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The heat is on to find top curry chef

By Sarah_Elliott  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

Last year's awards: Left to right: Atiquer Rahman (2nd place, Spice Magic); Jakir Hussain, second chef at Chadni; Anwar Miah, second chef at Pukka Indian; Abdul Kayum - winner, Chadni; Dullal Ahmed (3rd place, Pukka Indian); Nasir Ahmed (owner of Chadni); Paul Da-Costa-Greaves; Judi Spiers; Richard Lawrence (ITV Westcountry); Cllr Greg Sheldon, Lead Councillor for Environment and Leisure.

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The heat will be turned up on curry chefs in Exeter and Teignbridge this week in an attempt to find out who can rustle up the best balti.

Ten of Exeter and Teignbridge's finest curry chefs will be putting their best dishes to the test on Wednesday at @34 Restaurant, Exeter College. At stake will be the prestigious title of Exeter & Teignbridge Curry Chef of the Year 2013. This year for the first time, Exeter City Council has joined forces with Teignbridge District Council to combine the event.

Contestants have two hours to prepare and serve a curry, a complementary side dish and a bread or rice dish. Cooking will be before the gaze of a distinguished panel of local judges under the chairmanship of Huw Southcott, Deputy Head of Faculty Hospitality & Catering at Exeter College. The other judges will be Cllr Greg Sheldon, Lead Councillor for Environment and Leisure (Exeter City Council), Cllr Kevin Lake Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services (Teignbridge District Council), BBC Radio Devon's Judi Spiers, and Richard Lawrence, of ITV Westcountry.

Chefs will be judged on their ability to produce food with winning aroma, texture, taste and appearance.

Cllr Sheldon said: "We've had such an enthusiastic response from local restaurant owners. The competition gives local chefs the chance to be creative and put their skills to the challenge. It also helps the Council to promote good practice in food safety and hygiene and develop its relationship with local caterers."

Cllr Kevin Lake, Teignbridge District Council's Executive Spokesperson for Environmental Services, is a full-time chef and trained at Exeter College.

He said: "The race is on to find the best curry chef in Teignbridge and Exeter and the competition really is hotting up. Whether it is a brilliant balti or marvellous madras, this contest is a great way to see what each competitor can rustle up using their creative kitchen skills.

"It's good to be working with Exeter City Council and personally I can't wait to get stuck into the judging - so good luck to everyone involved!"

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