A Sunderland chef who has received praise throughout India for his work has been given top recognition for showcasing the best of British curry.
Syed Zohorul Islam, from Thornhill, was recognised for his contribution towards promoting the efforts of UK-based chefs in India.
The accolade was given at a glittering ceremony held at the Park Plaza Riverbank London hotel.
Mr Islam was among a host of top curry chefs from various parts of the country who were invited to travel across to New Delhi, India, earlier this year, to show off their best dishes in the country where their cuisine was born.
The Taste of Britain Curry Festival was held at the luxury ITC Maurya in the city, which is acknowledged as the preferred residence for world leaders when staying there.
The event, organised by the UK trade magazine Curry Life, promotes the skills of British curry chefs abroad and introduces diners to the unique phenomenon of British curry, which has now replaced fish and chips as the
country’s favourite food.
Mr Islam, who works at the Capital restaurant, in Claypath, Durham City, said: “This was truly an inspiring event.
“We have not only showcased what we know best, we have also picked up lot ideas for new dishes, which will reflect in our menu.
“This was not a competition between chefs; it was a festival where we put our best of British dishes to the test with Indian diners.
“It went down very well with all diners and we had lot of praises for our curries.”
Syed Belal Ahmed, event organiser and editor of Curry Life magazine, said: “Indian food has improved dramatically during the past 20 years to the extent that we are now seeing Michelin stars being awarded.
“That’s a wonderful achievement and we want our chefs to keep raising the bar because the curry made in this country is unique and has developed independently of its birthplace on the Indian subcontinent.”