Debden chef wins Curry Chef of the Year at national awards ceremony

L - R: Michael Buerk, Sir Keir Starmer MP, Wes Streeting MP, Misbah Al Islam and Kamrul Islam from Y

L - R: Michael Buerk, Sir Keir Starmer MP, Wes Streeting MP, Misbah Al Islam and Kamrul Islam from Yuva Debden and Aftab Bhatti from Cobra Beer. Picture: KOIS MIAH - Credit: Archant

A chef from Debden has been voted one of the best curry chef’s in the UK.

Misbah Al Islam who works at the Yuva Fine Fusion restaurant in Debden won the Curry Chef of the Year accolade at the annual Curry Life Awards.

Restaurant manager Jakir Islam said: “We’re all delighted for our chef. He is a really creative person with a passion for good food and has been with us for nearly ten years.”

Chef Islam’s specialities at the restaurant include garlic chilli chicken karahi, plum chicken and mass biran. which is fish marinated in olive oil, garlic, ginger, lime juice and herbs.

He collected his award from journalist Michael Buerk at a gala event as part of the Curry Life Awards in London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel.

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More than 600 people attended the ceremony which celebrated the role of Indian food in the UK.

This year’s ceremony recognised 13 of the country’s best curry restaurants and 19 best curry chefs in the UK as well as handing out a number of other individual awards. Chief Guest at the ceremony Sir Keir Starmer MP, shadow Brexit secretary, said: “The curry industry makes a huge contribution to the economy and is an integral part of the UK dining experience.

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“It’s been through some tough times but has continued to grow and develop to meet the growing appetite for this cuisine.

“Its employees epitomise the ethos that hard work brings success and I’m delighted they are in the spotlight tonight and able to sit back and enjoy an evening off.”

Amongst the guests at the ceremony were a number of MPs including Wes Streeting and Paul Scully.

Also in attendance was Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder and chairman of Cobra Beer.

He said: “It’s wonderful to see the talent on show tonight. You have to be passionate to achieve anything in life and speaking to some of the winners tonight it is clear this is a vocation, not a job. I’ve worked alongside restaurateurs for many years and their dedication is something we could all learn from.”

More than £3,000 was raised on the night for the Disaster Emergency Committee’s Myanmar Appeal.

The money will go towards helping refugees from the country who have been forced to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh because of abuse.

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