Maidenhead chef wins prestigious award

Shay Bottomley

A Maidenhead chef has earned the title of ‘best chef’ at this year’s Curry Life Awards.

Jafor Solim Uddin, who is the chef at The Fat Buddha in Bridge Street, won the prestigious award at the ceremony in London on Sunday, October 10.

With MPs and television personalities in attendance, the three-hour ceremony saw the best Indian chefs from across the country congregate for an evening of celebration and Bollywood music.

It proved to be a very successful evening for The Fat Buddha, which only opened in Maidenhead 18 months ago, with its Berkhamsted restaurant also scooping a prize on the night.

His 32-year career began when he was 20, with Mr Uddin saying that it ‘was always his dream’ to become a professional chef.

He had previously worked at the Berkhamsted branch before moving over to Maidenhead last year.

“I’ve worked in quite a few restaurants during my career, including Cookham, Beaconsfield and Datchet,” said Mr Uddin.

“It was a really, really good night. It felt so good [to win the award], and I should say ‘thanks’ to all of my customers who nominated me for this award.”

The 52-year-old added that part of the reason for winning the award was due to a unique menu and maintaining high standards.

“As a restaurant, we do a lot of dishes that you wouldn’t normally see in a restaurant; we do grilled broccoli, which for us is quite famous, lamb chennai and a range of chicken dishes,” said Jafor.

“We always can arrange depending on how people want it. We have really good waiters, who can offer suggestions for when people are unsure.

“We try our best to maintain everything, which is why I think we won this award.”

Shorif Ali, the owner of The Fat Buddha, said he was ‘ecstatic’ when he found out the news of the ‘well-deserved’ award.

“Obviously, [Jafor] had worked at other places beforehand, and it was such hard work trying to get him here,” he said.

“The thing is everybody wants quality, and he is quality, so we’re over the moon.”

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