THE North-East's best Indian chef has cooked up a storm by being crowned International Indian Chef of the Year 2017.

Milon Miah, of Spice Island Restaurant, in Barnard Castle was announced the winner of the prestigious accolade at a glittering awards dinner in London, on Monday night.

Mr Miah, 36, was presented with his award by Princess Anne, in her role as patron of the night's chosen charity, Columba 1400.

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The competition was set up in 1991 by world-famous chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur, Tommy Miah MBE.

Mr Miah, of Darlington, already has several awards under his belt and after being named Curry King of the North-East, following his appearance on TV programme, The Chef.

And he wowed judges during the finals of his latest competition earlier this month by producing a starter of Borta Roulette – a selection of potato-based dishes - and a main of venison served alongside lightly spiced and pan-fried asparagus.

The finals took place at Billingsgate Seafood Training School, in East London where the seven finalists prepared their dishes and were watched closely by the judges who were looking out for a range of factors, including how the chefs’ cooking areas were kept and managed, the ingredients used in the dishes, the innovation of the flavours and the texture of the ingredients used.

When the cooking time was up, the chefs then had 15 minutes to pack up their creations before transporting them to King’s Cross, where finalists and judges boarded a train to York, for the judging process.

It was aboard the train that the finalists served up their dishes and presented them to the judges.

And it was Mr Miah's dishes that were right on track for the judges who crowned him the winner, followed by runner-up Shanker Pandey, of Ashford and Manish Chancha, of Cardiff who took third place.

After finding out he had won the award, Mr Miah said: “Winning the International Indian Chef of the Year Awards really means a lot to me – it is the ultimate competition in the Indian hospitality scene.

"I was up against some amazing finalists whose dishes will have no doubt astounded the judges.

"It is fantastic to see how much talent there is out there – the Indian culinary scene should be celebrated given its contribution to British culture, and the competition does just that.”

Commenting on this year’s competition, Tommy Miah said: “This year’s competition saw some amazing chefs compete to win the award for the International Indian Chef of the Year.

"I want to thank not only the finalists and the judges for their efforts, but also the rest of those who entered the competition – over 10,000 from all over the world.

"I am excited to see what is next for Milon Miah as his cooking is truly breathtaking."