Abdul Latif (restaurateur)
15 December 1954|
Sylhet, Sylhet District, Sylhet Division, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
|Died||20 January 2008
Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, England
|Cooking style||Bangladeshi/Indian cuisine|
Abdul Latif, FRSA (Bengali: আব্দুল লতিফ; 15 December 1954 – 20 January 2008) was a Bangladeshi-born British restaurateur and curry chef. He was well known for his dish "Curry Hell" introduced in 1987 – a curry reputedly so hot (Latif claimed it was "the world's hottest") that it was offered for free to patrons of his Newcastle restaurant who could finish the entire meal. The dish contained four times the amount of chilli found in a typical vindaloo.
Latif was born near the city of Sylhet, Sylhet District, Sylhet Division, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). In 1969, he arrived to the United Kingdom and settled in Manchester, however after a racist incident during a night, it persuaded Latif to move north to Newcastle. He was married to Neawarun, with whom he had four daughters and two sons.
Latif's first job on Tyneside was as a waiter in a restaurant owned by a relative in Whitley Bay. In 1977, Latif established his restaurant, the Rupali, in the city centre of Newcastle. The restaurant was later renamed Curry Capital.
In 2004, his restaurant was also listed in Guinness World Records, for the world's longest-distance curry delivery – when he delivered frozen vegetable biryani and peshwari naan bread from Newcastle, England to Sydney, Australia. The delivery was made by motorcycle courier and aircraft and took four days. He featured regularly in the cult adult comic Viz, providing the staff with free curries and relishing the publicity, despite their portrayal of him as a "curry mentalist".
Latif purchased the deed to the honorary title of the Lord of Harpole for £5,000 in 1994, and proudly branded himself as Britain's first Bangladeshi Lord of the Manor. He ran a website called The New Lord, where he offered souvenir merchandise, seasonal messages to his fans, publicity services and a motivational DVD. In 2003, he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts for "his efforts to make a difference in society".
- "Obituaries: Abdul Latif". The Telegraph. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
- Stephens, Tony (6 February 2008). "Owner's hot method of currying favour led to restaurant's renown". Sydney: The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
- Tobbell, Kayleigh (31 July 2004). "Lord of Harpole". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- "From curry hell to model citizen". BBC News. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- "Hot offer tempts the troops". BBC News. 17 April 2003. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- Douglas, Andrew (20 January 2008). "Restauranteur dies from heart attack". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- "The New Lord". Retrieved 24 January 2008.
- "'Curry Hell' restaurant boss dies". BBC News. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2008.