Mustafa Salimin of Restaurant Associates has been crowned the winner of the second B&I Catering magazine StrEAT Food Awards! Held at Islington Metal Works in London on 20th March 2018, the event saw 16 finalists from 16 different contract caterers battling it out via a thrilling live cook-off.
The finalists were tasked with cooking three different dishes in just 55 minutes in front of a live audience. The starter was a meat free street food dish, followed by a technical round and then the chef’s speciality
Salimin prevailed after wowing the panel of prestigious judges with his signature dish of egg fried flaky paratha roll filled with corn-fed chicken masala, pink pickled onion, date tamarind chutney and coconut raita. Along with the honour of being hailed as the Street Food Chef of the Year, he also walked away with £1,000 in prize money!
Here we talk to him about the experience and what it meant to take home the award.
“I have always been passionate about street food and combining it with some of my traditional food has brought out some great flavour combinations. I realised this was an area I could focus on and street food within Restaurant Associates is always growing and improving, so it’s the perfect platform for me experiment and develop my skills.
“When I heard about the StrEAT Food awards, I was really excited about competing in a specialised competition. The standard was very high this year, I think the competition was talked about more this time round and its profile had grown. There were 15 other chefs there, all really talented and there was some great innovation on show.
“I loved competing in that pressurised environment, although I was also very nervous. It was unforgettable for me, I really hope it encourages other young chefs to enter the competition as it was a great experience. I would love to come back and try again next year!”