The spice is right

Pots and pans are at the ready as Merton Council announces the borough will be taking part in the National Curry Chef competition 2003 for the first time.

The free competition is open to all registered food businesses within the borough of Merton and will be a unique opportunity for local chefs to display their culinary skills. Entrants will be judged on taste, food hygiene and food safety by a panel of judges that will include Councillor Maxi Martin, who becomes the next Mayor of Merton in May.

The selected finalists will then be invited to a cook off at Merton College on Wednesday 9 July 2003. They will be required to produce three dishes to include one main curry dish, one main complementary side dish and one bread or rice dish.

The winner of the Merton competition will go on to represent the borough at the regional competition for the whole of London. The regional winner will then participate in the grand national final Birmingham NEC, during the BBC Good Food Show, and will have the chance of winning the first prize of £3000.

The local winner will win a trophy and prize and all finalists will be presented with a certificate. This is an opportunity for a local chef or restaurant to shine and the winners will gain a lot of positive publicity.

Mayor Elect, Councillor Maxi Martin, said: “I am delighted to be involved a prestigious national competition and look forward to tasting lots of delicious curry’s in my capacity as a judge. I couldn’t think of a tastier way to start my year as Mayor.”

Senior Environmental Health Officer, Maria Dane, said: “If you think you make the best curries in Merton then we want to hear from you. This is your opportunity to prove your skills and claim the title.”

To enter the free competition contact Maria Dane, on 020 8545 3005 / 3024 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Application forms must be returned by Friday 16 May 2003.