Newport chef crowned king of curry
The region's king of curry has been crowned – and he lives in Newport.
Chef Alam Hussain is the head chef at the Taste of Paradise, in the High Street, and was voted best chef at the annual national Curry Life Awards.
Alam said it was an honour to have been picked, but added that it was a reflection of everybody he worked with.
"It’s a team effort at the end of the day so this is a reflection on the whole team’s work," he said "We’re a big family and will celebrate like one."
General Manager of the Taste of Paradise Indian Cuisine, Mr Sujatur Reza, said: “We were stunned when the judges from the Curry Life magazine turned up at the restaurant and told us that we’d been shortlisted for the 2018 awards in the best chef Category.
“They were meticulous in their assessment of the restaurant, speaking to the staff, visiting the kitchen, watching the food being freshly prepared and, of course, sampling the menu as well.
"We’re all delighted that our customers have enjoyed themselves so much that they wanted to nominate us for the Curry Life award.”
The award was given during a ceremony at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in Central London.
Nationally more than 500,000 votes were submitted as part of the competition.
The awards and festival are organised and hosted by Curry Life magazine, whose Editor Syed Belal Ahmed said: “The UK’s curry chefs serve up millions of meals a year and still find the time to innovate and create new dishes.
“The industry is going through some tough times but creatively it’s never been stronger and is comfortably holding its own against other cuisines.”
Meanwhile Bridgnorth mayor Ron Whittle visited the Himalaya Tandoori Restaurant, based on Whitburn Street, to help celebrate its recent success.
The restaurant, run by Dave Miah, was awarded the Best Indian Restaurant in Shropshire at the Curry Life Awards 2018 for the second year running.
“I have been coming to this restaurant for nearly 40 years,” said Councillor Whittle.
The current mayor used to live above Whittle Coaches, which was situated next door to the popular restaurant.
Mr Whittle added: “This award is wonderful for the Himalaya Tandoori and wonderful for Bridgnorth. It shows how independent businesses can thrive in a small town like ours."
Locals Lynda Staite and Sue Hicklin also enjoyed the evening of celebration.
Lynda said: “We came to this restaurant as children ourselves and now we come with our grandchildren, three generations dining here is a testament to Himalayas food."
Himalayas owner, Dave Miah, himself a Bridgnorth resident, said that although his menu has evolved over the years he always tries to keep to authentic traditional Indian and Bangladeshi recipes.
Delighted with award, he said that he is grateful to all of his customers that nominated him for this coveted award.