DSC_0003 (2).jpgMuraliraj Narashimaraj wins the UK industry’s prestigious prize of the South Asian Chef Competition (SACC) 2011.

Muraliraj is  the Head Chef at the Lasan Eatery in Birmingham, and part of the renowned award winning Lasan Group. He is a lifelong member of the South Indian Culinary Association.

Muraliraj describes himself as a Chef with a passion for food together with a strong kitchen background and extensive experience working in high profile establishments throughout Southern India and in particular Chennai City.

The winner of the competition was awarded the coveted title of South Asian Chef of the Year 2011. The title included a prize of  £1,000, a seven day stay at the world famous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in India, and one years free membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Now in its 7th year, the national finals of the South Asian Chef Competition 2011 saw eight finalists compete at Leeds City College under the watchful eyes of Craft Guild chairman Andrew Green, Shyam Patiar and Stephen Gomes.

The South Asian Chef Competition (SACC), setup by Mohammed Aslam MBE, Aagrah’s Managing Director and Executive Chef, is spearheaded by the Aagrah Group of Restaurants, UK’s largest chain of Kashmiri restaurants, supported by Kingfisher, LWC, Cobra and Barclays. 

The challenge called for competitors to produce among others a healthy option dish and an innovative dish. All the dishes had to be creative and adventurous, with chefs using their own original recipes to win the title.

The chefs were recognised for their culinary skills throughout the industry. SACC 2nd Place went to Ankur Baria from the Turtle Bay Caribbean Restaurant in Milton Keynes and 3rd place went to Tina Ditchfield  of Coleg Llandrillo, the International Centre of Excellence in Culinary Arts for Wales, each receiving trophies and prize cheques for £500 and £250 respectively.

The competition also awarded two special prizes, for Innovative and Healthy dishes. The Healthy Award  went to Amardeep Singh Anand, quarter finalist in the BBC Professional Master Chef competition 2010  and is currently based at the Endimaj Restaurant, Leicester.

The Innovative Award SACC 2011 went to Santhosh Kumar Parmeswaran Nair of the Mint and Mustard Group based in Cardiff. Both these special awards were sponsored by the leading law firm DLA Piper, Leeds.