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Chef Aktar back on BBC's Great British Menu

“Our chef director Aktar is back on BBC 2’s Great British Menu.

This time he’s cooking up a storm every night on BBC2 at 6.30pm from Monday 28th April – Friday 2nd May as part of the Midlands heat.

Aktar’s hoping to triumph in the final on the 6th June and cook a dish at a 70th-anniversary D-Day banquet in St Paul’s Cathedral.”

He’s competing against Jason Hodnett from The Raven, and Mark Poynton from Alimentum so tune in and lend him your support!


Meet the Chefs from Great British Menu Series 9


GBM Judges

Fiesta del Asado


You’ve tried the Indians; now give the cowboys a try (Gauchos, that is)!
Fiesta del Asado, Birmingham’s first Argentine ‘Asado’ restaurant has finally arrived and we’re proud to say it’s one of ours. As valued guests of Lasan over the years we’d love you to join us for the most fun, colorful and fiery dining experience outside Buenos Aires!
We are located on Hagley Road, Edgbaston and officially open from Saturday 1st December 2012 – See what all the fuss is about at www.fiestadelasado.co.uk.



Gordon Ramsay’s very popular food programme on Channel 4, The F Word, has been searching for the best local restaurants in the UK. Following 10,000 public nominations, Lasan was chosen as one of 18 restaurants to compete in different categories; Italian, Indian, French, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, The Americas, British, and Rest of the World. The top six were then chosen to compete in the semi-finals, which included cooking for prestigious guests at Ramsey’s flagship restaurant at Royal Hospital Road, London.

Lasan won the prestigious F Word title after beating off competition from British restaurant, The Pheasant. Lasan received the highest score from The F Word diners, made up of leading food critics, to be crowned the winner by Ramsay, who made the final decision.

BBC’s Great British Menu

The challenge to cook for the ultimate street party: The People’s Banquet Great British Menu. Aktar won the honour of cooking the fish course; his dish was paraded down the ancient cobbled streets of Leadenhall Market in London to 100 expectant guests.

He became the first self-trained chef to face the Great British Menu judges, Oliver Peyton, Prue Leith and Matthew Fort and succeed to represent Lasan and Birmingham.


At Lasan we have been an avid fan of awards over the years. We were initially involved in awards to obtain free publicity because of our limited advertising budget, with considerable success and over 20 awards and recognitions, both industry and non-industry based. We have learned that awards are a must for successful businesses, but not just for free publicity: their main benefit is that they force you to assess your business performance against your competitors. If you are serious about achieving business success, you need to consider awards to provide a realistic check on your performance in your industry.

Winning awards not only gives you the opportunity for publicity. They can be a great morale booster for your staff and increase your credibility in the eyes of your customers, resulting in increased sales. However, they are more important for the self development of the business and the business owner: the process is more significant than the prize because it provides a reality check on your business performance.

So here are some tips on how to win awards!

There are no short cuts. The ultimate objective of winning an award is to enhance your credibility and make your business more successful. So you have to prepare your business as you would if you were presenting a case for an award, whether you enter or not. We all know the key questions that an award granting body should ask. (I’m talking here, of course, about questions that should be asked by reputable organisations offering awards, not those whose main concern is to raise income for themselves by charging companies for making an award application, without proper evaluation and a credible judging process – their awards process will be of little value to your business).

These key questions include: How are you better than your competitors? Does your service really meet (or even exceed) your customers’ expectations? Is your business innovative, meeting changing customer needs? Normal business practice should address these important issues – you shouldn’t need an award application to focus your attention here. If you prepare your business to increase your sales and profits, awards will come to you. Focus on winning business, not awards. Don’t expect to win if your business is failing…make your business a success, then look for an award! And where you are making an award application, be truthful to yourself, as honesty makes an award worth winning. Genuine awards from credible organisations will come to you, without buying them, if you have challenged yourself to perform better than your competitors and fully meet the expectations of your customers.

Jabbar Khan
Founder & Director, Lasan