A CHELMSFORD chef has won a national award for his curries.

Shaher Miah, who is head chef at the award-winning Indian Night restaurant in London Road, was crowned Best Chef at the Curry Life Awards ceremony in London.

Mr Miah said: It's a great honour to be recognised by the industry and the award is for everyone who works at the restaurant.

“I have been cooking for more than 20 years and it is nice to be recognised.

"It's hard work but also satisfying to see people enjoy eating what the kitchen has created."

More than 600 people attended the awards ceremony, which is run by Curry Life magazine and celebrates the contribution of the multi-billion pound Indian food industry.

Guest of honour at the ceremony was Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development.

She said: "Curry Life magazine's annual awards ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate the enormous talent that is on display around the country and the success of the great British curry!

"My congratulations go to all the deserving winners."

Syed Belal Ahmed, event organiser and editor of Curry Life, said: "Indian food has improved dramatically during the past 20 years to the extent that we are now seeing Michelin stars being awarded.

"That's a wonderful achievement and we want our chefs to keep raising the bar because the curry made in this country is unique and has developed independently from its birthplace of Indian."

Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer, which helps sponsor the event, said he was "in awe of what the chefs do" and applauded them for producing "some of the most exotic food in the world at the cheapest prices".

Guests of the Curry Life Awards were treated to some spectacular entertainment during a glittering awards ceremony, hosted by celebrity MasterChef finalist, journalist and broadcaster Louise Minchin.