A curry chef has received a tasty surprise after being shortlisted for an award.
Shohid Ahmed, who is head chef at the Shikara Indian Restaurant in Whitley Road, Whitley Bay, has been shortlisted for the Best Curry Chef of the Year at the 2017 Curry Life Awards.
He will attend a gala event at the at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Sunday to find out if he will be crowned the king of curries.
Shohid said: “It’s lovely to get short-listed for a national honour like this.
“I don’t get out of the kitchen much so look forward to sitting back and being served myself for a change.
“It’s a team effort at the end of the day so this is a reflection on the whole team’s work.
“We’re a big family and will celebrate like one.”
The annual Curry Life Awards are a celebration of Anglo-Indian cuisine and its most innovative chefs.
Diners from across the country nominate their favourite chef and restaurant in the annual awards ceremony.
The chefs also get the opportunity to showcase their talents at the Taste of Britain Curry Festival.
The awards and festival are organised and hosted by Curry Life magazine, whose Editor Syed Belal Ahmed said: “The UK’s curry chefs serve up millions of meals a year and still find the time to innovate and create new dishes.
“The industry is going through some tough times but creatively it’s never been stronger and is comfortably holding its own against other cuisines.”
Azad Miah, founder and manager of the Shikara, said: “We were stunned when the judges from the Curry Life magazine turned up at the restaurant and told us that we’d been shortlisted for the 2017 awards in the best chef category.
“They were meticulous in their assessment of the restaurant.
“Learning that we had been nominated for the award by our customers was especially wonderful.
“We’re all delighted that our customers have enjoyed themselves so much that they wanted to nominate us for the Curry Life award.”
To help the Shikara clinch the award, customers can complete additional nomination forms, available at the restaurant, or they can also visit the following website to complete a nomination online www.travellink.co.uk/currylife