There may not be any dragon in our Flaming Dragon curry, but the dish, specially created for Wetherspoon by Authentic Curries & World Foods, certainly breathes some fire into Thursday’s Curry Club.
Authentic Curries has supplied the company for 10 years, starting with its Welsh beef curry. As well as having the Flaming Dragon curry in pubs across the UK, it’s also responsible for two traditional local dishes on our menus in Wales: pork faggots in gravy and lamb cawl (a chunky broth).
Paul Trotman, the current managing director, founded the business with hotel chef Dave Smith, in 1995, after the pair got together over a beer and came up with the idea of selling Smith’s famous curries to pubs.
Now, the company enjoys an annual turnover of £4m, employs 34 people and makes 50 products, serving a blue-chip customer base which includes leading supermarkets.
Authentic continues to use exactly the same methods as it did from the start, cooking all the ingredients together, rather than adding a sauce at the end, ‘only we use bigger pans now’, says Trotman.
“We’re not the cheapest, because everything is hand-cooked and hand-packed, meaning that we employ five times as many people as some companies the same size.”
The chicken in the Flaming Dragon curry is all British, and the company buys its beef through the Celtic Pride marketing scheme which represents 250 Welsh farms.
Heavy investment in food safety means that, for the last 14 years, Authentic’s facilities in Aberdare have been accredited at Grade A by BRC Global Standards.