The Authentic Food Company (TAFC) provides much of the culinary expertise behind Wetherspoon’s famous Thursday Curry Club and was, in fact, involved in the launch of the concept back in 1997.
It currently supplies around a dozen dishes for the menu, from chicken tikka masala and lamb rogan josh to the award-winning sweet potato, chickpea & spinach curry. On special occasions, TAFC will even add a troupe of bhangra dancers to enhance the Indian flavour!
The company is owned and run by a mother-and-son team. Kamal Basran launched TAFC in Stockport, in 1985, with her homemade samosas. Her son, Nik, is now managing director.
A family ethos has guided the business from the beginning, summed up in the simple philosophy to ‘Love Our People, Love Our Products and Love Our Customers’.
As the company has grown to more than 400 employees, on three sites, like-minded people have been recruited to keep the Basran values alive.
The kitchen remains at the heart of the business. Four Indian-trained chefs are the guardians of quality and authenticity, led by Sanjay Sighat, who has cooked at top curry houses such as Chutney Mary and Red Fort and won the title of Best Development Chef at the Craft Guild of Chef 2014 Awards.
A specialist team sources ingredients from across the world. TAFC refuses to use pastes or blends – and some of its recipes can contain 10 or more spice varieties.
The environment is also important to the company – with on-site initiatives including sending zero waste to landfill and converting the oil from snacks cooking to biofuel. Meats used in the dishes are all fully traceable.