Abdul Latif (restaurateur)

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Abdul Latif
Born (1954-12-15)15 December 1954
Sylhet, Sylhet District, Sylhet Division, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
Died 20 January 2008(2008-01-20) (aged 53)
Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, England
Spouse(s) Neawarun Latif
Website www.therupali.co.uk
Culinary career
Cooking style Bangladeshi/Indian cuisine

Abdul Latif, FRSA[1] (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[2] – 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.[3] The dish contained four times the amount of chilli found in a typical vindaloo.[1]

Early life[edit]

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.[1]

Career[edit]

Latif's first job on Tyneside was as a waiter in a restaurant owned by a relative in Whitley Bay.[1] In 1977, Latif established his restaurant, the Rupali, in the city centre of Newcastle. The restaurant was later renamed Curry Capital.[4]

Latif offered free curry for five years to all service men and women who had served in Iraq,[5] and free curry for life to rugby star Jonny Wilkinson and football manager Graeme Souness.[6]

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.[4] The delivery was made by motorcycle courier and aircraft and took four days.[2] 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".[4]

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.[4] He ran a website called The New Lord, where he offered souvenir merchandise, seasonal messages to his fans, publicity services and a motivational DVD.[7] In 2003, he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts for "his efforts to make a difference in society".[1]

Death[edit]

On 20 January 2008, Latif died of a heart attack at his home in Newcastle's Gosforth area.[8] On 2 March 2008, a well-attended memorial event was held at Newcastle Civic Centre.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituaries: Abdul Latif". The Telegraph. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2009. 
  2. ^ a b 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. 
  3. ^ Tobbell, Kayleigh (31 July 2004). "Lord of Harpole". Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d "From curry hell to model citizen". BBC News. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  5. ^ "Hot offer tempts the troops". BBC News. 17 April 2003. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  6. ^ Douglas, Andrew (20 January 2008). "Restauranteur dies from heart attack". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  7. ^ "The New Lord". Retrieved 24 January 2008. 
  8. ^ a b "'Curry Hell' restaurant boss dies". BBC News. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 

External links[edit]