Bengal Paradise

3 Great North Road
Brookmans Park
Herts AL9 6LB
01707 651444 or 01707 652333

Brookmans Park Curry Chef reaches for the stars.
Chef Shah Ansar Ali, from our very own Bengal Paradise, travelled to London’s Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel for an exclusive seminar organised by the trade magazine, Curry Life, on its tenth anniversary.

The specially invited audience of more than 200 Indian restaurant chefs and managers learnt the secrets of the trade from the master chefs, Atul Kochhar who heads the renowned Benares Restaurant and Bar in London, and Dominic Chapman, who revolutionised pub dining at The Royal Oak in Paley Street. Completing the star studded line up was French born front-of-house manager of The Royal Oak, Mo Gherras.

Michelin stars are considered to be the pinnacle of achievement in the culinary world but there are relatively few Indian restaurants currently holding the honour.
Mo Gherras underlined the commitment that was necessary in order to succeed in the profession: “You have to be prepared to be the first one to be there and the last to leave and that way you get respect,” he said. “Being a waiter is not just serving plates, it’s serving passion – if you mention food with passion, people will respond.”

Dominic Chapman told the chefs that he could see no reason why more Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants could not achieve in the Michelin Guides. “The beauty of your cooking is your spices,” he said. “You guys have the ability to balance those spices and with that talent your cuisine can only go from strength to strength.”

A challenge was sent out to all chefs by Atul Kochhar who spoke about the need for the Indian restaurant industry to evolve and adapt by using more seasonal produce and good quality local, fresh ingredients rather than food produced on the sub continent.

Syed Belal Ahmed, Editor of Curry Life Magazine, said: “We organised the seminar because we want to raise the standard of food and service in Indian restaurants but we also want to encourage those chefs who have the aspiration and talent necessary to get to the top of the Michelin tree.”

Chef Shah, who has already won a string of accolades, said: “The seminar was a golden opportunity for us to learn from three giants in the culinary world. It has definitely provided the inspiration for us to move onwards and upwards. Atul threw up some challenges for the Indian restaurant industry, but all three speakers made me realise that everything is achievable; we just have to focus on our core strengths and concentrate on creating more high quality food, and who knows? One day, we too could achieve a Michelin star for our restaurant.”

The Curry Life Magazine celebration event was supported by: Jaguar, Pepsi, Cobra Beer, Air India and Tesco Clubcard.

3 Great North Road, Brookmans Park AL9 6LB
01707 651444 or 01707 652333

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