A chef and owner of a Bury St Edmunds curryhouse has been named as one of the best in the UK in a prestigious industry awards.
Abdus Shahid, who owns Valley Connection (VC) in Churchgate Street, has been presented with the Chef of the Year Award for Excellence in the Curry Life Magazine awards.
He was one of 42 chefs to be presented with the awards held to recognise their contribution to a £3.5 billion a year industry.
“I feel really happy especially as it was my customers that put me forward for this award. It is a great honour for me,” said Mr Shahid.
He has owned VC for seven years and also owns the Moza Indian takeaway in St Andrews Street South and the Ballingdon Valley Indian restaurant in Sudbury.
The awards took place at the Lancaster Hotel in London earlier this month.
Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles was among the guests alonside top Indian chefs, economist Lord Meghnad Desai and Lord Karan Bilimora, founder of sponsors Cobra beer.
Mr Shahid who has worked in the industry for 27 years, said he feels ‘Inspired’ by the award. He is now waiting to see if he has made the shortlist for the International chef of the year award.
Valley Connection was in the top 108 restaurants in the UK in the British Curry Awards last year.
Mr Shahid said: “My food is completely different. I make my own spices – this is my secret.
“I buy all fresh ingredients and make my own recipes and people like my food.
“When I received my award, my customers say we are not surprised.”