Who makes the best curry in Merton?

Things are hotting up in the Merton Curry Chef Competition 2005, as Merton Council announces the four finalists who will compete in a one hour curry cook-off at Merton College on Wednesday 20 July 2005.

Eight local chefs entered the free competition. The first heats took place last week and consisted of a hygiene audit in each of the premises. The four entrants with the highest scores will go head to head in the final at Merton College.

The finalist are (in no particular order):
· Mr Loicnu Miah, Chef from Raka Indian Cuisine, 306 Kingston Road, Wimbledon Chase
· Mr Parambath Shajahan, Chef from Cocum South Indian Restaurant, 9 Approach Road, Raynes Park
· Mr Tazul Islam, Chef from Princess of India, 10 Morden Court Parade, London Road, Morden
· Mr Litu Khan, Chef from House of Spice, 507 Kingston Road, Raynes Park

The finalists will have one hour to produce three dishes, to include one main curry dish, one complementary side dish and one bread or rice dish. A panel consisting of the following judges will then pick a winner:
· Mr Soukias Tchilingirian, Chef/Lecturer Merton College
· Jo Bowring, Senior Reporter from the Wimbledon/Mitcham and Morden Guardian
· Andrew Bradley, Merton Council’s Principal Environmental Health Officer
· One more judge tbc

The winner will receive a trophy and prize and all finalists will receive framed certificates for their restaurants.

Merton previously participated in the National Curry Chef Competition in 2003. Mr Binu Raj, Chef at Cocum South Indian Restaurant in Raynes Park won the Merton heats and went on to represent London in the finals after also winning the regional heats. Though the National competition is not being run this year Merton are going ahead with the borough competition.

For more information contact Maria Dane, Merton’s Senior Environmental Health Officer, on 020 8545 3005 Monday – Wednesday.

Ends

Notes to editor
Journalists are welcome to come along and taste the finalists’ curries and interview the chefs from 1.15pm. The winner will be announced at 1.30pm.

Photo opportunity: Presentation to the winning chef at 1.30pm, Wednesday 20 July 2005 in the teaching kitchens (entrance just before the Pool in the Park), Merton College.
Photographer contact on the day: Claire Bartlett 07789 866 088.

Press Officer
Claire Bartlett
Senior PR and Press Officer
Communications Team
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 3327
Item Number 454/05