Tasty win for Debden curry king as he scoops prestigious award

From left, Jakir Islam, manager at the Yuva Indian restaurant in Debden, winning chef Misbah Al Isla

From left, Jakir Islam, manager at the Yuva Indian restaurant in Debden, winning chef Misbah Al Islam, Frank Dobson MP, Mr Tony Gibbons from Cobra Beer Partnership, Esther McVey MP, minister for employment and Cathy Newman, broadcast journalist. - Credit: Archant

An Uttlesford chef has curried favour at an awards ceremony recognising the best balti, bhuna and biryani creators in the country.

Misbah Al Islam, head chef at the Yuva restaurant on High Street, Debden, was one of 33 curry chefs to be recognised at the Curry Life magazine ceremony, hosted by journalist Cathy Newman on Sunday, October 19.

“To win this title is the greatest vote of confidence I could wish for, not just for myself but for my team who work so hard to make things happen at the Yuva,” said Misbah.

“The award will inspire us to keep improving and I’d also like to thank all our customers for their help putting us on the map.”

The 2014 Curry Chef of the Year Awards were held at Lancaster Hotel in London, where MPs Esther McVey, Keith Vaz and former Secretary of State for Health, Frank Dobson were guests.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and it was great to celebrate the success of so many of those who are experts in their field at the curry life magazine awards,” said employment minister Esther McVey.

MP Keith Vaz, who is the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, paid tribute to the organisers, Curry Life, for their tireless promotion of the curry industry over a decade and setting up the benchmark to promote the best talented chefs.

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Syed Belal Ahmed, editor of Curry Life magazine, was thrilled with the success of the night.

“It was a fantastic evening and a great way to recognise and celebrate the skills and talents of our curry industry,” he said.

“Events like this illustrate the strength of our love as a nation for curry. I would like to congratulate much deserving winners of this year’s Curry Life Chef Awards.”

Yuva used to be the White Hart pub until it was transformed following a £200,000 makeover in 2008. It serves Nepalese and Indian style dishes.