CURRY champ Syed Zohorul Islam is one of the best in the business.
The Sunderland father of five, who runs the Capital Restaurant in Claypath, Durham, was named a winner in Curry Life Magazine’s best Curry Chef Awards at a glittering awards night in London.
Bagging yet another high-profile award comes just after Syed celebrated a decade of success at his restaurant.
Curry Life Magazine, the voice for thousands of Indian restaurants in the UK, recognises excellence in the industry and has also organised a British Curry Festival in different countries where Syed has three times taken the top title.
Syed said: “I am absolutely delighted.
“We’ve always been very proud of our food here at The Capital and it’s a great honour to be named the best curry chef in my area.”
Twenty curry chefs from across the country were crowned with the title.
The chief guest was Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who spoke of the importance of curry in British life.
He said: “Curry may not have been born in Britain, but it has found a welcome home here.
“With over 12,000 establishments turning over £4.3billion each year it’s not difficult to see that British curry is a great success story.
“This Government wants to support the industry’s growth and development.
“The Curry Life Awards are a chance to recognise not only the talent, creativity and hard work of the nation’s curry chefs but also their huge economic contribution to British life.
“I congratulate all the winners and look forward to the British curry industry going from strength to strength.”
Syed Belal Ahmed, editor of Curry Life Magazine and founder of Taste of Britain Curry Festival, said: “These awards highlight the special achievement of a select band of chefs who have made their culinary mark on the Indian restaurant scene in the UK.
“The British curry has its own identity and we are now influencing curry restaurants globally including India, where curry originates from.”
Mr Ahmed, who has appeared in the BBC reality show The Apprentice, presented the awards.