The UKBCCI London Regional President Oli Khan has been honoured as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and awarded with an MBE. Oli, a successful celebrity chef, was given this honour for his enormous contribution to the hospitality industry, as well as his charitable works throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at home and abroad.
Oli was recognised for his crucial role in supporting the community during the lockdown earlier this year. His MBE was awarded to recognise him as a business leader who went above and beyond when it came to helping others in crisis. He supported frontline staff by providing 5,000 free meals to NHS staff, care homes and valuable people during the pandemic.
The Luton based businessman and his team hold the Guinness World Record for cooking the world’s largest onion bhaji. The Guinness Book of Records logged the win on Tuesday 4th February 2020. The event took place at the East London Mosque, The London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, East London.
He and the team from Surma Takeaway in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, created the gigantic Onion Bhaji, which weighed a heavy 175.6 kilograms. Breaking the previous world record held by Colin Burt from Bradford College winning by 73.4 kilograms.
Oli also achieved ‘Best Caterer of the Year 2010’ at the golden jubilee celebration of Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA), an organisation that he used to be secretary general. He has also won the “Business Achievement Award” for being the ‘Best Achiever in the Business and Community Relations’ by Curry Life Business Awards 2014.
In his spare time Oli also finds time for other charitable works. He is the founder chairman of Oli’s Foundation which he established in 2002. Oli is well known in the Bangladeshi community and owns a restaurant, takeaway and property business. He has participated in the British Curry Festival in Bangladesh and India.
Commenting on about MBE, Oli Khan said: “I feel fantastic. It’s one of the biggest achievements we can attain from her majesty, so it’s such an honour.”
Oli is still helping his community now that a second lockdown has arrived. He’s also supplying free food to hungry children after being inspired by footballer Marcus Rashford’s comments about the helping those in need.
He told us, “The government are doing a lot to help people during the pandemic, but it was wrong of them to not help children during the holidays. They could have done more here. These children could grow up to become part of the government one day, what lesson will they learn when they look back on this story?”
After learning of the government’s refusal to help, Oli felt compelled to step in and support children in his local area during the holidays. He did so by supplying them with over 2000 free meals. Something he plans on doing as long as children need food in the holidays.