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Chef at the Agra in Beckenham named best in the region in curry awards

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 November 2019

Mahmudur in the red jacket celebrates his win alongside actor Alexis Conran, BCA vice president Abidur Rahman, BCA member Oli Khan, Mayor of Lambeth Abraham Dogus and BBC 3 news anchor Tasmin Lucia Khan. Picture: BCA

Mahmudur in the red jacket celebrates his win alongside actor Alexis Conran, BCA vice president Abidur Rahman, BCA member Oli Khan, Mayor of Lambeth Abraham Dogus and BBC 3 news anchor Tasmin Lucia Khan. Picture: BCA

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The chef at the Agra Restaurant in Beckenham has won a major award.

Mahmudur Rashid was named a regional winner at the Bangladesh Caterers Association awards.

The event was held at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster, with the theme of The Home of Great British Curry.

Mahmudur said: "Our hard work has paid off and we are very proud to win BCA's Chef of the Year Award for our region.

"We need the support of local people to come and experience our food and support the British Curry Industry - cooking curry is our first love."

The awards are now in their 14th year and are highly regarded by the Bangladeshi curry industry.

The 11 winning regional chefs won their awards for their innovation, presentation of food, hygiene standards and customer service; and had to compete with thousands of entrants, facing strong competition.

The event was co-hosted by Tasmin Lucia Khan, British film producer and TV news anchor who is known for being the face of BBC Three News.

Also there was Alexis Conran, radio presenter, actor and Celebrity Master Chef winner 2016.

Mitu Choudhury, secretary general of the BCA, said: "It is exciting to be able to acknowledge the fantastic work of these winning chefs who are inspiring the next generation of curry chefs."

Saidur Rahman Bipul, BCA's chief treasurer, added: "BCA chefs are passionate, creating a cross-cultural fusion of 
flavours by innovating curry, blending spices, crafting marinades and other magic in their kitchens. They are making sure that curry remains the national dish."

BCA represents more than 12,000 UK restaurants - an industry that contributes £4.2billion to the economy, creating thousands of jobs. They said they have been actively campaigning and asking the government for three years to solve the shortage of skilled chefs that is desperately needed to keep restaurants alive because the continued shortage of chefs has forced restaurants to close.

A recent breakthrough was when home secretary Priti Patel announced plans to lift immigration restrictions on skilled chefs.

The group said: "This is victory for BCA and has been dubbed the vindaloo visas."

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