Malaysian delights, Teddy K C Chen has London’s taste buds covered.
However, this blossoming restaurateur did not start off chasing the tasty treats of the hawker stalls in Malaysia. Teddy K C Chen started his career in the 70’s working as a technician in various business sectors before landing a career in the 80’s at the height of rock and roll – the music industry. Having started out being the only Malaysian Chinese staff member at EMI Records, his charisma and his likeability shot him to become the International Affairs Manager, entertaining the likes of Sir Cliff Richard, Queen, Duran Duran, Sir Paul McCartney, Olivia Newton-John, Sheena Easton and Kate Bush. From EMI Records, Teddy K C Chen ventured on to new challenges – trading and property development.
This stint in property development armed him with the experience and business acumen skill set to embark on his 7 year restaurant empire. With his love of good home cooked Malaysian food coupled with his instant sparkling personality, the once young humble bartender has shot to food industry fame to bring mouth watering delights of the Malaysian straits to the West.