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Amin Ali

Amin Ali is the founder of Red Fort. As a restaurant The Red Fort has always been a trailblazer and voted best restaurant in London. It has been winning rapturous praise for almost 25 years and many politicians and celebrities have crossed its threshold. Mr Amin Ali was born into a traditional Muslim family from Jalalpur - Nabigonj, which is a part of Habigonj District in Bangladesh. He first arrived to the UK for settlement in 1972. Since his arrival to the UK in 1972, he has been active in the community scene. After completing his study he got involved with setting up community organisation such as Bengali Workers Action Group in Camden (London), which he was a founding General Secretary. He was also member of Camdens Community Relations Council (CRC). During that time he worked along with Salman Rushdie, Diane Abbott and many other famous faces of Anti-racist Movement at Camden CRC. In the 80s he was actively involved with the International Charity Organisation War on Want. He was the Vice Chair for number of years, while Glenys Kinnock (now MEP) was the Chair of War on Want. In the late 70s he founded a pioneering co-operative restaurant project The Last Days of the Raj. Later he set up many successful restaurants such as Jamdani, Red Fort and Soho Spice. Although, he moved on from other restaurants and at present decided to just hold on to the Red Fort. When The Red Fort opened 25 years ago on Dean Street in Londons Soho, it was the first restaurant that contradicted the stereotypical view of Asian eateries. And it was the first to offer the real cooking of India. In 1985 BBC television made a special programme on Amin Ali for his achievements in the Indian restaurant business. Indian restaurants have moved on since then and so has The Red Fort. Mr Ali has completely redesigned the restaurant and its menu to bring it much closer to its namesake, Lal Quila, The Red Fort in Delhi. The Red Fort was probably one of the first real Indian restaurants to shake of the stereotypical flock wallpaper and sitar music image. And it hasnt looked back since that glorious day. It has now become a firm favourite in central London among night owls, party animals and locals. Throughout his life in the UK, Amin Ali has been in the forefront to promote Bengali foods and culture in Britain. In 1987, he organised first ever exhibition of Jamdani, the hand-woven rugs and textile designs. The weavers from Bangladesh were flown in to showcase their craftsmanship at the Londons Whitechapel Art Gallery. He was also instrumental for organising the first London Festival of Bangladesh in 1994. It was a huge success and very well received by all communities. The Bangladesh Food Festival at the Red Fort was another successful event he was responsible for. Mr Ali is one of the most respected restaurateurs in Britain and has been a lifelong champion of Curry Industry in Britain. He has taken the British Curry Business to a new height. Mr Ali is convinced that there is likely to be an even more dramatic success for British Curry in the coming years, because chefs are now bringing in new sophistication, which will appeal to the affluent. In personal life he is married to Mrs Jobeda Choudhury and together they have four daughters who are going through University Education. Away from his businesses and family, Amin Ali is a keen traveller and enjoys playing and watching squash and football.

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