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Tayyab, 78, named top chef after 40 years serving up Whitechapel’s hot Punjabi curry

PUBLISHED: 11:11 28 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:24 28 October 2014

Wasim Tayyab receives curry trade award for his dad from MP Rushanara Ali (centre) and Employment Minister Esther McVey

Wasim Tayyab receives curry trade award for his dad from MP Rushanara Ali (centre) and Employment Minister Esther McVey

Kois Miah

Mohammed Tayyab has won a ‘lifetime achievement’ award for services to the renowned curry industry in London’s East End.

The 78-year-old has been serving Punjabi curries for 40 years at his famous Tayyabs restaurant in Whitechapel.

He still keeps a leading role in the family business, despite illness.

His restaurant in Fieldgate Street was given a Jaguar Award of Excellence, which his son Wasim picked up for him—he was too ill to attend himself.

“My father has dedicated his working life to the curry trade,” Wasim said afterwards. “It’s wonderful to see his work being recognised.”

The accolade was one of the Curry Life magazine’s Chef awards presented by Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali and Employment Minister Esther McVey at the Lancaster Hotel.

The Employment Minister said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and it’s great to celebrate the success of so many of those who are experts in their field.”

Mohammed Tayyab was the son of a teacher when he came to Britain in 1964, aged 28, leaving a wife and three daughters behind in Pakistan to try and make a living in east London.

He worked in the garment trade in Whitechapel, but every Sunday would cook for other workers and became known for his dishes—his mother had taught him to cook traditional curry back home.

Mohammed took a chance when a small café closed down in Fieldgate Street in 1972 and rented it to open his now-famous eatery.

The popularity of his spiced Punjabi dishes leads to frequent queues on the pavement outside.

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