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Shropshire Curry Chef Awards 2012

Shropshire Curry Chef 2012 Winner Mohammed Samsul Ismal of Cafe Saffron, Shrewsbury

Shropshire Curry Chef 2012 Winner Mohammed Samsul Ismal of Cafe Saffron, Shrewsbury

A Shropshire curry chef was named the county’s best after winning an exciting cook-off against three others.

Mohammed Samsul Islam, from Café Saffron Indian restaurant, in Shrewsbury, was crowned Shropshire Council Curry Chef of the Year 2012. He was given the chance to take part in the final after his boss, the former competition winner Abdul Husen, decided to step down.
Mr Husen is one of Shropshire’s best known celebrity cooks after winning the Shropshire competition in 2010, numerous national contests and appearing on BBC 1’s John Bishop’s Britain. The other three finalists who nominated their chefs to step up to the plate were: Himalaya Tandoori Restaurant, Bridgnorth; Oruna Cuisine Indian restaurant and takeaway, Market Drayton and Dorrington Old Hall Persian Cuisine. The chefs produced a curry, side dish and rice accompaniment for a panel of judges at Radbrook Catering College in Shrewsbury, where they had one hour to cook and display their chosen menu.
Mr Husen said: “I’m delighted for Mohammed. He’s stepped up in the kitchen at Cafe Saffron and his cooking is amazing. “I wanted to give him the chance. Cooking is all about introducing new talent and Mohammed has really made his name.”
Mohammed said: “I’m very happy to have won. I am very impressed with the council competition. “Since the competition was first held in 2010 Café Saffron has been in the final three times and won twice. After winning in 2010 we went on to feature on TV and win more awards.” The winning menu consisted of capsila murghi, deshi sabji paneer and special pillau rice.
All Indian, Bangladeshi, Balti, Persian and similar restaurants and takeaways in the Shropshire Council area with a food hygiene rating of satisfactory or above were invited to enter the competition. The entries were assessed by the council’s food safety team, making reference to the most recent food hygiene inspection. The successful applicants were visited to ensure that good food safety practices are being met, and to taste and consider the nutritional value of the chef’s chosen dishes.
At the final cook-off the competing curries were tasted and assessed by the judges before the trophy was awarded by Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health.
Councillor Charmley said: “Our congratulations go to Mohammed and Café Saffron on winning the competition and the title of Shropshire Council Curry Chef of the Year 2012.
“The four finalists all demonstrated exceptionally high standards of culinary expertise, food hygiene, nutrition, flair and creativity – and we were faced with an extremely difficult task in choosing the winner.”
Last year’s winner was Rukon Abdullah from Oswestry Tandoori. Abdul Husen of Café Saffron won the first Shropshire Council Curry Chef of the Year competition in 2010.

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