TWO Oxfordshire businesses will be 'pittad' against each other in the running to be named best kebab van in the country.

Hassan’s Street Kitchen in Broad Street, Oxford, and Atalay’s Kebab Van in North Street, Thame, were revealed as contenders for this year’s Best in Britain title when the 2018 British Kebab Awards finalists were announced on Friday.

The awards aim to find the industry's kofte kings and hundreds of entrants have been whittled down to six finalists in the Best in Britain category, including Hassan's and Atalay's.

The Oxford Times: TUCKING IN: Kebab lover, Dom Stanway-Williams, enjoys a kebab from Atalay's Kebab van watched by Jason Atalay, and Joshua Atalay.

Russel Atalay, owner of Atalay’s kebab van, is feeling confident after taking home the title last year for the first time.

He said: “It is good to be nominated again.

"After last year a lot of people were proud and we don’t take all the credit ourselves as the whole community is involved.

“We don’t have customers anymore, just family and friends – it is more than a business to us.”

Mr Atalay has been running the kebab van in North Street since 1988 and said the business has established its place in the community, as well as experiencing extra interest after last year's victory.

He added: “Lots of people want to buy my business off me, or franchise me, but that’s not what I want to do.

“I want to work with the environmental agency to look at the standards of kebabs, so people are making good quality kebabs for the customers.”

The two Oxfordshire businesses are up against Diamond Kebab in Arbury Road, Cambridge, Billericay Kebab Van in Radford Cresent, Essex, George’s Bodrum Kebab in the lay-by off Innsworth Lane, Gloucester, and Mo’s Best Kebab in Mortimer Street in Wiltshire.

Overall there are 16 categories, which garnered a record 5,012 nominations.

These were whittled down to a shortlist of 153 based on the number of public votes received online, with bonus points for nominations from MPs and councillors.

The winners of the sixth annual awards will be announced on March 12 after a final round of judging by the British Kebab Awards judges, including former Tory chairwoman Baroness Warsi, Children’s and Families’ Minister Nadhim Zahawi, Shadow Treasury Minister Jonathan Reynolds, Amjad Bashir MEP and Heart Radio presenter Lucy Horobin.

British Kebab Awards founder Ibrahim Dogus said: “Kebab is fast becoming the nation’s favourite food so it is only right that the superheroes behind this phenomenon are recognised.

“This, the sixth year of the competition, is the toughest.

"Every British Kebab Award finalist should be congratulated for making it through in our most hotly contested year yet.

“I look forward to seeing some new faces coming through and claiming a seat at the industry’s top table."atala