AN award-winning curry chef and kitchen colleagues are giving hard-pressed hospital medical staff a well-deserved culinary treat as they battle to keep on top of the coronavirus outbreak.

Internationally-recognised Indian cuisine champion Syed Islam has time on his hands, due to the prolonged closure of The Capital restaurant in Durham, following the Government-imposed restrictions put in place on pubs, clubs, cafes and other eating places to control the spread of Covid-19, back in March.

But the Capital’s executive chef put his skills and those of kitchen colleagues at the Claypath restaurant to good use, preparing 100 free Indian meals for frontline workers at the University Hospital of North Durham, in Durham.

The welcome food offerings were professionally packaged in Capital colours before making the short journey to be delivered to the hospital, to offer a little meal-break respite for some of the, “NHS hospital heroes”.

Grateful thanks were passed on to the Capital kitchen crew for their efforts and generous donation by Durham’s MP Mary Foy.

She visited the restaurant to watch the meals being prepared, from a suitable social distance, and added: “This was such a wonderful way to say ‘thanks’ to those working on the frontline.

“Well done and thanks to ‘Team Capital’.”

Mr Islam is considered one of the country’s leading curry chefs, honoured several times in the Taste of Britain Curry Festival, and has even been invited to join delegations to give people in the world curry capital, India, a taste of the UK-style dish.

He was part of the ‘Super Curry Chef Team’, which included Michelin Laureate chef Mark Poynton, who travelled to the Indian city of Kolkata last summer.

They gave local diners an offering of the Best of British high-street curry dishes, such as chicken tikka masala, zalfrezi and balti.