THE CURRY CLUB
I founded The Curry Club in January 1982, at a time when there was far less info around. My family had lived in India since 1730, and the food was literally in my blood. I'd inherited a deep-rooted interest in spicy food, curry in particular, and over the years I’d built up a huge pool of information which I felt could be usefully passed on to others, and vice-versa. And if you're frequently asked to cook for friends or to give out recipes or buy them spices, why not make it a club? Everything curry.
It was an original concept, and though it has been much-copied, we are still unique in the full range of things we do, as is shown in the contents list alongside. I say we – my wife Dominique works full time with me on everything curry.
Over 30,000 like-minded people have joined The Curry Club since it began. We had members whose name was Curry or Curries. Some were called Rice and several were named Spice or Spicier, Cook, Fry, Frier or Fryer and Boiling. We had a Puri (a restaurant owner), a Paratha and a Nan, and a good many Mills and Millers, a Dal and a Lentil, an Oiler, a Gee (but no Ghee), a Cummin and a Butter but no Marj (several Marjories though, and a Marjoram and a Minty). We also had several Longs and Shorts, Thins and Broads, a Fatt and a Wide, and a Chilley and a Coole. We had a marchioness, some lords and ladies, knights a-plenty, a captain of industry or two, generals, admirals and air marshals (not to mention a sprinkling of ex-colonels), and we had celebrity names – actresses, politicians, rock stars and sportsmen. We had an airline, a former Royal navy warship, and a hotel chain. Members came from every continent including Asia, but by and large the membership is a typical cross-section of the Great British Public, ranging in age from teenage to dotage, and in occupation from refuse collectors to receivers, high street traders to high court judges, tax inspectors to taxi drivers. There were students and pensioners, millionaires and the unemployed... thousands of people who had just one thing in common - a love of curry and spicy foods.
CURRY CLUB MEMBERSHIP
Membership from now on is free of charge. Anyone who is on our database as a current member will receive all future mailing information and order form, unless you ask us to stop sending it. Our popular, iconic Curry Club Magazine (see below) the publication of which has become somewhat irregular, will now be emailed, to keep you in the currinary picture. And as always it will rely on information sent in by you.
The reason for the change is quite simply this, the internet. All our lives have changed because of it, mostly I think for the better. However, one down-side is today’s demand for instant communications. The speed which some people expect answers to their e-mail queries defies belief. Back in the slow old days of snail-mail, not much over a decade ago, we could take rather more time to reply. Now I often get grumpy “why-don’t-you-reply” reminders within one day of the original e-mail being sent from people I have never heard of before. And I get about 100 a day to answer, some with complex questions. I’m not complaining, mind you. I relish this two-way communication. But it is sad that many never bother to say thank you, let alone order something to pay for our business. Many of the enquirers are not members, and more and more of my time is taken up answering these queries, time which should be spent writing and running cookery courses, for example.
So the answer is to make membership free for all. This does not lessen my workload, but it does mean that I am able to be more flexible, and once again Curry Club membership is value for money. Well, being free, it has to be!!!
Members did receive the Curry Magazine, a bright and colourful periodical publication, which had regular features on curry and the curry lands. It included news items, recipes, reports on restaurants, picture features, and contributions from members and professionals alike.
AT THE RESTAURANT
Curry diners will be familiar with the Curry Club window sticker and restaurant quality certificate, which adorns the windows and walls of only the best curry restaurants. Club members form the national network of reporters, which lead to the selection published in the highly successful Cobra Good Curry Guide. Be one of them and tell us your likes and dislikes.
INGREDIENTS AND PRODUCTS
Obtaining most of the ingredients required for curry-cooking is easy these days – supermarkets stock most things. If you have Asian/ Oriental stores near you, that’s fun and good value. For those difficult-to-get items, The Curry Club recommends well-established and efficient mail-order companies. Click onto our Ingredients Suppliers page. Some years ago, I introduced a range of Curry Club branded products, now owned and distributed by G.Costa.Ltd
FOR THE COOK
On the social side, we regularly Cookery Course, and Gourmet Nights, at selected restaurants. Top of the list is our regular Curry Club Luxury Gourmet Tour to North India to the Spicy Lands. From time to time, we take a small group of curry enthusiasts to the chosen country, and tour the incredible sights, in between sampling the delicious food of each region.
If you would like to be put onto our database, subscribe in the box in the left hand column (scroll up).