Mohamed Najib Ali of the Maya Bar & Restaurant in Atherstone in the Midlands, has been crowned the winner of the prestigious Asian & Oriental Chef Awards in London.
Contestants were drawn from the hundreds of public nominations for their favourite chefs, who were then invited to submit recipe details and photos for a proposed two-course meal. These were whittled down to 8 finalists. The contestants then took part in a live cook-off event in the training kitchen at the Pillars Restaurant at the University of West London in Ealing on 21st June.
Regional awards went to Kamrul Hoque of Kushi in Romford – the overall runner-up, who was also named Best Indian Chef (London Suburbs); Daya Sharma Dulwich Heritage, West Dulwich, Best Indian Chef (South London); Mohammed Al Amin Ali, Millennium Balti, Royal Leamington Spa, Best Indian Chef (Midlands); Maratree Melross, Guard House, Royston, Best Thai Chef (Midlands); Jackie Chan of Golden Dragon, Bethnal Green, Best Chinese Chef (East London); Humayun Rashid, Kushi, Best Indian (Essex); Danny Yeung, Mandarin Palace, Hornchurch, Best Chinese (Essex).
Commenting on the standard of entries, Asian Catering Federation (ACF) chairman Yawar Khan, who organised the awards, said; “The pandemic has been devastating for the hospitality industry, but more forward-thinking chefs used their enforced lockdown to considerable effect, experimenting with different ingredients and taste fusions. The results have greatly impressed the judges today.”
The winners will also be feted at a special presentation dinner at the House of Lords on 7th September hosted by Lord Sheikh – postponed from 5th July because of the delayed easing of lockdown restrictions.
The event will also promote the ACF’s other annual awards: the 5th Asian Restaurant Awards, being held at the Mercure Piccadilly, Manchester on Tuesday 31st August and Edinburgh at the Sheraton Grand on Monday 20th September 2021, plus the 11th Asian Curry Awards taking place at the Grosvenor House on Sunday 21th November 2021.
Spice lovers can vote for their favourite restaurants via www.asiancurryawards.com and www.acfederation.org.