CHOOSING a quality kebab shop or restaurant from the dozens on offer can be a tricky business – especially after a few pints.

But the process is about to become a whole lot easier thanks to the announcement of the finalists in this year’s British Kebab Awards.

It has been revealed that two eateries in Cheshire West and Chester are in with a shot of one of the 16 prestigious gongs.

Malpas Barbeque in Malpas will compete for the Customer Satisfaction Award while Istanbul BBQ on Brook Street, Chester, could be named Best Regional Kebab Restaurant.

Every day, more than 1.3 million kebabs are sold across Britain.

Members of the public nominated 5,012 of their favourite kebab shops across the UK. These were whittled down to a shortlist of 153 based on the number of public votes received with bonus points for nominations from MPs and councillors.

Now in its sixth year, the sixth annual awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 12, in central London.

The winners will be announced 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 Economic Secretary Jonathan Reynolds, Amjad Bashir MEP and Heart Radio presenter Lucy Horobin.

The founder of the awards, restaurateur Ibrahim Dogus, owns the popular Troia kebab restaurant, a venue close to Parliament popular with MPs.

He also founded the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS), which is a non-profit organisation working to build bridges between Turkey and the UK, and between Turkish, Kurdish and Cypriot communities.

Mr 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.

“Many MPs and councillors got behind kebab shops and restaurants in their constituencies by nominating them. I look forward to seeing some new faces coming through and claiming a seat at the industry’s top table.”

The annual event is the only one to recognise the contribution made by the kebab industry to the British economy - worth more than £2.8 billion a year, supporting around 200,000 jobs across restaurants, suppliers and the food industry.

Graham Corfield, UK Managing Director of awards sponsor Just Eat, said: "We are proud to sponsor the British Kebab Awards once again.

“With thousands of kebab restaurants on the Just Eat platform, championing the hard work, passion, and drive demonstrated by restaurant owners and their staff is incredibly important.

“They make a significant contribution to the economy and are an undeniable part of British culture."

This year’s awards will raise money for the bone and soft tissue cancer charity Sarcoma UK.

The UK’s first kebab shop, Istanbul Restaurant in Soho, opened during the Second World War and pictures of it feature in the Imperial War Museum.

However it was not until 1966 that the famous doner kebab - cooked on a vertical spit - first appeared with the opening of the Hodja Nasreddin Kebab House by Çetin Bukey and Kojay Hüsey in in North London’s Newington Green.

There are now over 20,000 kebab outlets in the UK selling around 2,500 tonnes of lamb and chicken doner a week. There are also around 200 doner kebab manufacturers in the UK, with a turnover in excess of £750 million.