14/05/2012 - Permalink

Café Saffron wins curry competition

Related topics: Community / Health

Mohammed Samsul Islam from Café Saffron Indian restaurant in Shrewsbury was today (Monday 14 May 2012) awarded the prestigious title of Shropshire Council Curry Chef of the Year 2012 after an exciting final ‘cook-off’.

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.

All Indian, Bangladeshi, Balti 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 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.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to be part of this competition. It highlights the many excellent curry houses that we have across the county, places the focus on the important work carried out by our environmental health officers to ensure that our restaurants and takeaways are safe, hygienic places and shows that ensuring these standards are met can be very good for business.”

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 competition helps to promote food safety and we’re very proud to be part of it.”

The winning menu consisted of capsila murghi, deshi sabji paneer and special pillau rice.

The competition judges were:

  • Councillor Steve Charmley
  • Sean McNulty, catering manager at Radbrook College
  • Kal Parkash, Shropshire Council’s diversity officer

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.