Taste Tibet nominated for BBC Food and Farming Awards


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A POPULAR Tibetan restaurant is about to find out if it has won a prestigious national award.

In July, Yeshi Jampa and Julie Kleeman discovered that the restaurant had been nominated among three finalists for this year’s BBC Food and Farming Awards, in the category of Best Street Food or Take-Out.

The nomination is a highlight after a year of roller coasters that saw a £ 10,000 food trailer stolen shortly before the start of festival season.

Tibet opened its restaurant in Magdalen Road last November. Photo: David Fleming” alt=”Oxford Mail: Taste Tibet opened its restaurant in Magdalen Road last November. Photo: David Fleming” class=”editor-image”/>Taste Tibet opened its restaurant in Magdalen Road last November. Photo: David Fleming

Ms Kleeman said: “People had to write a minimum of 200 to 300 words with their appointments, so it wasn’t about filling out a form.

“It was in itself upsetting that our customers did this – it was an incredible show of support.

“It’s mind-boggling to get into the bottom three in the category, we never thought we would do the bottom three.

“I spend sleepless nights on this, but we are still winners anyway.

“These are the Oscars of food awards and being on the shortlist is a pleasure.”

The couple opened the East Oxford restaurant on November 13, 2020 – exactly 11 years after they first met.

They have been serving Tibetan food from their market stall in Gloucester Green, as well as festivals like Glastonbury, since 2014.

Oxford Mail: Julie Kleeman at the Old Market Stall in Gloucester Green in October 2016. Photo: Mhari HackettJulie Kleeman at the Old Market Stall in Gloucester Green in October 2016. Photo: Mhari Hackett

Oxford Mail: Yeshi Jampa at the Old Market Stall in Gloucester Green in October 2016. Photo: Mhari HackettYeshi Jampa at the old market stall in Gloucester Green in October 2016. Photo: Mhari Hackett

In August, as they prepared to join the delayed circuit of the festival, a refrigerated trailer used to store food was stolen.

Ms Kleeman said this was just another event in a difficult year, but they have remained strong throughout, providing incredible help to the community.

She said: ‘We couldn’t just stop when Covid arrived, we had to keep going. The support we received was incredible.

“I think the BBC was looking for people who had gone the extra mile and that’s something I think we did by making deliveries to hospitals and for the NHS at the start of the pandemic.

“We still deliver between 50 and 150 meals per week for Oxford Mutual Aid.

“It was a very difficult time but we never rested, we didn’t put anyone on leave, we stayed busy.

“The work we’ve done to support the NHS and Oxford Mutual Aid has touched people and that’s part of the reason that got us here in the prices.”

Taste Tibet faces off against Manchester-based Griedy’s Wings & Strips and Juma Kitchen, which serves Iraqi food in London.

The winner will be announced tonight at an in-person event at Broadcasting House.

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