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Calcutta Club: Meet our Head Chef Barry

We’re proud to have developed a strong reputation with food lovers in the East Midlands. Here, we wanted to give an insight into how our family-run business became the bustling, award-winning restaurant that it is today

Calcutta Club owners John (left) and Barry (right)
Calcutta Club's Head Chef - Barry

All good businesses start off as ideas.

For us, the idea behind Calcutta Club was to take our passion for North-Indian history, hospitality, and cuisine - and bring it to the people of the East Midlands.

So who are we?

We’re John and Barry - brothers, friends, business partners, and the driving forces behind Calcutta Club's success.

We’ve worked in the restaurant industry for decades now, and during our varied careers we’ve learnt just about everything there is to know about good food and excellent service.

In 2014, we decided that we wanted to set off on our own course - and that’s why we founded Calcutta Club. Our intention was to open an Indian restaurant that prized excellent quality food, an exceptional dining experience, and dishes that were rooted in the North Indian cuisine that we so enjoyed.

Calcutta Club offers delicious North Indian cuisine
Calcutta Club offers delicious North Indian cuisine

When our journey started 8 years ago, we had no idea that our humble Indian restaurant would rise to be ranked as one of the best restaurants in Nottingham - as well as win multiple national awards in the process.

Meet Our Head Chef - Barry

Calcutta Club’s Head Chef Barry was born in Punjab but was schooled and raised in Birmingham.

Barry started in the restaurant industry in 1980 and has over 40+ years in the business.

He learned his trade by working in various restaurants throughout Glasgow, including some of the top establishments in the city. As well as being a thorough worker, Barry also prided himself on constantly finding new flavours, new techniques, and new combinations with his dishes.

With this hard-earned skill set, Barry has helped bring originality and quality to the various Kashmiri, West Bengalese, and Punjabi dishes which now take pride of place on Calcutta Club’s menu (and that’s all before mentioning Barry’s hugely popular ‘Chef’s Specials’, which are always full of surprises.)

Barry first gained national recognition for his culinary skills way back in 1985, when he was voted ‘Best Curry Chef in Scotland’ by the Scottish Sunday Mail. It was to be the first of many awards for our Head Chef over the years.

But as a tireless, highly respected culinary artist, Barry has always been more interested in making delicious food than lining his trophy cabinet!

He established his first restaurant in 1988, and he has gone on to establish seven restaurants over the years, including The Taj Mahal in Motherwell, the 17/21st Lancers in Kilwinning and Perth, Mem Saab in Nottingham, Masala Art in Derby, Elaichi in Hertfordshire, and - of course - the award-winning Calcutta Club in Nottingham.

Barry’s journey has seen him work alongside some of the best chefs and service workers in the business, all of which has led to him perfecting Calcutta Club’s incredible Indian dishes, as well as giving him and John the tools for providing unparalleled service.

Indian marinated prawns
Indian marinated prawns

As a business, we always put good food and quality service before all else.

That being said, we’re also very grateful for the accolades and recognition which has been given to us over the 8 years that we’ve been in business.

From being voted ‘Best newcomer in the Country’ at the British Curry awards in November 2015, to receiving awards at the ‘Nottingham Restaurant Awards’ in 2017 and 2019, to winning at the ‘English Curry Awards’ in 2019, to being voted ‘Best Restaurant in the Midlands’ at the British Curry Awards in November 2019, all the way up to the present - when we were recently voted ‘Best restaurant in the East Midlands’ at the British Curry awards in November 2022 - we have been incredibly humbled by the passion and support of our patrons.

Calcutta Club’s journey is just getting started.

As we head into 2023, we’re excited about continuing to bring a great dining experience to our customers, as well as living up to our reputation of being considered one of the best restaurants in Nottingham.

We hope to see you soon!

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