A chef has proved he has got a taste for success after scooping a prestigious award.
More than 200 Indian cooks from across the country entered the Bangladeshi Catering Association’s 2012 Awards and Burhan Uddin from at the Bekash restaurant in Nevendon Road, Wickford, won the chef of the year gong.
He entered with his own dish, chicken shahi bhuna, which is tandoori chicken cooked in a sauce of green chilis, yoghurt, garlic, and mushrooms, and impressed the judges with its flavour and creativity.
He was given the award at a special bash at the Westminster Place Plaza in London on December 9, and the gong now takes pride of place in the restaurant.
Mr Uddin, 38, who has been working at the restaurant for 15 years, said: “I’m so happy to win this award and it’ll give me the motivation to go on and win more.
“The job is very tiring at times with long hours but when customers give us good feedback it’s really nice to hear.
“I was so surprised to win the award because of how many chefs entered. It’s the restaurant’s signature dish and I created it to give our customers something that would taste nice.”
He was entered into the contest by the Bekash’s owner Raj Mannan, and the duo went to the Hammersmith College to take part in the heats.
Judges rated each chef on flavour, hygene, creativity, and cost-effectiveness.
Chefs as far as Glasgow even turned up to try their hand at the prize.
The Bekash has been a staple in Wickford for the past 27 years, while Mr Uddin has been working there for 15 years.
Mr Mannan said: “It’s brilliant to win the award. I entered him because he’s a brilliant chef and to get him out of the kitchen for a bit.
“I knew he could cook a great dish, and I was quietly confident.
“The award looks a bit like an Oscar and we’ve got it up in the restaurant.
“Hopefully it brings in a bit of business for us.”