The following is a 12th December 2015 article
There’s no doubt about the influence of Indian food in the UK. Besides high street curry houses, supermarkets, weddings or corporate parties, pubs too promote rice and curry as their speciality. So it was no surprise to see an Indian dinner at the function in Wembley during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.
The Metropolitan line Tube to Wembley Park was packed with Modi fans on November 13. The air was pregnant with excitement as we walked towards the giant stadium where Modi was going to speak to a 60,000-strong gathering of the Indian community. The stadium reverberated with colourful shows of Indian music and dance, followed by the grandeur presence of the two PMs and their inspirational speeches.
As the evening drew to an end, we queued up for the much awaited dinner after a rushed photo session. Aditi from the press group asked me, “Is it your food today?” As I said ‘no’ to her from a distance, I could read her feelings about a regular party dinner at such functions, ‘it’s so predictable’.
The Indian diaspora has expanded over the years in this country, and gradually our culture has blended well in every settlement. Unlike in the past when people travelled back home to get married and celebrate, festivals and functions like weddings take place a lot here nowadays. Traditional food has become a very important bargain even at the planning level of any event. Hence, a huge demand for catering companies from all sections of the community has grown.
Asian marriage functions are very popular in famous London hotels. People are willing to spend premium rates since a classy venue could become the attraction of the wedding. During wedding seasons, it’s impossible to get a booking in the centre of the city. The catch is, when it comes to food, one has to go with their contracted caterers as most hotels have the same people serving food, and they wouldn’t allow food or chefs of your choice.