Asian and Oriental Centres of Excellence

The Hospitality Guild, working in partnership with People 1st, launched the Asian and Oriental Centres of Excellence in March 2012. The centres help Asian restaurants to recruit skilled staff from within the UK, responding to the immigration cap which restricts employers from recruiting chefs from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Case studies

Discover what it's like to be a job-seeker and employer on the Asian and Oriental pre-employment programme. 

Job-seekers                                                             Employers


Career profiles

Career profile

Cyrus Todiwala OBE

Cyrus Todiwala, OBE is an authority on Indian Parsee cuisine, a passionate campaigner for good food, the environment and sustainability.

Career profile

Alun Sperring

Alun Sperring travelled the world honing his culinary skills and was the first chef of English descent to be crowned a Curry King of Britain.

Career profile

Saipin Lee

Saipin Lee is the Regional Manager UK and Europe for S&P Restaurants. She is responsible for the network of London Patara fine dining Thai restaurants.

Career profile

Iqbal Wahhab

Iqbal Wahhab, OBE is a British Bangladeshi restaurateur and businessman committed to working with young people. He is founder of the award–winning Cinnamon Club and ROAST.

Career profile

Enam Ali MBE – FIH

Enam Ali MBE – FIH, takes genuine delight in a satisfied customer. He is an original and creative entrepreneur, responsible for launching the highly prestigious British Curry Awards and a respected quarterly trade magazine Spice Business.

Career profile

Aktar Islam

Aktar Islam is the founder of award–winning restaurant, Lasan, crowned in 2009 as the UK’s best local restaurant by Gordon Ramsay.

Career profile

James Li

Second generation Brit, James Li initially embarked on a career in finance and banking in Shanghai, returning to the UK to take over the management of his father’s restaurant, Fu Tze Ltd.

Career profile

Andrew Wong

The winner of the London 2009 Chinese Masterchef Competition, a boxer and a Wing Chun student, Andrew Wong is definitely a force to be reckoned with.