A BURNLEY restaurateur has been crowned curry king of the North-West.
Ibrahim Ali, owner of the Usha, was named North-West Chef of the Year by Curry Life Magazine.
The head chef of the award-winning Rossendale Road restaurant beat off competition from dozens of other top chefs to clinch the accolade.
The proud father-of-five was presented the award at a star-studded industry bash at a 5-star hotel in London.
He said: “I am over the moon. I was shocked when they called my name out at the ceremony.
“It is still only just sinking in. I have won awards with the Usha before but to win one personally means a lot to me.”
The road to the final was a tough one which started when Judges visited the Usha in secret to test out his food.
Mr Ali was invited to a Masterchef-style cooking contest against 40 other top chefs from around the region.
The family-taught chef wowed the judges with his Asian fusion cooking. He produced three stunning dishes at the high-pressure cook-off including his secret recipe monkfish curry and was shortlisted for the award.
The Burnley chef was invited down to the star-studded ceremony at the Park Plaza Riverbank London Hotel where he clinched the gong.
“It is a real dream come true. It is something very special to me. It is great to be able to rub shoulders with the stars because of my cooking.
“I am looking forward now to the next challenge. I will be cooking for a wedding on board a jumbo jet in November.”