Iqbal Wahhab

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Iqbal Wahhab
Native name ইকবাল ওয়াহাব
Born (1963-08-22) 22 August 1963 (age 53)
East Pakistan, (now Bangladesh)
Residence Wapping, east London
Nationality British
Education Business Administration
Alma mater London School of Economics
Occupation Businessman
Years active 1991–present
Notable work Tandoori Magazine
Cinnamon Club
Style Indian Cuisine

Iqbal Wahhab, OBE (Bengali: ইকবাল ওয়াহাব; born 22 August 1963) is a Bangladeshi-born British businessman. He is the founder of Tandoori Magazine, and multi-award-winning restaurants The Cinnamon Club and Roast.

Background and career[edit]

Wahhab was born in East Pakistan, (now Bangladesh) and arrived in the United Kingdom at the age of eight months. He was educated in London and is a graduate of the London School of Economics.

After working as a journalist in the national press for three years, in 1991 he set up his own PR firm which specialised in food, drink and restaurants and then in 1994 he launched Tandoori Magazine.

In 2001, Wahhab sold out of the magazine to launch the Cinnamon Club – an Indian restaurant and bar aimed at changing the way the British view Indian dining. The Club initially suffered critical and financial difficulties, and his relationship with his investors reached the point of litigation.[1] In 2003, he co-authored The Cinnamon Club Cookbook with Chef Vivek Singh and in 2005 opened Roast,[2] a restaurant in Borough Market presenting traditional British food with an emphasis on "using the best of British seasonal produce".[3]

From 2012, Wahhab became chair of the Department for Work and Pensions' Ethnic Minority Advisory Group (EMAG),[4] set up to discuss ways to reduce ethnic minority unemployment levels and sat on a Task Force with six ministers to formulate policies to this end. In 2012, he was invited to Gordon Ramsay's Bad Boys Bakery lunch at Brixton Prison.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2009, Wahhab was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours for his public service and services to the hospitality industry.[5] In 2010, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

Personal life[edit]

Wahhab is connected in the restaurant industry and he keeps a regular blog about the places he visits. He also shares his interests on politics, current affairs and health & fitness.[6]


  • Businessman of the Year 2008, The Drinks Business
  • Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration, University of East London 2007
  • Voted Restaurant Personality of the Year by Menu Magazine
  • Voted one of the Top 10 Restaurateurs in Britain in an Independent on Sunday survey
  • Retailer of the Year, Pig and Poultry Marketing awards 2009
  • Director of the Month January 2010, The Director magazine
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, Muslim News Awards 2010

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Iqbal Wahhab: The restaurateur reveals all about his investment woes, blowing budgets and winning landlords over". 23 July 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2010.  Taken from the book Starting Your Own Restaurant (Crimson Publishing)
  2. ^ "'I slyly tap out emails under the table'". The Guardian. 13 December 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Iqbal Wahhab: Why can't I be proud about British food?". The Independent. 23 February 2006. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Wahhab, Iqbal (6 September 2009). "Why will no one help the unemployed minorities?". The Observer. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "New Year honours list: OBEs". The Guardian. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Iqbal's Blog". Retrieved 20 April 2012. 

External links[edit]