A Sunderland chef has won a prestigious award after turning up the heat with his curry skills.
Ali Hussain, 44, from Millfield, has been named Curry Chef of the Year 2017 at the Bangladesh Caterers Association at a ceremony which recognises the cream of the curry industry.
He was presented with his award at the Park Plaza Hotel in London after reaching the final stages over thousands of entries from across the country.
In order to make it to the finals, the 40 semi-finalists had to perform a live cooking demonstration at West London College whilst being judged. The theme of the awards this year was ‘sourcing Britain’s love for curry since 1960.’ Ali made king prawn pimientos for the heat, which secured him a place in the finals.
Kamal Yakub, president of the BCA said: “Our awards showcase the talent of these extremely hardworking chefs. They have a lot to be proud of – they are inspiring the next generation of curry chefs.”
Ali became well-known for running Cafe Bangla in East Boldon before closing it in 2014. Since then, Ali has worked at St James’ Park and the Stadium of Light as a chef and prepared food for the Rugby World Cup in 2016.
Ali has also worked with celebrity chef Mark Poynton from Cambridgeshire’s Alimentum restaurant where they cooked a feast for royalty from the Punjab, India.
Ali now runs East India Takeaway in Sedgefield, County Durham.
The BCA was established in 1960 and has over 4,000 active members. In total, the British curry industry contributes approximately £4.5 billion to the economy every year.