A WESTCLIFF takeaway owner has been crowned the best curry chef across the East of England, and has put the award down to his family’s specialities.

Atikur Rahman, owner and head chef at the Chilli Green takeaway on Westborough Road, is the proud winner of this years award, presented to him a glitzy ceremony in London.

The 44-year-old, puts his success down to his Bangladeshi heritage, and regular trips back home to learn the “tricks of the trade.”

Remarkably, Mr Rahman has only taken eight days off work since the Covid pandemic began.


The takeaway stayed open right the way through lockdown, and offered discounts to staff at the nearby Southend Hospital.

He said: “I’m over the moon with the award. I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen in almost 30 years of being in the industry.

“I used to be front of house, but moved into the kitchens, you just have to learn the tricks of the trades as you go along.”

The awards, held on October 10, recognise restaurants, takeaways, and chefs across the country.

Mr Rahman moved to the UK as a young boy.

He added: “It was a lot of hard work and dedicated that culminated in this point.

“We try to bring a taste of family food to our menu, with some help from my mother and grandmother.

“I remember my grandmother used to go to a bamboo garden in Bangladesh, and we used to follow her and play,.

“She would harvest the roots and then use them in cooking.

“A lot of places don’t use bamboo in their food because it’s quite complicated, but I have the experience to know what to do with it.

“Indian food can be quite complicated to cook in general, because of the amount of spices that are used.”

The chef reccomned his five favourite dishes on the menu. They include the Deshi Jalfazi, Brinjal Lamb Bhuna, Chicken Chatt, the Tengshi Jal Bhuna, and the Jalfrazi Biryani.

But he issued a warning, some of these specialities might be a little bit spicy.