Markygate chef and St Albans restaurants in UK curry awards

PUBLISHED: 11:02 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

A MARKYATE chef is hoping to be crowned king of the takeaways in the curry world s equivalent of Masterchef. Ashraf Khan of Massala Village has been nominated by his customers to take part in the British National Curry Awards 2009, a prestigious competiti

A MARKYATE chef is hoping to be crowned king of the takeaways in the curry world's equivalent of Masterchef.

Ashraf Khan of Massala Village has been nominated by his customers to take part in the British National Curry Awards 2009, a prestigious competition which recognises the finest Indian cuisine the UK has to offer.

Ashraf, who originally comes from Bangladesh, has been working in the restaurant industry for 15 years, and hit the headlines in 1995 when he was selected as one of the few chefs to feed Liverpool footballers John Burns and Paul Ince.

His customers nominated him because of his extraordinary culinary skills demonstrated in his dishes, and his talents were acknowledged during a special judging session attended by Awards organiser Adnan Mallick and Herts Advertiser editor Matt Adams.

He now faces the challenge of cooking before a second panel of judges at the Taste of Spice restaurant in London's Soho, competing against fellow curry chefs from across the UK.

Meanwhile two St Albans restaurants have made it through to the shortlist of a rival contest - the British Curry Awards.

Devdas and Chez Mumtaj are the only two Hertfordshire restaurants to reach this stage of the competition, now in its fifth year.

The winners will be announced by Sir Trevor McDonald at a ceremony at the Battersea Evolution in London's Battersea Park next month.

Organiser Enam Ali said: "Just reaching the shortlist is a fine achievement for any restaurant. I would like to offer my congratulations to both St Albans restaurants for making it to the final. If they win an award, they will be truly deserving of the accolade.

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