Hastings Spice in St Leonards wins Currylife Best Chef Award 2021, which was presented to Kabir Uddin. L-R: Belal Hussain and Kabir Uddin. SUS-211022-125621001

See inside St Leonards takeaway with the nation’s top curry house chef

A St Leonards takeaway has scooped a top award after entering a national competition for the first time.

Hastings Spice in Bohemia Road was praised at the Curry Awards staged by the magazine Curry Life.

Kabir Uddin picked up the Best Chef Award at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel.

He said: “What a great tribute for us to be recognised in this way. The past couple of years have been extremely challenging for businesses like ours and it is marvellous to emerge from such difficult times with such a top award.

“Our success is very much a team effort and is all about giving our customers the quality of service that they demand and deserve. I’d like to thank everyone who has played a part in achieving this top honour.”

Matt Bushby, UK marketing director for Just Eat, said: “We are thrilled to sponsor the Curry Life Awards, celebrating one of our most treasured and iconic industries; one that has helped so many communities in so many ways over the last 18 months.

“We are delighted to play a part in showcasing the hard work and imagination of chefs and owners who continue to improve and impress in producing fantastic, value for money and creative cooking.

“Our congratulations go to all of those who have won awards. You fully deserve them for standing out in this excitingly crowded and competitive industry.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, president of the CBI and chairman of Cobra Beer, said: “Like many business sectors over the past couple of years, the hospitality industry has been through the ringer because of the Covid pandemic.

“It is great to see it not only emerging from this dark period but also leading the way for other business sectors. Now that the economy is gathering momentum, it is truly heart-warming and instructive to hear of some of the stories of innovation, and pure hard work, emerging from this year’s Curry Life Awards.

“Well done to Curry Life for once again throwing a spotlight onto these examples of best practice and the brilliant people behind them.”

The Curry Life Awards aim to celebrate the unique fusion cuisine of Indian food in the UK and are part of a wider organisation that organises the British Curry Festival around the world.

Syed Belal Ahmed, editor of Curry Life Media Group, said: “Over the years we have been staging the awards, we have seen a major stepping up of standards and quality being offered to customers-to the point where several restaurants are in a position to challenge for accolades such as Michelin stars.

“One of the major aims of the awards has always been to highlight best practice going on across the country – so that everyone has the opportunity to learn from the best - and that indeed has always been a driving principle behind Curry Life itself.

“That so many owners have chosen to use their lockdown time to invest in their businesses, and raise standards, is a real credit to the perseverance and ingenuity of all involved.

“We are delighted to recognise these efforts through the Curry Life Awards.”

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