Oliver Awards 2022: New takeaway category proves a hit as Leeds businesses celebrate lockdown achievements

Entries are pouring in for the Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver Awards 2022, celebrating the best of Leeds' food and drink scene.
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Industry experts will review entries across a range of categories before the winners are announced at a ceremony at Queens Hotel on March 28.

A new category this year is Best Takeaway Offering, recognising the businesses that pivoted to launch delivery services during the pandemic, or those who have always offered exceptional food to enjoy at home.

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Among the early nominees are Manjit's Kitchen and My Spice and Grill, both on Kirkstall Road, and I am Doner.

Manjit Kaur, of Manjit's Kitchen, one of the early nominees in the Oliver Awards takeaway categoryManjit Kaur, of Manjit's Kitchen, one of the early nominees in the Oliver Awards takeaway category
Manjit Kaur, of Manjit's Kitchen, one of the early nominees in the Oliver Awards takeaway category
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Manjit Kaur's Indian street food has long been a favourite with Leeds foodies and when lockdown hit, she ramped up deliveries - working tirelessly in her Kirkstall Road kitchen as restaurants sat empty.

Manjit said: "We wanted to apply for the recognition, it's been tough during the pandemic with limited seats but we turned it around quickly with our deliveries in a short period of time.

"It's been a tough time, not just for me but everyone in the same situation. It would be a huge lift for us to win and get us in the right direction."

I am Doner is known for its award-winning takeaway kebabsI am Doner is known for its award-winning takeaway kebabs
I am Doner is known for its award-winning takeaway kebabs
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I am Doner, known for its award-winning takeaway kebabs, has three venues in Headingley, Infirmary Street and Harrogate.

The takeaway has been shortlisted for the British Kebab Awards and founder Paul Baron hopes to come away with an Oliver accolade.

He said: "Being local I have always followed the Oliver Awards and when I saw that they had opened a takeaway category I just had to get our nomination in.

"It would mean so much to me and my team if we were to go on and win this award.

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"As for everyone, the past couple of years have been really tough on myself and our team with closures and changes in operating hours.

"But the team has remained upbeat and committed and made some awesome kebabs in tough times."

Entries can be submitted by businesses at www.oliverawards.co.uk before February 16.

Full list of categories:

- Best Cafe/Deli

- Best Gastropub or Brewery

- Best Brunch

- Best Local Produce

- Best Bar

- Best Speciality

- Best Family Friendly

- Best Use of Outdoor Space - NEW

- Sustainability

- Best Customer Service

- Newcomer of the Year

- Best Takeaway Offering - NEW

- Best Fine Dining Experience

- Chef of the Year

- Outstanding Contribution

- Overall Restaurant of the Year (all restaurants awarded at ceremony eligible)

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