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John Barnes and Chris Kamara dine with Lanarkshire takeaways in London

Three of Lanarkshire’s finest food joints proudly represented the region at this week’s prestigious British Takeaway Awards in London.

Uddingston’s Original Mr Chef, along with Pepe’s Fish and Pizza Bar, and Rollo’s Fish and Chips – both Lesmahagow – were amongst just five finalists in the Scotland category – an incredible feat for Lanarkshire’s food industry.

The local takeaways were treated to a glamourous night of celebration in the capital, whilst dining with some celebrities including former Celtic manager and Liverpool legend, John Barnes, and Sky Sports legend, Chris ‘Kammy’ Kamara.

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The football icons posed for pictures with Lanarkshire’s restaurant owners – after all Barnes does love a ‘wrap’ – in a night that was ‘unbelievable, Jeff’.

Hosted on the night by Paddy McGuinness, the BTAs – in partnership with Just Eat – celebrate takeaways across the UK with finalists nominated through a public vote.

John Barnes and Chris Kamara dine with Lanarkshire takeaways in London
John Barnes greeted the Lanarkshire finalists

This year’s awards pay special tribute to independent firms who, throughout the past 18 months, have played an important part in British life, with restaurants closing during the pandemic.

The Original Mr Chef owner Wasim Arshad told Lanarkshire Live he was honoured just to be invited to the awards, and was even asked to make a special speech to all new takeaways represented at the event.

Wasim told us : “I’m proud of my entire team who worked so hard during the last few years to get us to where we are today.

“I wanted to win this for them. To even be nominated by the general public for these awards is an achievement in itself and to be the only UK takeaway nominated every single year since these awards started is something very special.

“It shows me where my business is at and how loved The Original Mr Chef actually is.

“We will continue to work hard and maintain our high standards while helping other takeaway owners to succeed.”

Wasim added: “Congratulations to all those who won awards and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

John Barnes and Chris Kamara dine with Lanarkshire takeaways in London
Carol and Mark Rollo were honoured to attend the BTAs

“Like I mentioned to you at the awards, contact me for help and advise about how to now manage your business as you will be far busier now.”

Meanwhile, Lesmahagow chippy Rollo’s had a fantastic evening at the awards. And the family business paid special tribute to their local customers.

Owner Mark Rollo said: “I would like to say it’s a massive achievement just being in the top five.

“Carol, our son Jack and I would like to thank all our fantastic customers for their support and votes to get us there, but most of all our team who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic.

“We are lucky to have such a great bunch.”

Also in the top five finalists was Pepe’s Fish and Pizza Bar who were humbled after their appearance at the BTAs.

They said: “We might not have won the best take away in Scotland but we are still the best to our customers.

“Thank you to each and every single one of you that voted and to all the teams that have made us what we are.”

Unfortunately the three Lanarkshire firms missed out on the top prize in the BTAs’ Scotland category. It went to Burger Island based in Burntisland who were commended by everyone in attendance.

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