The County of Shropshire showed its support for its local soldiers by holding a curry competition to raise money for The Soldiers’ Charity. The ‘Shrewsbury Big Curry’ event took place on Saturday 21st July from 12-4pm in The Square, with army chefs from 143 Brigade (West Midlands) and civilian chefs from the Taste Kitchen at the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre going head to head in an attempt to create the tastiest dish.
The popular event, held for the second year, was judged by the public, who voted for their favourite curry. For a £5 charitable donation, each person received a portion of each curry with rice, followed by the opportunity to cast a vote. There was also a licensed bar, entertainment and stands for local businesses who supported the event. With the TASTE kitchen winning last year’s competition, new chef Calvin Watson was keen to defend the title. However, on Saturday it was the army chefs who emerged victorious– receiving the most votes for their beef madras.
The event raised more than £7,500 last year, providing lifetime support to both serving and retired soldiers and their families. The event has been supported by HEART of ENGLAND fine foods (HEFF) and Shropshire Council. Event organiser, Nick Chavasse, is the Managing Director of NRG Direct Mail Ltd and a former Major in the British Army.
“The Shrewsbury Big Curry was a roaring success last summer so we are very excited to be running it again this year” he said, ahead of the event. “We are hoping to sell in excess of 750 portions of curry in the cook-off competition between the Army and the TASTE Kitchen chefs so we are encouraging everyone to come to The Square on July 21 for their lunch and help us to exceed last year’s £7,500.”
In 2011, The Soldiers’ Charity was able to assist 32 injured and wounded soldiers in both Shropshire and the West Midlands by funding vocational training courses for their transition from military service to life outside the Army, at a cost of £38,350.