A cook from Shrewsbury has sizzled his way to success in a competition to find the best curry chef in Shropshire.
Abdul Hussen, from Cafe Saffron, in Hill’s Lane, triumphed yesterday in the inaugural Shropshire Council Curry Chef of the Year. He fought off tough competition from Rukar Abdullah, of Oswestry Tandoori; Taj Uddin, from Mahim, at Bayston Hill, near Shrewsbury; and Amjad Ali, from Eurasia, in Bridgnorth.
Mr Hussen said: “I’m absolutely delighted. We’ve always been very proud of our food here at Cafe Saffron and it’s a great honour to be named the best curry chef in Shropshire.
“I was up against some great guys in the final and the competition was intense. I’m glad that I prevailed.”
Mr Hussen also paid tribute to his customers and added: “We’ve got very loyal customers at Cafe Saffron who have been with us for years. I’d like to thank them for their support and, now that we’ve won, I hope they’ll continue to remain loyal for many years.”
Modern Cafe Saffron opened in 2001 and prides itself on creating Indian dishes with a modern twist. Mr Hussen has honed his technique by working alongside some of the best restaurants in India and Bangladesh.
The contest was organised by Shropshire Council’s assistant director for public protection, Andy Goldsmith, with help from Sean McNulty, a senior chef lecturer, at Radbrook College, in Shrewsbury.
Mr Goldsmith said: “We had some great entries and all four finalists deserve every credit.”
Mr McNulty said: “It was an interesting event and we hope it will promote curry houses in Shropshire.”
The four finalists had just 45 minutes to create a main course, side dish and rice during yesterday’s cook-off at Radbrook College.
Bruce McMichael, from Taste Shropshire, who was a member of the judging panel, said: “We were dazzled by the combinations on offer. The chefs showed great skill in creating very exciting dishes.”
Article by Andrew Richardson for the Shropshire Star, Tuesday March 30th 2010.
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