Romford ‘best in region’ chef shares his cooking tip and favourite dish

 Kamrul Hoque from Kushi in Gidea Park was the overall runner-up for the award. 

Kamrul Hoque from Kushi in Gidea Park was named the Best Indian Chef in the London Suburbs at the Asian and Oriental Chef Awards 2021. - Credit: Avocado Media

An award-winning Romford head chef has said he cooks because he "feels it in his heart".  

In June, Kamrul Hoque was crowned the Best Indian Chef in the London Suburbs at the Asian and Oriental Chef Awards 2021.  

Reflecting on his achievement, the 39-year-old said he is “very grateful” to be recognised and owes his success to his team at Indian restaurant Kushi in Gidea Park.  

The chef began his career as a waiter in 2005, when he helped out at his uncle's restaurant because it was short-staffed for a week; since then, Kamrul said he “never left the kitchen”.

In 2016 Kamrul was given the chance to flourish in his profession. He said: "I was given the opportunity to prove myself as a leader and take on the launch of their new branch at Gidea Park in September 2016.   

“The original plan was not to stay this long. However, the ethos behind Kushi brand - with its family-orientated atmosphere, and being allowed to cook flavoursome food, with heart and passion, the progression in the business, nurturing staff, to helping reach goals - kept me here.”  

In the future, Kamrul aims to “push the boundaries” of the creativity in his dishes and hopes that through his cooking, he can bring people together.  

Kamrul has a tip for budding chefs: “If you cook something, make it from your heart and then definitely it will be nice for you, your customer and the people you love."  

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Happy with his development as a chef at Kushi, Kamrul said that the team have group-wide monthly training programmes, led by branch chefs on a rotational basis.    

The chefs also work together to update all menus and have a weekly changing specials blackboard in the restaurant where each chef can contribute a dish of their creation – something he said “customers love”.  

Kamrul said this is where “the magic happens” as it allows “individual influence and creativity, but with an overall consistency across the branches”. 

He enthuses that the Kushi "exclusive dish" of garlic chilli chicken fusion is enjoyable to make and a must-try for customers.