A young chef from Watford has been named the best in the land at a glittering awards ceremony in London.

Mohammed Mihad Rahman, 24, head chef at the Indian Sizzler restaurant in Longspring, was crowned Best Chef of the Year at this year’s Curry Life awards at a gala event at the Royal Lancaster Hotel for his significant contribution to the industry, despite his young age.

Mihad was joined at the event by a number of supporters, including his father Mohammed Atikur Rahman who founded the Indian Sizzler, together with the rest of his family, regular customer Linda Topping - chairman of Watford Conservatives - and Conservative candidate for Mayor of Watford George Jabbour.

Mohammed Rahman senior said: “My son loves cooking and was always in the kitchen as a boy.

"He began his apprenticeship aged 16 and it is fantastic that he is picked up an award so soon. I’m very proud of him."

One of his most popular dishes is the garlic tikka chicken sizzler and, for those with a stronger palate, the super-hot chilli sizzler.

Syed Belal Ahmed, editor of Curry Life magazine and founder of the Curry Life awards, said: “It’s a great accolade because the level of Indian cuisine in the UK has reached unprecedented heights, which includes several Michelin star restaurants.

“The British love their curry and that is inspiring chefs to be more creative pushing the boundaries of flavours and presentation.

"It’s not been an easy time for the industry in recent years with the recession and restriction of working visas but it has still managed to up its game in response to the public’s appetite.”

Linda said: “I have lost count of the number of times I have been to the Indian Sizzler. The food is absolutely delicious. 

“Mihad is an extremely talented chef.  We are all immensely proud of him.”

George added: “We were delighted to support Mihad. I think I speak for everyone in Watford to wish him success in his promising career.  

“It is great to see Watford businesses continue to compete successfully at the national level.”