Express & Star

Bridgnorth curry chef 'thrilled' to be named UK's best

A Bridgnorth curry chef has been named the UK's best at a leading awards ceremony.

Amjad Ali after being named Best Chef of the Year 2023 at the Curry Life awards earlier this month

Amjad Ali said he was "thrilled" to have been named Best Chef of the Year 2023 at the Curry Life awards earlier this month, but the 50-year-old is no stranger to award success.

Having bagged the chef of the year award twice before in his 22 years as head chef and co-proprietor at the Eurasia Tandoori Restaurant in West Castle Street, he said he is just as "thrilled" to have won it again.

He said: "The restaurant has won many awards before, and I have won chef of the year twice before, but I am thrilled to win again."

He added that Curry Life judges visited the restaurant "secretly" before naming him the UK's best chef.

"The come round randomly and they just order something. I have no idea when they came or what they ordered as they were completely anonymous," he said. "Clearly they liked it though."

He and his colleagues at Eurasia Tandoori, collected the award at the London Marriott hotel in London's Grosvenor Square on October 15.

Along with co-proprietor Shamim Haque, Amjad took over the Bridgnorth business, which has been an Asian restaurant since the 1970s, in 2001 and th pair been picking up plaudits ever since.

"We like to put the restaurant and Bridgnorth on the map," said Amjad. "We have even been to India and cooked balti and chicken tikka masala for a Michelin star chef - we were told it was like 'taking coals to Newscastle' but those dishes are British not Indian and we wanted to promote them."

The chef, who specialises in Bangladeshi and North Indian cooking, said as with most Asian restaurants, the most popular dish at the Bridgnorth restaurant was chicken tikka masala.

"It is the national dish," he said, adding that the secret to a good curry was the ingredients. "It is the fresh ingredients. We order everything locally and I grind my spices myself. That is the secret to a good curry - the fresh ingredients. And as a chef that is what gives me the most satisfaction - creating a curry from scratch."