Local Face: Ricky Dibul Ahmed

  |  Published: Nov 1st 2010
Ricky Ahmed

Ricky Dibul Ahmed brought The Raj to Wendover in 1996 opening up the interior of the former Touch of Class, Aylesbury Road. This was an instant success because of his great and varied experience in the hospitality industry.

Ricky came to the UK as a schoolboy in 1970 and then attended a catering school for Indian cooking in Sandhurst. He opened his first restaurant in Weybridge in 1985 at the tender age of 18 and has never looked back. This flourishing family business continued with the opening of new restaurants in Crowthorne, Yateley, and Sandhurst before arriving in Buckinghamshire discovering the charm of Wendover. He has since gone on to open even more new restaurants in Barton-le-Clay, Toddington and Milton Keynes.

For the past 14 years Ricky has been advising the local RAF on ethnic cooking and 7 years ago this evolved into a full partnership with the RAF Catering Training School. This close connection with the RAF has resulted in some amusing incidents most notably when the BBC was filming Hotel Babylon on the Camp. Ricky was invited to be an extra which he really enjoyed. The special effects people were having difficulty in producing a safely controlled small fire but Ricky stepped in and saved the day to the admiration and great relief of all concerned.

Ricky is now a well established member of the Wendover community and for a short while was a Parish Councillor with a special interest in facilities and activities for young people including liaising with Wendover Youth Club. This came out of his work years before, teaching Dr Barnados children in Crowthorne. He is often invited into local schools to give cookery demonstrations.

Charity work is very close to Ricky’s heart and he has been involved with the School in the Sky since its inception by the late Peter East and now continues with the leadership of Judy Lewis. He hosted a Rotary dinner earlier this year and also supports Marie Curie Cancer Research, Wendover Harriers Football Club, Aylesbury Rugby Club and many RAF charities.

The Raj is a very popular Wendover Restaurant with an excellent takeaway service. In addition they offer outside catering and have regularly supported the Annual St Anne’s Church Family Fun Day. Furthermore Ricky will cook for you in your home for a small private function.

The Raj featured in an Indian Cooking competition at the Grosvenor Hotel which was televised internationally. They were pleased to be placed 30th in the country.

Further involvement with the BBC included Ricky making up an Egghead team with catering friends: they called themselves The Spice Boys! BBC News visited the Raj Restaurant because it was the first Indian Restaurant in the country to train an Afro-Caribbean chef and Junior is still a valued member of staff.

Ricky would like to thank everyone in Wendover who has supported him over the years and says the wonderful customers give The Raj a vibrant atmosphere. There is a discount voucher on the front of the centre-page Festive Food section of this issue. Bookings are being taken now for pre-Christmas Parties, Christmas Day (English and Indian menu) and New Year’s Eve.

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