Gordon Ramsey approved Indian restaurant to open in Drighlington

FAMILY BUSINESS: Kaushy, Bobby, Minal and Mohan Patel outside their Bradford restaurant. (NS)
FAMILY BUSINESS: Kaushy, Bobby, Minal and Mohan Patel outside their Bradford restaurant. (NS)

A FAMILY run restaurant, which beat 12,000 others to become a Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant finalist in 2010, is moving to Drighlington.

Prashad, which specialises in vegetarian Gujarati cuisine, is to open up in the former Victoria Hotel on Whitehall Road next month.

While the move away from Bradford, the UK’s curry capital, carries an element of risk, operations director Bobby Patel said the family was looking forward to it as their current restaurant is too small to deal with the number of people wanting to eat there since they appeared on television.

Bobby, whose parents Mohan and Kaushy Patel opened their restaurant 22 years ago, said: “ The Victoria Hotel was a central and important building for Drighlington years ago. It has now been closed for some time and there are a lot of expectations around its reopening.

“We hope our presence in Drighlington becomes a beacon to other restaurants and businesses to also come to Drighlington, because there are some beautiful buildings here and it is at the heart of West Yorkshire.

“We loved it from the minute we drove there.”

In 2010 Prashad was one of 12,000 restaurants nominated by Channel 4 viewers to take part in reality documentary and competition, Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurant.

Only 16 were chosen to try to prove to the famously temperamental television chef that they had what it takes to become one of the best restaurants in Britain.

Although Prashad was beaten in the final by an Italian based in Bristol, having been booked out ever since, they certainly do not feel like the losers.

Bobby’s wife, head chef Minal, has been able to gain valuable work experience in Gordon’s restaurants, his mother Kaushy has produced a book that is currently second on the Amazon Indian cook books chart and Gordon has given them advice and support as they have dealt with their new-found fame.

Bobby explained: “What you see on television is his professional persona but when the cameras go off he is different.

“You cannot run 28 restaurants and employ 100s of people and be a complete ass, people won’t be inspired to work for you and would not consistently make you one of the world’s top Michelin starred restaurateur.

“If you wanted me to describe him in In one word? Saviour.”

He said Gordon offered them “three golden nuggets of advice”, firstly to not expand too quickly after the first flush of success, to produce their own cook book and for them to work towards a Michelin star.

Now, two years on they feel they are ready to expand on a modest scale, the book is doing well, they have been included in the latest Michelin guide and Minal is working towards her childhood dream of becoming the world’s top vegetarian chef.

Prashad will open on December 15 and bookings are being taken.