Student Beans go to… the British Kebab Awards 2014

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The glitz, the glam, the grease; all the best from the hottest awards show in town.

You can forget the Golden Globes. You can tell Oscar where to stick it. There’s only one awards ceremony that matters now: the British Kebab Awards. Celebrating the best in the kebab industry, the awards are in their 2nd year and have seriously upped the stakes for 2014. Only the most glamorous and classy sort of folk get in to the British Kebab Awards, so we had to sneak in when the bouncer wasn’t looking.

When we say they upped the stakes, we mean it; the awards took place at the Park Lane Sheraton, a fancy-pants hotel in Mayfair; last year we think they were held in a layby on the M25. Complete with red carpet (which had almost no chips trodden into it), the awards got off to a boozy start, with raki flowing like water.

Like a good kebab, the party was absolutely stuffed with the most juicy and succulent of guests. There were more MPs present than an average day in Parliament and top brass from the kebab industry. We managed to secure a few fleeting seconds with Veysel Yavuz (owner of Gokyuzu Restaurant in Harringay) to find out how he likes his kebab. ‘Soft’, replied Veysel. Hmm. Though we agree that a hard kebab probably wouldn’t be very nice, it’s something we’ve yet to encounter ourselves. But who are we to argue?

At 8pm sharp we shuffled down into the Ballroom for dinner and the ceremony. We were instructed by a nice lady with a clipboard that we were on table 38. It soon transpired that table 38 did not actually exist. Just when we thought we were going to have to wolf down a kebab in the toilets, we managed to squeeze on to another table in the nick of time. Dinner is served! There were plenty of flatbreads and hummus, but there was one thing we were all waiting for, the thing everyone came here to revel in: free booze.

You might think, after witnessing an endless stream of drunken idiots throwing salad at each other, that kebab shop owners would be put off drinking for life. Guess again. When they go, they go hard. So hard, in fact, that we ran out of wine before dinner even made it to the table! The raki from earlier started to look a bit more appealing...but not that appealing.

The main meal took a while to arrive, but when it did, oh boy. Tender meat, hot flatbreads and enough chilli sauce to start a bushfire; of course we had kebabs! Not just any kebabs though, these were some next-level, gourmet kebabs. 'Forget the awards', we cried aloud. 'This is the winner, right here!' Except we didn't, because we were sat next to an MP who had already expressed his disdain for our 'incessant Twattering'. Uhh, it's called livetweeting, Granddad! We're with the press corps!

Once dinner was done and dusted, it was on to the awards. Incidentally, it feels entirely wrong to have a kebab halfway through a night out, like watching a Chuckle Brothers themed porno. 'To me, to you!' The awards were many and superfluous; if you want to know how many ways you can spin the phrase 'Best Kebab', get down to the British Kebab Awards. We'll spare you the full list and just give you the key winners.

1. Best Delivery Restaurant: Mozz Restaurant, London

2. Best Newcomer: Kervan Gökyüzü, London

3. Best Kebab Outside of London: Best Kebab, Southend

4. Best Kebab in London: The Charcoal Grill, London

5. Quality In Fine Dining: Sheesh Chigwell, London

And there you have it! The best that British kebabs have to offer. The awards were long-winded, the food was late and the MPs were spectacularly unfunny, but all in all the awards were a riotous success. It might seem ridiculous to have an awards ceremony for kebabs, and it is a little bit, but they've become an integral part of our culture and rake in £2 billion a year, so why not celebrate them?

First published in Student Beans; by Rich Cooper

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