Biggleswade chef wins national curry industry award

Biggles Lounge curry chef Nazim Uddin with his award, flanked by broadcast journalist Michael Buerk,

Biggles Lounge curry chef Nazim Uddin with his award, flanked by broadcast journalist Michael Buerk, Paul Scully MP, Biggles Lounge manager Shiraj Maldar, Just Eat UK managing director Graham Corfield and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Kios Miah - Credit: Archant

The team at a Biggleswade curry house are celebrating after their chef was crowned one of the UK’s curry kings at a gala event in London.

Nazim Uddin, chef at the Biggles Lounge in Shortmead Street, won a best chef award following a vote in the annual Curry Life Awards.

Nazim collected his award in front of more than 600 people at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel, during a ceremony hosted by journalist and broadcaster Michael Buerk.

Biggles Lounge manager Shiraj Maldar said the whole team was delighted for Nazim.

“He is a really creative chef with a passion for food and that comes through in his cooking,” said Shiraj.

“He is also my cousin so I am especially proud of him.

“It made a change for him to be sitting down and being waited on. It was great evening for everyone and the award is something we can all be proud of.”

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Nazim started in the curry industry as a teenager in Bangladesh, where his first job saw him washing up and peeling potatoes. He went on to work at five-star hotels.

His offer is very varied – he can also cook Chinese, Thai, Malaysian and Mexican food in addition to south Asian curry, and indeed one of the Biggles Lounge’s staple dishes is Mexican slow-cooked lamb.

The awards recognised the 13 best curry restaurants and 19 best curry chefs in the UK, the four best curry takeaways and more.

The chief guest at the ceremony was Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexist secretary, who paid tribute to the ubiquitous status curry now holds in British culture.

He said: “The curry industry makes a huge contribution to the economy and is an integral part of the UK dining experience.

“It’s been through some tough times, but has continued to grow and develop to meet the growing appetite for this cuisine.

“Its employees epitomise the ethos that hard work brings success – and I’m delighted they are in the spotlight tonight and able to sit back and enjoy an evening off.”

Other guests at the awards ceremony included MPs Rushanara Ali, Matt Western, Wes Streeting and Paul Scully.

More than £3,000 was raised on the night for the Disaster Emergency Committee Myanmar Appeal, which is fundraising to support Rohingya and other refugees from Burma who have sought shelter in Bangladesh.