Curry chefs go head-to-head in Merton cook-off

The top five curry chefs in Merton will go head-to-head in a curry cook-off on Wednesday (24 October) at Merton College as they compete to win a cash prize for themselves and a best chef trophy for their restaurant.

Having one hour to prepare and cook their curry, the finalists from Blue Junction (Morden), Curry Royal (Wimbledon), Cocum South Indian Restaurant (Raynes Park), the RK Takeaway (Wimbledon) and Raka Indian Cuisine (Wimbledon) will be observed and judged for culinary skills, originality, hygiene, presentation and taste.

Organised by Merton Council to raise awareness of good hygiene practices as well as creative culinary skills, the competition is now in its fourth year. The judging panel will include Councillor Diane Neil Mills, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, Soukias Tchillingirian, chef and lecturer at Merton College, Pip Barnes, Merton Council’s Principal Environmental Health Officer and Leonie Gonsalves from the Goan Elderly Group.

Councillor Neil Mills said: “This is a creative and interesting way to promote the importance of hygiene in the restaurant sector. As restaurants become more accountable to their customers, with star ratings for hygiene becoming increasingly popular, competitions like this highlight the importance of working and providing a service in a clean and safe environment. I congratulate these chefs who have already passed a stringent hygiene audit to get this far. Never before have five chefs made it to the finals, making this our most successful year ever. It demonstrates that our message on hygiene is getting through to the restaurant sector.”