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Hackney and Islington did themselves proud with two winners and seven nominees at a glittering award ceremony last night.

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The British Kebab Awards 2014, which took place at the Sheraton Hotel, Park Lane, aim to recognise excellence in the industry and prove shish and doner are much more than a drunken dining.

Stoke Newington – thought to be home to the UK’s first kebab shop in 1966 – boasts two winners; Ali Dirik, who cooks at Mangal 2, in Stoke Newington Road, was named best chef, while celebrity favourite Best Turkish Kebab, just up the road, picked up the gong for best takeaway.

Round the corner in Green Lanes, Newington Green, Ozden Catering was shortlisted for best related business and in Dalston and London Fields Mangal 1, in Arcola Street was up for best customer satisfaction and Tony Manconi, of Broadway Market’s East End Kitchen was in the final four for young restauranteur of the year.

Restaurant, in Mare St, Hackney Central, was nominated in the best value category.

Holloway is another area that did itself proud, with Constolia, in Holloway Road, one of the nation’s best in the customer satisfaction category and nearby Holloway Kebab House on the shortlist for best newcomer.

Speaking at the event, chairman of the judging panel Mustafa Topkaya said: “People who came to this country for whatever reason – political or otherwise – needed to make a living.

“The kebab industry gave them the opportunity to do that.”

Ibrahim Dogus, who ­organised the awards, said: “We want to raise standards in the kebab industry.

“Currently it’s seen as a late-night post-pub snack in many parts of the country.

“We want to make sure the people who have given so much culturally and economically though kebabs are recognised.”

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