Chef at Portsmouth Indian takeaway Paanchi is finalist in curry competition
A CURRY chef has cooked his way to the finals of a competition to crown Britain’s best.
Juned Ahmed, head chef at Paanchi Indian Street Kitchen in Fratton Road used his culinary skills to impress judges.
At a ‘cook-off’ at Hammersmith and Fulham College in London, Juned cooked one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, Chicken Xacuti, as he battled against 40 other chefs from across the country to win the title in the Bangladesh Caterers Association annual awards.
Juned was joined by the Mayor of Hammersmith, MPs and Michelin star chefs.
He was also joined by one of the other chefs at the restaurant, Aamir Ahan, as well as owner Shahriar Uddin, who says he is looking forward to the finals, which will take place on October 27 at Westminster Plaza.
He said: ‘It was a long day but it was amazing and it was worth it.’
They received an award on the day for making the finals and are hoping to be crowned with Britain’s best curry chef next month.
They live-streamed the event on their social media platforms, which received a lot of positive praise from customers and followers, who wished them luck.
Shahriar said: ‘We kept the customers involved, we wanted to let them know what’s happening and what we’re doing.’
They entered the awards after having such good feedback from people who ate at the restaurant.
Hundreds of chefs applied for the awards, which have now been whittled down to just a few remaining finalists.
The judges for this year’s cook off were Andy Doyle, from People’s First, Vita Whitaker from Whitco, Gerrard Madden from Wembley Stadium, Pawan Khatiwoda, Head Chef of Production at Wembley Stadium, Steven Gomez, UK curry champion of the year at Dusk, Brentwood, Mark Bradford, area manager, product solutions and training coupe and Atik Rahman, head of chef award committee at BCA.
The feat comes after an announcement from the home secretary Priti Patel that she will be
unveiling plans to lift immigration restrictions on skilled chefs after a long-term campaign by the association about the shortage of skilled chefs in the sector.