Romford head chefs set for cook-off as finalists in national awards

Kushi Restaurant

Two head chefs from Kushi will take part in the 2021 national Asian and Oriental Chef Awards. - Credit: Avocado Media

Two head chefs from a family-owned chain of Indian restaurants and takeaways in Romford and Essex will compete against 12 other professionals to win a national award.  

Humayun Rashid from the Kushi group’s Grays restaurant in Chafford Hundred and Kamrul Hoque from Kushi in Gidea Park will take part in the live cook-off event.  

It is part of the national Asian and Oriental Chef Awards, which will take place at Pillars Kitchen at the University of West London on June 21.  

Winners will be revealed at the House of Lords on July 5 in a ceremony hosted by Lord Sheikh. 

Following nominations from the public, the two chefs were invited to submit descriptions, recipe details and photos of an “original two-course meal”.  

Gidea Park Kushi head chef, Kamrul Hoque. 

Gidea Park Kushi head chef Kamrul Hoque. - Credit: Avocado Media

Kamrul will be cooking what he describes as a “perfect summer treat” of chicken kursaan with taaftan – a tandoori chicken salad with mini Afghan parathas.  

That will be followed by a main course of a “spicy, flavourful, goan fish curry with coconut and mustard seeds”.  

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Kamrul said: “I'm so excited. We have a great team at Kushi which allows me to express myself in the kitchen with special dishes." 

Chef Humayun Rashid.

Chef Humayun Rashid. - Credit: Avocado Media

Humayun will be cooking a seafood crepe starter, which he describes as “succulent freshwater king prawns cooked in homemade spices a top of butter pan-fried bread paratha”.  

The main course will be a duck dum biryani of barbary which is the breast of duck and “flavoured basmati rice” cooked in a “sealed vessel” (dum) and served with “pomegranate raita and Kushi salad”.  

He said: "I'm thrilled to be invited to take part in the cook-off. To be presented with such a prestigious award at the House of Lords would be the pinnacle of my culinary career." 

Kushi owner, Sharif Uddin, added: “To have one of our chefs make the national final is an incredible achievement, but to have two is fantastic.  

“We are immensely grateful to the many people who enjoyed our deliveries during lockdown and nominated us.” 

Throughout lockdown, Kushi donated “over 15,000 complementary meals” to frontline NHS workers, care home residents, elderly and vulnerable people. 

Organiser and Asian Catering Federation chairman, Yawar Khan, said: “Our judges were particularly impressed by the chefs’ use of fresh, locally sourced produce, their unique weekly changing menus and commitment to supporting the vulnerable and key workers in their local communities.” 

Humayun's king prawn crepe starter.

Humayun's king prawn crepe starter. - Credit: Avocado Media