An Ipswich chef has whipped up a storm to be crowned the best in the country, against competitors twice his age. 

The head chef of The Chequers Indian Lounge, Hussain Miah, scooped two prestigious awards over the weekend, being crowned for regional and national Chef of the Year 2023 at the Asian Restaurant and Takeaway Awards. 

“Winning awards like these is the icing on the cake,” said owner Nasir Jilani. “It basically shows that we have the best Indian chef in the country.”

Mr Jilani also owns the Jilani restaurant in Sudbury. 

He explained that he and head chef Mr Miah attended a ‘cook off’ held in Cambridge some weeks ago against eight other chefs. Mr Miah, 29, made a Tiger King Prawn Chilli Mayo starter and Tawa chicken for main course. While it was nerve-racking cooking in a new kitchen against chefs from all around the country, he said that his confidence soared when the taste-testing judge went back for a second spoonful.

“He was up against chefs twice his age and with twice his experience, but he pulled it out of the bag,” said Mr Jilani. The chefs were judged not only on the taste and presentation of their dishes, but other factors such as their knowledge of food hygiene and their communication in the kitchen. 

Mr Miah said that he was grateful to have the support of his colleagues, most of all the customers.

“The most important thing is that they love the food,” he said.

Ruman Muhith, Ipswich Borough Councillor for Priory Heath where Mr Miah hails from, was full of praise for the chef.

He said: “I am delighted that Ipswich has the best chef in the country, it makes me very proud of our town, and the fact that he is from my ward of Priory Heath makes it extra special.  “We have so many talented and extraordinary people in Ipswich, they need to be found and celebrated.“ 

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