Award Nominations Aplenty

E3 business awards - KQFWe are pleased to announce that since being named as a finalist in the E3 Business Awards, KQF has been shortlisted in two more high profile award competitions, bringing to five the total number of nominations that KQF has achieved this year.

Firstly, in late July, the organisers of the English Asian Business Awards 2014 informed us that we had been selected as a finalist in the prestigious  Business of the Year category. The Awards are supported by Lloyds Banking Group and will be taking place at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on 29th September.

The announcement came as a complete surprise, as did the news that KQF’s other halal food brand, Sara’s has also been shortlisted. It will be a finalist in the Online Business of the Year category.

Finalist logo 2014 blog Butcher's shop of the year awards 2014 - KQF“We are delighted to have done so well,” said KQF managing director Faruk Vali, “and we’re especially proud that the nominations for the English Asian Business Awards came not from ourselves but from our customers. We’re touched that consumers regard us so highly and I’d personally like to thank all those who nominated KQF or our Sara’s brand. We’re very much looking forward to hearing the results and hoping, of course, for a win.”

However, the good news doesn’t end there. Having already achieved places in three award categories and two important competitions, we heard in late August that we had also been shortlisted under two separate categories of the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards 2014. We will be appearing as a finalist in both the Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year and the Innovation of the Year category. Our nomination under the Innovation category was based on the many changes that have taken place within the KQF Superstore.

The Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards is a national competition and the finals will take place at a special lunch at The Rosewood Hotel in London on Friday 14th November.

“To have secured five finalists’ places in three such prestigious competitions is obviously a tremendous achievement,” said Faruk Vali. “These nominations recognise some of the important changes that have taken place over the last year or so but, more importantly, they also reflect very well on all the hard work that everyone at KQF has put in.”

We will publish further details as soon as they are announced.

Making the Most of Marinated Meats

Making the Most of Marinated Meats

We’ve talked a lot in the past about some of our best known products – halal burgers and sausages and so on – but with the summer holidays and barbecue season now fast approaching, perhaps it’s time we looked at another KQF favourite that hardly ever gets a mention.

Marinade Sauces

Based on customer feedback from the KQF superstore, summer is a time when families really make good use of marinated meats. Barbecues, grills, stir fries and many other dishes can all really benefit from a good marinade, which adds flavour and also helps to tenderise the meat.

In store, we offer a 4-step process whereby customers choose their meat, choose their marinade, choose the pack size and then take the ready packed, ready coated meat home for cooking. However, there is absolutely no reason why families in other parts of the country shouldn’t be able to enjoy exactly the same choices. KQF offers all kinds of ready-prepared marinated meats and a range of delicious marinade sauces that can be delivered anywhere in mainland Britain. They are perfect for lamb, beef and chicken, as well as fish and vegetables.

Marinated Meat – Cooking Tips:

Here are a few tips for making the most of your marinades.

  • Marinades are great for keeping food moist and stopping meat from drying out when exposed to high heats (e.g. on a barbecue grill).
  • They are very cheap and effective ways of adding depth and complexity to the flavour of meat. They are especially effective on more economical cuts.
  • Most marinades contain an acid ingredient that helps to make meat more tender. This makes the meat more succulent and helps it to absorb more flavour.
  • To encourage the marinade to penetrate the meat, the surface can be lightly scored with a knife.
  • On larger cuts, marinades can be applied and left overnight to impart maximum flavour.
  • Fish should be marinated for only a short time before cooking – no more than 30 minutes to an hour. This is because the acids in the marinade can tend to start to ‘cook’ the fish meat and so marinating for longer than this can sometimes make the fish soft and doughy.
  • For the same reason, many home cooks believe that poultry should not be marinated overnight; some regard 3 hours as a sensible limit for chicken but others are happy to marinate poultry for up to 24 hours. This is ultimately a matter of personal choice.
  • When marinating, turn the meat regularly so that all parts of the surface are equally coated.
  • Always marinate meats in a covered container and leave it in the fridge. (Leaving meats at room temperature can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria.)
  • Use a ceramic or glass container for marinating meat. Avoid metal containers, which can react badly with the acids and leave a harsh taste. Plastic containers are generally okay for short periods but they can be subject to staining. Food grade plastics should be used because these will not tend to taint the food. Some cooks like to use re-sealable plastic bags because these allow the marinade to be massaged into the meat without making a mess.

As a bit of background research for this blog post, we asked our resident consumer food expert, Mohammed Shafi from the KQF Superstore, which meat cuts were most popular when it came to marinating. Shafi Bhai reported that, judging by recent sales, the most popular were, in order:


1. Lamb Chops

2. Chicken Drumsticks

3. Chicken Fillets

4. Chicken Tikka

5. Lamb Ribs

6. Chicken Wings

Using the four-step service, customers are combining these cuts with the following KQF Marinade Sauces:

1. Spicy (Hot)

2. Lemon and Herb (Mild)

3. Piri Piri (Hot)

4. Piri Piri Brai (Hot)

5. Portuguese (Moderate to Hot)

If anyone would like to suggest their own favourite marinade recipes, please feel free to share them either here on this blog or via our Facebook page.

Enjoy the summer!

KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day
KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

On Sunday 3rd August 2014, KQF staff accepted an invitation from BAKO North Western to attend a Family Fun Day at the company’s headquarters in Preston. BAKO organised the event to mark its 50th year in business and KQF representatives, together with many other leading food producers, were there to join in the celebrations.

Like many of the attendees, we took the opportunity to give visitors a taste of our products and our freshly cooked KQF Premium Burgers went down a treat, as did our halal beef and chicken sausages.

The event was attended by a mix of suppliers, customers and their families, as well as BAKO staff, so it was a great opportunity to show off the KQF brand and all that we can do. Our stand in the marquee was always very busy and we attracted a wealth of positive feedback and compliments about our products.

KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day
KQF at the BAKO Family Fun Day

In addition to food tastings, there were also many different activities and entertainments, including face painting, bouncy castles and demonstrations by confectionery experts who showed how to create edible masterpieces in the ‘BAKOry’. There was also a series of warehouse tours and even a chance for guests to test their skills on a computerised forklift simulator. On top of all that,there was plenty of cake to help celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.

KQF is an approved supplier to BAKO North West, which serves trade clients, universities and other organisations throughout the region.

KQF Superstore Prize Draw Winners

During Ramadan, staff at the KQF Superstore in Blackburn held a free prize draw for customers. Three winners were selected at random and, on 7th August, they were presented with their gift voucher prizes by superstore manager Ilyas Akubat.

First prize (£50 voucher): Mrs F.  Bhamjee

Second prize (£30 voucher): Mrs Z. Rashid

Third prize (£20 voucher): Mr Z. Butt

VCD_0003e  VCD_0005e     KQF Superstore prize draw winners

Congratulations to the winners. Don’t forget to check this blog for details of future prize draws, give-aways and promotions.

Our third prize winner, Zahir Butt said “He was very pleased to win the prize draw”. He added “If you like Halal foods, love KQF foods”.