Chef Aktar Islam
Facebook - Aktar Islam / Instagram - aktar_islam
Aktar Islam had a solid grounding in the hospitality industry working at his father's restaurant, The Indian Palace in Birmingham, from the age of 13. His life-long passion for food grew from there, as did his creativity and following. Crowned winner of the F-Word TV show in 2009 when he was Head Chef of Lasan, Aktar was propelled to a much wider audience and further still when he appeared on Great British Menu (three times to date) and won! Aktar is still the reigning champion for the Midlands. Now pushing the boundaries with Indian flavours combined with contemporary and traditional techniques at his first restaurant Opheem, he recently announced a second solo project, Legna, opening in his home town of Birmingham later this year. Aktar continues to indulge the senses with delicious food and inspiring interiors, and we're delighted he's our Chef Works Chef of the Month this October (… oh, and he's just got a puppy called Bailey - check out his Insta!).
Opheem Restaurant, 48 Summer Row, Birmingham B3 1JJ, UK.
1. Your restaurant/business
A modern open-plan kitchen, with views into the main dining room which leads to our stunning bar and private dining space.
2. Describe your kitchen
I'd say the
3. Favourite Chef Works item and why
Berkeley Bib Apron
in Jet Black (ABS01-JBK). I really like this style as it's quite edgy and relaxed and I feel that sort of represents my food too. Obviously, denim is a hard-wearing fabric, so that makes it really practical for day-to-day use.
My first job was helping my father at his restaurant when I was 13 years old. It was great to be able to help out and learn about the family business. Who knew that it would turn into a life-long passion and deliver so much joy?
4. First job?
5. Favourite cookbook?
11 Madison Park
by Chef Daniel Humm & Will Guidara. I love the recipes and just the way it is shot. The images are so crisp and beautifully arranged.
6. Your awards?
The F Word
in 2009 and did three series of
Great British Menu
and cooked the fish course at the final banquet.