Curry Chefs of Brick Lane

Thu 23 February - Sat 31 March 10am - till close
Free (Mezzanine Gallery)

By Jeremy Freedman (as originally published by Spitalfields Life)

Situated at the top of Brick Lane, Rich Mix arts centre will play host to an exciting new exhibition that celebrates the unseen and unsung heroes of Brick Lane’s Curry Mile.

In 2010 and 2011, East End culture blog published a series of portraits of the curry chefs of Brick Lane, telling the stories of these award-winning chefs accompanied with vibrant images by the prolific street photographer Jeremy Freedman. And the result is a distinguished body of portraiture, recording some of leading culinary personalities of the Bengali community in Brick Lane.

This exhibition is a celebration of these proud chefs - "working away like those engineers below deck on the great steam ships of old, they are the unseen and unsung heroes of Brick Lane’s Curry Mile."  These are the previously unseen faces and untold stories that reveal the personal narratives of Spitalfields’ Bengali residents.

The Brick Lane chefs and restaurants featured in the exhibition will put their usual friendly rivalry aside for the exhibition’s opening night on Thursday 23 February where they will present guests with their signature dishes.

Brick Lane Chefs and Restaurants Featured in the Exhibition

The above participating restaurants will be offering people who pick up a leaflet at the exhibition 15% of their food bill for the duration of the exhibition.

The exhibition’s photographs are featured in the forthcoming book, Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author, published by Saltyard Books, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton on 1st March.

Photographer Jeremy Freedman’s ancestors were also immigrants, coming to Spitalfields from Holland in the eighteenth century. His great-great-great-great grandfather was one of the founders of Sandys Row Synagogue in 1854. And today Spitalfields Life and Rich Mix present this exhibition as a celebration of this unique neighbourhood at the heart of London.

The Curry Chefs of Brick Lane is produced with the gracious support of Rich Mix who have paid a percentage of the costs of creating the show as a gesture of goodwill to the local community.


In the weeks leading up to the exhibition Rich Mix will host an online photo competition, asking people to tweet pictures that best represent their own Brick Lane curry experience.  The photos will be displayed on the Rich Mix Facebook as well as on the opening night with the winner receiving a curry-tastic prize.  Tweet your pictures to @richmixlondon using hash tag #bricklanecurry or email

Spitalfields Life


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