St Albans restaurant in final of TV cooking competition with new healthy dish

PUBLISHED: 14:44 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:44 02 November 2018

The salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Left to right: Abdul Kashim, Mohammed Sheikh, Tarek Sheik. Picture: Abdul Kashim

The salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Left to right: Abdul Kashim, Mohammed Sheikh, Tarek Sheik. Picture: Abdul Kashim

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An award-winning St Albans restaurant is into the final of a winner of winners cooking competition.

The salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul KashimThe salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul Kashim

The Catering Circle Show on Channel S last year named London Road’s Chilli Bar and Kitchen as one of the UK’s top 12 Indian restaurants.

All 12 finalists have been invited back this year to compete for a winner of winners title. They have been tasked with creating a new healthy dish.

Having wowed judges with their steamed cooked salmon, asparagus and basmati rice dish, Chilli Bar and Kitchen is through to the final.

The creative meal was launched to the public at a fund raising event in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care on October 31, which was broadcast by Channel S.

The salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul KashimThe salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul Kashim

With about 100 guests, including St Albans MP Anne Main, Chilli Bar and Kitchen collected nearly £2,000 for the cause.

Co-owner Abdul Kashim, who is known by his surname, said he believes they are in with a good chance of bagging the top spot: “The idea is that it will encourage other restaurants across the country to have it on their menu - like what happened with chicken tikka masala.

“It’s a chance to give other Indian restaurants a healthier eating option.”

He said swapping frying with steaming makes the dish wholesome, flavoursome, and easier to produce.

The salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul KashimThe salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul Kashim

The 46-year-old added: “Feedback for the dish has been excellent. It uses flavours common in the west but not in South Asian food, and comments were that it is light, the spices aren’t overpowering, you still have the flavour of the salmon.”

It is up against a roast duck dish made by a restaurant in Barnet and ox cheek created by chefs in Newmarket.

The next stage of the final, a live question and answer session, will be broadcast on November 13 from Channel S’s London studios.

Kashim said: “I think our chances are very good, but at the end of the day it’s up to the judges to decide.”

MP Anne Main at the salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul KashimMP Anne Main at the salmon dish launch event at St Albans' Chilli Bar and Restaurant, in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Abdul Kashim

Chilli Bar and Kitchen is a seven-year-old family run business which has been awarded Best Indian Restaurant in the area by the St Albans Curry Club three years running.

Senior community fundraiser at Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Gemma Ralph, said: “It was a fantastic occasion with a great atmosphere and everyone who attended was so generous with their donations and in supporting the raffle. We would like to say a big thank you to all involved.”

Watch Channel S on Sky 734.

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